One thing that often gets lost in retrospectives about January 6th is the political context outside the executive branch, which ultimately goaded the mob into action. Chiefly, the symbolic and historically irresponsible votes to decertify the results of the 2020 election, without which the losing candidate’s increasingly desperate claims of voter fraud would have seemed just that: desperate.
Those 147 votes across both houses of Congress didn’t end up setting off a constitutional crisis about who ultimately holds power in a presidential election, the voters or their congressional delegations. Instead, they legitimized the conspiracies about a stolen election just enough to set the tinderbox ablaze. After all, it takes more than one man to start a coup.
More than the eventual 147 members of Congress had planned to vote for decertifying the election results on the 6th. After the riot, however, three Senators decided not to object, clearly disturbed by the forces they’d set in motion.
In the aftermath, hundreds of companies pledged either to cut off donations to the objecting members of Congress in retaliation for their blatant attack on the process of American democracy or cease donating through their corporate PACs altogether. It was an unprecedented rebuke of politicians by the private sector and specifically, of the party which has long prided itself as being “pro-business”.
In the year since, given the power corporate donations wield in our politics, a number of organizations have tracked those corporate pledges. Below are the sources the team at Goods Unite Us has found to be the most comprehensive and accurate, as well as some of their findings.
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW)
“Companies that pledged to stop or pause their political giving to these members have contributed a total of $4,785,000 to insurrectionist political groups…”
“Boeing ($346,500), Koch Industries ($308,000), American Crystal Sugar ($285,000), General Dynamics ($233,500) and Valero Energy ($207,500) are the top corporate donors to those who objected to the election and their party committees.”
“Dozens of companies and trade groups said they would suspend donations in the aftermath of the Capitol violence. … One hundred thirty-four out of 248 of these businesses and groups have still not contributed to seditionists.”
The most comprehensive tracker or corporate donations to those voting to decertify the 2020 election –
“The top five corporations or big corporate lobbyists that donated to election objectors since January, by total amount donated.
1. American Bankers Association PAC (BANKPAC) $203,000
2. National Beer Wholesalers Association Political Action Committee $196,000
3. Boeing $190,000
4. CULAC The PAC of Credit Union National Association $188,500
5. Raytheon Technologies $186,000”
The most comprehensive tracker of corporate donations based on the pledges made in the aftermath of the insurrection –
“Corporations that pledged to end support to the 147 Republican objectors and have kept their promises
Airbnb, Allstate, Amazon, American Express, BASF, CBS Corporation, CISCO, Commerce Bancshares, Dow Inc., eBay, Eversource Energy, General Mills, Hallmark Cards, Holland & Hart, Kraft Heinz, Lyft, Marriott, Marsh & McLennan, Massmutual, Mastercard, Microsoft, Morgan Stanley, Newmont, Nike, NRG Energy, PPL, Public Service Enterprise Group, Qurate Retail, S&P Global, Sony Music Group, State Street, Texas Instruments, Universal Music Group, Vertex, Walgreens, Walt Disney, Warner Music Group, Zillow”
“…while the media narrative is that corporate PAC contributions to Republican objectors have returned to normal, the reality is that they’ve dropped by 60%.”