At least three companies that said they would forego donating to members of Congress involved in various ways to the political tumult around the Jan. 6 Capitol riots, have made donations to groups that may benefit Republicans who voted against certifying Joe Biden as president.
As first reported by the liberal political newsletter Popular Information, Intel and AT&T—companies that both pledged to suspend donations to all Republican objectors in early January—sent thousands through their PACs to GOP groups with ties to these Congress members in February.
Intel, which declared it would “not contribute” to GOP objectors but would continue “bipartisan contributions,” donated $15,000 to the National Republican Campaign Committee (NRCC), the fundraising arm of the GOP House conference, two-thirds of whom voted against certifying Biden’s victory.
The company told Popular Information that its policy against contributions to GOP objectors “still applies,” explaining Intel “divides its political contributions evenly among Republicans and Democrats, including individual candidates, campaign committees and governors associations” (Intel did not respond to a request for comment from Forbes).
AT&T, which also announced it would indefinitely “suspend” donations to Republican objectors but did not specify the parameters of this policy, contributed $5,000 to the House Conservatives Fund, a leadership PAC run by Jan. 6 objector Rep. Mike Johnson (R-La.) that serves as the political arm of the Republican Study Committee, the largest conservative caucus on Capitol Hill whose members overwhelmingly voted against certifying BIden’s win.
AT&T said in a statement to Forbes that it is continuing to “adhere” to its political giving freeze for the objectors and confirmed with the House Conservatives Fund that none of the contributions would “go toward the re-election of those members of Congress,” but did not specify how that will be enforced.
Cigna, which said Jan. 13 it would “discontinue support” of any members of Congress that “hindered a peaceful transition of power,” sent $15,000 to the NRCC and $15,000 to the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), the GOP’s fundraising arm for the Senate—though in a statement to Forbes, said its initial pledge never promised to halt donations to Republican objectors.
“In January, our PAC discontinued support of any elected official that encouraged or supported violence on [Jan. 6], and that remains true,” Justine Sessions, a Cigna spokesperson, told Forbes in an email.
Dozens of major companies—including Disney, Amazon, Best Buy and Verizon—all vowed to reassess their political giving in the days after the Jan. 6 siege of the Capitol, with some indefinitely severing all political donations and others specifically cutting off the 145 Republicans who voted in line with former President Donald Trump’s election objections. It will become more clear in April when every Congressional candidate has to file their first report of the year whether other companies are standing by their new political giving policies.
What To Watch For
CNBC reported last week that fundraisers for congressional candidates and party campaign groups are lobbying corporations to resume political donations to the shunned members of Congress.
“These corporations broke their pledge to stop donating to Republican objectors” (Popular Information)