(THE NEW YORK TIMES) – Big businesses often donate to both political parties and say their support is tied to narrow issues of specific interest to their industries. That practice became increasingly fraught last week, after a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol and some Republican lawmakers tried to overturn Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s win in the presidential election.
A flurry of companies have since reviewed political giving via their corporate political action committees, according to the DealBook newsletter:
- Morgan Stanley is suspending all PAC contributions to members of Congress who did not vote to certify the results of the Electoral College, a spokesman said.
- Marriott said it would pause donations from its PAC “to those who voted against certification of the election,” a spokeswoman told DealBook. She did not say how long the break would last or how the hotel chain would decide when to resume donations.
- The chemicals giant Dow said it was suspending all PAC contributions “to any member of Congress who voted to object to the certification of the presidential election.” The suspension will last for one election cycle — two years for representatives and up to six years for senators.
- Shopify terminated online stores affiliated with President Trump. “Based on recent events, we have determined that the actions by President Donald J. Trump violate our Acceptable Use Policy, which prohibits promotion or support of organizations, platforms or people that threaten or condone violence to further a cause,” the company said in a statement.
- Hallmark requested the return of campaign contributions its PAC made to Senators Josh Hawley Missouri and Roger Marshall of Kansas, both of whom voted against certifying the presidential election results. “Hallmark believes the peaceful transition of power is part of the bedrock of our democratic system, and we abhor violence of any kind,” the company said in a statement. “The recent actions of Senators Josh Hawley and Roger Marshall do not reflect our company’s values.”
- Airbnb condemned the violence in Washington, saying in a statement that it “will update its framework and withhold support from those who voted against the certification of the presidential election results.”
- The Coca-Cola Company said in a statement that it would also suspend political giving: “These events will long be remembered and will factor into our future contribution decisions.”
Blue Cross Blue Shield, Boston Scientific and Commerce Bancshares are taking a similar, targeted approach to donation freezes. The newsletter, Popular Information is tracking the responses of these and other companies that donated to lawmakers who challenged the election result.
Some big banks are pausing all political donations — to those who voted to uphold the election as well as to those who sought to overturn it — a tactic that is raising eyebrows. Goldman Sachsis freezing donations through its PAC and will conduct “a thorough assessment of how people acted during this period,” a spokesman, Jake Siewert, told DealBook. JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup also said they would postpone all campaign contributions.
Facebook will pause all of its contributions to political action committees representing either party for at least the remainder of the first quarter of 2021, the company confirmed in a statement on Monday, citing the need to review its policies. A spokesman for Microsoft confirmed that it would do the same.
Other companies, including Bank of America, FedEx and Wells Fargo, said they would review their corporate contribution strategy.
In other fallout, the P.G.A. of America said it would no longer hold its signature championship at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J.; the social app Parler, popular among conservatives as an alternative to Twitter, went dark this morning after Amazon cut it off from computing services; the payment processor Stripe banned the Trump campaign from using its services; YouTube blocked Steve Bannon’s podcast channel; and the debate continues over tech giants’ influence over public speech.