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.
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 Sachs is 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 is halting donations through its PAC for six months. “There will be plenty of time for campaigning later,” said Peter Scher, the bank’s head of corporate responsibility.
And Citigroup is postponing all campaign contributions for a quarter. “We want you to be assured that we will not support candidates who do not respect the rule of law,” Candi Wolff, the bank’s head of government affairs, wrote in an internal memo.
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.
The suspensions coincide with the first quarter after a presidential election, which is typically light on fund-raising anyway. And companies can still give to “dark money” groups that don’t disclose their donors but often raise far more money than corporate PACs.
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.
Kate Kelly, Jenny Gross and Mike Isaac contributed reporting.