Corporations Are Ceasing Political Donations. Here’s How They’re Doing it.
by Lilia Dashevsky
by Lilia Dashevsky
January 6 marked a dark day that will live forever in American history: President Trump’s supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol and staged an insurrection. After the chaos subsided, Congress jumped into action, and so did corporate America. Within 24 hours, Trump was temporarily locked out of his Twitter and Facebook accounts. Within days, he was banned from those platforms entirely—and that was just the beginning.
In a town where money talks, less than a week after the attack, countless corporations issued statements and handed down new directives about their political donations and gifts. Here is what we’ve seen so far:
Corporations suspending PAC donations to Republicans who voted to overturn the Electoral College
Corporations suspending all PAC donations, regardless of party affiliation
Corporations that have issued statements, but haven’t committed to pulling donations
Corporations taking other actions
While the list seems to grow every minute (and inevitably will change after this piece is published), two questions remain. First, with millions of dollars being taken off of the table for Republicans, and with Trump and his fundraising apparatus headed out the door in a few days, what, if anything, will GOP leadership do to stop the bleeding? As of Monday afternoon, the options seem rather limited, despite Republican Leader McCarthy calling trade associations to reconsider their decisions to pull donations. The unlikely path is for the House and Senate leadership to instruct its members, in conjunction with Democrats, to expel the members who voted to overturn the election. A more likely solution would include GOP leadership calling for the censure of President Trump because there is no world in which party leadership would encourage its members to vote for impeachment—even after last Wednesday.
The second outstanding question is two-fold. If more companies, including the ones evaluating their next steps, subscribe to the formula of pulling PAC donations to all members, a) how long will they hold out for, and b) if the answer is “an entire cycle,” then how does the future of campaigning look in 2021 and 2022? Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Schumer are holding onto incredibly narrow majorities. It’s hard to envision either leader being happy with millions of dollars getting taken off the table for their members, many of whom will be in contentious races that require significant cash flow.
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