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Big US companies slash donations to politicians after Trump election challenge

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Police release tear gas into a crowd of pro-Trump protesters during clashes at a rally to contest the certification of the presidential election results by the Congress, at the US Capitol Building in Washington, January 6, 2021. (Reuters photo)

Big US companies have slashed donations to politicians following former president Donald Trump’s attempt to overturn his election defeat to Joe Biden.

There was a decrease of 90 percent in donations by ten US corporations to candidates seeking federal office in January, after they pledged to cut off giving to Republicans who supported Trump in his failed attempt.

According to Reuters, none of the political action committees of 10 major companies, including Microsoft Corp., Walmart Inc., AT&T Inc. and Comcast Corp., donated to any of the 147 congressional Republicans who voted to support the former Republican president’s claims just hours after his supporters assaulted the US Capitol on January 6.

Disclosures to the Federal Election Commission ahead of a Saturday filing deadline indicated the group of corporate PACs associated with those 10 companies donated $13,000 to candidates in January.

That was less than one-tenth of the roughly $190,000 the 10 company PACs donated to candidates in January 2017, and tiny relative to the approximately $10 million given in donation to candidates during the 2019-2020 election season.

Those 147 lawmakers who voted to overturn Democratic Biden’s victory had received over $2 million from the 10 PACs during the last two-year political cycle.

American Express’ PAC donated $5,000 to Republican Senator John Thune of South Dakota, whereas GE’s gave $5,000 to Representative Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, a prominent Republican Trump critic, and $1,000 to Democratic Representative Rick Larsen of Washington.

Donations to politicians decrease in the months after a US general election, however, the lack of corporate-affiliated giving in January is indicative of a slower start in one corner of political finance ahead of midterm elections in 2022.

Committees affiliated with Best Buy, State Street Corp., Dow Inc. and Nike Inc. did not report new donations to any candidates in January.

While over a thousand PACs are affiliated with corporate America, the 10 Reuters reviewed include major companies which publicly stated they would throttle back donations after the Capitol attack.

The US House impeached Trump over his role for the invasion on the Capitol that left five people dead, including a member of law enforcement.

Trump was blamed for inciting an insurrection when the lawmakers were busy certifying the victory of Biden in the disputed 2020 presidential election. Trump believes Biden did not win the election fairly, and that the vote was rigged to deprive him of a second term.

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