EXPOSED! is a weekly series that decentralize.today runs that looks to unveil the dirty dealings of corporations, individuals and governments, often in collusion with each other. In this edition, we look at recent events following the 2020 General Election in the USA.
A recent report on corporate political donations released by the watchdog group, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) shows which companies passed – and which failed – the integrity test during the two years after the Capitol riot.
Only 65 out of 231 companies that had vowed to pause donations to the GOP politicians who refused to certify the election results have held true to their promise, CREW reported.
Infamously called the Sedition Caucus because of their role in lending credibility to Donald Trump’s big lie, the anti-democratic actions of the 147 Republican members of Congress – 139 House and eight Senate members – drew criticism from corporate donors.
Corporate money in politics has been a growing concern for those wanting to level the playing field and prevent those with financial interests from influencing the policy decisions of elected representatives.
After the violent attack on January 6, 2021, there seemed to be a change in the way corporate America was going to do things moving forward.
A light bulb had gone off in the wake of the shocking and brutal assault by a violent mob on the seat of this country’s democracy – or so we thought.
Over $50 million was given to the campaigns or PACS supporting the elections of objectors to certification of the 2020 election.
Another $18.9 million went to the fundraising arms of Congress’ GOP candidates and members – the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) and the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC).
“After the insurrection, Amazon decried the attack as an ‘unacceptable attempt to undermine a legitimate democratic process,'” CREW wrote.
Yet between September 2022 and the midterm election, the retail giant had donated nearly $50,000 to 24 members of the Sedition Caucus.
Knowing what the American public knows now, this is a disturbing trend among industry leaders who claim to support the country and respect its governmental framework.
The insurance giant, Allstate, reportedly suspended its donations to those attempting to subvert the democratic process because their “actions did not align with [Allstate’s] commitment to bipartisanship, collaboration, and compromise.”
Allstate promised to “monitor and measure each lawmaker’s ongoing conduct against revised contribution criteria to determine reinstatement.”
But according to CREW’s findings, Allstate donated $36,000 to 16 GOP congressional members who voted against certification in the two months between September and November 2022 – all voted against creating an investigative panel to probe the Capitol attack
Not only did a majority of Republicans in Congress vote against certifying the legitimate results of a free and fair election, but many of them have been under investigation for their active roles in Trump’s attempts to overturn the election in his favor.
Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA), a person of interest in the Department of Justice’s criminal investigation into January 6th, received $5,000 in donations from Texas-based companies AT&T and American Airlines after it was revealed he had an active role in trying to overturn the 2020 election in favor of Trump.
Not only was Perry central to the fake elector scheme, but text messages obtained by the House Select Committee also showed the seditious congressman tried to pressure Trump’s White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows to help keep the outgoing President in power.
Accountable.US President Kyle Herrig released a statement calling out corporate America’s walking back on their promises from nearly two years ago.
“The increasing volume of corporate donations to lawmakers who tried to overthrow the will of the people,” Herrig said, CNBC reported. “Makes clear that these companies were never committed to standing up for democracy in the first place.”
“Major corporations were quick to condemn the insurrection and tout their support for democracy – and almost as quickly, many ditched those purported values by cutting big checks to the very politicians that helped instigate the failed coup attempt,” Herrig said.
In 2021, AT&T gave $5,000 to the House Conservatives Fund – a leadership PAC associated with Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA), who opposed certification of President Joe Biden’s win, according to Financial Times.
Despite morally fluid corporations like AT&T, American Airlines, Disney, and Allstate who broke their promises, over five dozen companies have been steadfast in their commitment to democracy.
Industry leaders in the retail, energy, investment, and hospitality sectors haven’t been connected to the election objectorsor groups associated with them or their campaigns.
These companies including investment powerhouse Black Rock, retail chain Target, Nike, Cisco Systems, Airbnb, and Zillow have chosen democracy over corporate interests.
Corporate money flows into campaigns both directly and indirectly.
Tens of millions of dollars contributed to the unraveling of the nation’s democracy, the subversion of a free and fair election process, and helped seditious legislators who swore an oath to protect the constitution undermine its very principles.
Representatives Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), Matt Gaetz (R-FL), Mo Brooks (R-AL), Andy Biggs (R-AZ), and Louie Gohmert (R-TX) have all received corporate donations despite their connections to Jan. 6th.
Two years after the worst attack on this country in recent history, it has become increasingly evident that when it comes to protecting democracy – corporate America for the most part, has taken its ball and gone home.
Sheila Krumholz, executive director of the Center for Responsible Politics, told Financial Times that reaction to scandals is relatively short-lived in the business world.
“There is a reaction after a scandal…and then slowly but surely, everyone moves on, and it is back to business as usual.”
American consumers need to be aware of the political activities of the companies who seek their business and decide which ones align with their values before forking over their hard-earned money.