Corporations continued donations to Sen. Hawley long after they should have known better
Large companies, such as FedEx, donated to Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) after he cheered on violent marches organized by white supremacists to dispute the 2020 election. Many of the same corporations that gave money to Hawley, as he was adding fuel to the extremism fire, have since publicly claimed to be reevaluating political campaign giving.
Government watchdog Accountable.US compiled recent data around this into a series of reports.
“It was hard to miss Senator Hawley’s cynical ploy to endear himself with Trump’s base by promoting dangerous lies about election fraud that culminated in the deadly events of January 6th,” says Kyle Herrig, President of Accountable.US. “Hawley made sure of that on every possible medium, and the major corporate players that saw fit to reward Hawley’s dangerous and duplicitous behavior with financial support cannot now ‘play dumb’. Their CEOs owe an explanation to their shareholders and the public about what values they really support.”
So what’s in that report?
FedEx, Wells Fargo, The American Sugar Cane League, Microsoft, and H&R Block gave Hawley $12,000 between December 9th and 30th, leading up to the day he would become the first senator to announce he would object to electoral college certification of the 2020 presidential election results.
Starting on December 9, the American Sugar Cane League gave Hawley’s Campaign $2,000. This is the same day Hawley called for the repeal of Section 230 because Google and YouTube removed content that promoted false election conspiracy theories.
FedEx And Wells Fargo gave Hawley’s ‘Fighting For Missouri PAC’ $1,000 and $1,500 on December 16. FedEx says the company fully denounces the violence that occurred on January 6 and fully supports the election results.
Wells Fargo is “reviewing its go-forward Political Action Committee strategy in light of the terrible and tragic events of last week,” says spokeswoman Jennifer Dunn in a statement according to CNBC.
Microsoft gave the Fighting For Missouri PAC $2,500. Microsoft has said it was pausing political contributions until it reviewed the events at the capitol.
Hawley released a press release with his stance against the election results on December 30. H&R Block decided to reward Hawley on December 30 by giving his leadership PAC $5,000. They too decided to halt PAC contributions after the capitol riots.
“H&R Block unequivocally condemns acts of violence and supports a peaceful transfer of power,” says H&R Block in a statement, according to the Kansas City Star, adding that “now more than ever, our country needs to remain united and honor our democratic process.”
Jordan Bernstein, COO Of Lobbying Firm Cassidy & Associates, gave Hawley $2,800 on December 31. Cassidy and Associates also said they denounced the events that took place at the capitol and the dispute of the election results to continue the pattern of companies trying to save their reputations.
No wonder companies are reevaluating where they put their money. Sen. Josh Hawley recently violated ethics by spending campaign funds on a vacation to Universal Studios. On February 8, Hawley said Trump’s second impeachment trial was unconstitutional via Twitter. There have been no major announcements made by corporate financial backers since, and resolution is still unannounced from a number of the aforementioned businesses who promised to review their support over a month ago.