Corporate PACs and industry trade groups have given more than $66 million to election objectors since Jan. 6, 2021, a new OpenSecrets analysis of federal campaign finance filings found, post – general
About 1,550 business PACs, which include corporate PACs and industry trade groups, poured more than $57 million in political contributions directly into the campaigns of 142 of the members of Congress who voted against certifying the results of the 2020 election amid the U.S. Capitol attack on January 6, 2021. Corporate PACs and industry trade groups poured an additional $9 million into leadership PACs affiliated with the same election objectors.
Several caucuses backed by business PACs were voted out of office in the 2022 midterms, but most will return to Congress this term. As OpenSecrets reported in November, more than 95 percent of the 124 election challengers who ran for re-election to the House of Representatives in 2022 were successful, with only five challenger incumbents losing their bids in the Republican primaries or the general elections. Another twelve electoral objectors chose to retire from Congress, while another three died in office.
While numerous corporations pledged to stop or reassess PAC giving to election campaigners after January 6, 2021, several of those companies resumed donating to the so-called Congressional “Sedition Caucus,” giving millions dollars to those members over the course of the 2022 election cycle. According to a Politico analysis, corporations that pledged political donations accounted for at least $10 million of the $66 million from corporate PACs and industry trade groups targeting objectors electoral
Major companies that have since resumed corporate PAC contributions to election campaigners include AT&T, Boeing, Cigna, Comcast, General Motors, Home Depot, Lockheed Martin, Marathon Petroleum, Pfizer, Raytheon, UPS, UnitedHealth, Verizon and Walmart .
The business PACs that contributed the most to election objectors were trade associations, including the National Association of Realtors, the National Beer Wholesalers Association, the National Automobile Dealers Association, and the American of Bankers.
Companies and industry groups that previously responded to requests for comment from OpenSecrets, POLITICO and other outlets typically said the resumption of contributions was the result of support for specific policies rather than votes cast by lawmakers on January 6, 2021. The lead contributor said the National Association of Realtors. OpenSecrets in November that it had lifted the pause on contributions to election objectors “to ensure that the association could engage in a nonpartisan manner on behalf of members and consumers.”
Corporate PACs and industry trade groups contributed more money to House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), who voted against the certification of the 2020 election results, than any other election objector during the 2022 electoral cycle.
Business PACs gave more than $2.1 million to McCarthy’s campaign committee and leadership PAC over the two-year election cycle, with $1.3 million going to his campaign committee and $816,500 to his PAC of leadership, the PAC of the Majority Committee.
McCarthy’s campaign received contributions from Northop Grumman, American Airlines and Chevron. Comcast Corp., which was among the corporations that initially suspended contributions to election campaigners after the Jan. 6 attack, also contributed to McCarthy’s campaign and leadership PAC.
Top 2022 cycle donors to McCarthy’s leadership PAC included Fedex Corp, Exxon Mobil and Home Depot.
On the second anniversary of the Jan. 6 attack, McCarthy is in the midst of a historically long bid to be Speaker of the House. Over the past four days of voting, efforts have been blocked by as many as 15 Republican incumbents and five elected members. Fourteen of the 15 incumbents are electoral objectors, all but Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas).
One member backing McCarthy’s bid is Rep. Jason Smith (R-Mo.), whose campaign reported receiving more money from PACs affiliated with corporations and trade groups than any other election denial campaign, without include the leadership PACs, during the last elections. cycle
Business PACs gave about $1.3 million to Smith’s campaign. Smith was the top Republican on the House Appropriations Committee in the 117th Congress and is reportedly vying for the top spot on the House Ways and Means Committee.
Corporate PACs contributing $10,000 to Smith’s campaign in the 2022 cycle include Cigna, AT&T and Deloitte.
Other House election objectors who received more than $1 million in campaign contributions and PAC leadership from corporate PACs include Reps. Steve Scalise (R-La.), Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.), Sam Graves (R-Mo.), Richard Hudson (RN.C.), Adrian Smith (R-Neb.), Glenn Thompson (R-Pa.), Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.) and Mike Rogers (R-Ala. .).
Luetkemeyer, Graves, Thompson, and Rogers were ranking members of House committees in the 117th Congress.
Committee researcher Andrew Mayersohn contributed to this report.
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