Alfred Geshaid / Getty images
Facebook, Microsoft and Google have joined the growing list of major banks and other large companies that are halting their political spending following last week’s violent attack on the US Capitol.
One after another, corporate responses escalated. Some stopped donations from lawmakers who opposed the certification of the election. Many have stopped everything of their political donations for several months. Several went so far as to support the removal of the president.
“The outgoing president incites violence in an attempt to retain power, and any elected leader who defends him violates his oath to the Constitution and rejects democracy in favor of anarchy,” said National Producers Association CEO Jay Timmons, calling on Vice President Mike Pence. consider referring to the 25th Amendment, which allows the removal of a president deemed unfit to serve.
Money groups in politics welcomed this unusually broad and self-initiated accountability by corporations for their own role in contributing to the nation’s current political situation.
“You just can’t really emphasize the role that donors play in the current political calculation,” said Meredith McGee, executive director at Issue One, a nonprofit that works to reduce the impact of money on politics.
“At this time of crisis, they sent a really important signal that the actions of the objectors were unacceptable … because what they were doing was voting to overturn the will of the electorate,” McGee said.
Facebook told NPR on Monday that it was suspending breaks for its political action committee, or PAC, for at least the first three months of the year, “while we review our policies.”
Microsoft said it was assessing the aftermath of last week’s events, adding: “PAC regularly suspends its donations during the first quarter of a new congress.,, but this year will take further steps to address these recent developments and consult with staff. “
In fact, right now – the beginning of the year right after the election – is when many companies are doing this kind of political spending review anyway.
Also, public spending on corporate campaigns is much more limited than spending on Super PACs and especially tax-exempt advocacy groups that do not disclose their donors. Plus, a lot of corporate money in American politics flows from individuals, corporate executives, and other employees.
Earlier, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan and Citigroup told reporters that they would stop all political donations. Airbnb, Comcast and others said they were suspending PAC donations to Republicans who opposed the vote in the Electoral College. Bulletin Popular information tracks such corporate responses by also adding Marriott and BlueCross BlueShield on the list.
Similarly, Hallmark asked sensor Josh Hawley and Roger Marshall to return $ 7,000 and $ 5,000 in employee donations over the past two years, according to The star of Kansas City.
“I think they need to look long and hard at what role their political spending plays as something of an accumulation of this crisis,” said Bruce Fried, head of the Center for Political Accountability.
“The question is – is there this retention of power or will it be a move at the moment?” Said Fried. “What do they do in six months? What do they do in a year? Is this a real moment of insight in terms of changing the way companies approach their political spending?”
Last week, Facebook stopped Trump indefinitely from both its main platform and Instagram. Twitter has permanently disabled Trump’s account.
Shopify, an online trading platform, has closed two stores linked to Trump’s organization and President Trump’s campaign. The PGA Board of Directors of America has voted to withdraw the PGA Championship from next year from Trump’s golf club in New Jersey.
Editor’s note: Comcast, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase are among the financial supporters of NPR.
NPR’s Shannon Bond contributed to this report.