Marriott International announced that it will suspend donations to Republican senators who voted to object to the certification of Electoral College votes last week.
While several corporations in the last days announced they plan to review or pause all political contributions, Marriott took things a step further by targeting Republicans. The multinational hospitality company decided that the violence that erupted at the U.S. Capitol last week as lawmakers met to certify Joe Biden as president, came as protesters supporting President Donald Trump sought to “undermine a legitimate and fair election.”
“We have taken the destructive events at the Capitol to undermine a legitimate and fair election into consideration and will be pausing political giving from our Political Action Committee to those who voted against certification of the election,” a Marriott spokesperson said, according to Bloomberg.
Though corporate America quickly jumped in to condemn the violence, and as Democrats moved swiftly to blame it all on the president, Marriott was one of the few that said it would actually cut off financial support to the lawmakers who backed Trump’s assertions of election fraud.
Several other companies, such as Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Citigroup Inc., Morgan Stanley, and JPMorgan Chase & Co., have also indicated that they will be making changes after reviewing the events that transpired last week. A representative for Goldman Sachs reportedly confirmed to Bloomberg that the investment firm will likely end political donations to the elected officials – all Republicans – who challenged the 2020 presidential election.
Corporate America is moving against republicans here. Massive storyline. https://t.co/MfPJkHjVYQ
— Jake Sherman (@JakeSherman) January 10, 2021
However, JPMorgan reportedly plans to suspend giving to both Republicans and Democrats for a six-month period while Citigroup will be halting all political contributions for the current quarter.
“We want you to be assured that we will not support candidates who do not respect the rule of law,” Citi’s head of global government affairs, Candi Wolff, told employees in a memo.
JP Morgan’s full statement, via executive Peter Scher: pic.twitter.com/4mEcv5PzLU
— Andrew Solender (@AndrewSolender) January 10, 2021
Apparently, the companies believe that elected-officials attempting to legally address legitimate questions about election fraud and integrity, with millions of Americans demanding answers, is unacceptable to their corporate sensibilities.
Marriott is closely tied to Utah Senator Mitt Romney, a former board member and a vocal critic of Trump. Romney’s connection to Marriott predates his service on the board: his given name, Willard, was in honor of J. Willard Marriott, a friend of the 2012 Republican presidential nominee’s father and founder of the hotel company.
Bloomberg noted that Marriott’s decision to target Republicans was first reported by Popular Information, a newsletter run by Judd Legum, the founder of left-leaning political news website ThinkProgress. The newsletter was told that some of these corporations would stop contributing to Republican members of Congress “who encouraged the rioters” in their objections to the Electoral College vote.
Claiming that eight Republican U.S. senators followed through on their objections after Congress reconvened when the order was restored and sought to “undermine the democratic system” by apparently bringing up legitimate concerns.
Popular Information decided to follow up by confronting 144 corporations that have, “through their corporate PACs, donated to one or more of these eight Senators in the 2020 election cycle.”
The companies were asked if they would continue to support these Senators in the future” and three of those surveyed – Marriott, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and Commerce Bancshares – confirmed they would suspend donations to “any member of Congress who objected” to certifying Biden as president.
Marriott’s PAC donated $1000 to the campaign of Sen. Josh Hawley during the 2020 cycle and another $1,000 to the Missouri Republican’s leadership PAC. The company did not say how long its decision to suspend giving to lawmakers who voted against certification would be in effect.
Blue Cross Blue Shield Association President and CEO Kim Keck told the outlet that it was ending all financial support to the 147 Republicans who voted “to subvert the results of November’s election by challenging Electoral College results.”
Legum noted in the piece that Commerce Bancshares PAC “favors Republican candidates over Democratic candidates by a six-to-one margin,” but, asked about its future plans, the company said it has “suspended all support for officials who have impeded the peaceful transfer of power.”
Bloomberg reported that Bank of America Corp., Ford Motor Co., and AT&T Inc. “will take recent events into consideration before any future donations,” while CVS Health Corp., Exxon Mobil Corp., Wells Fargo & Co., among other donors, indicated that their political giving policies are under review.
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