Some companies pledged to halt donations to lawmakers who objected to certifying Biden's election win. They have not kept their promise.
- Some corporations pledged not to fund officials who voted against certifying
- Six months after the Capitol riot, many have donated to PACs, the Associated Press reported.
- Some companies said PACs assured them the funds wouldn't go to officials who objected.
Six months after the January 6 Capitol riot, numerous large companies appear to have fallen short of promises not to fund the 147 lawmakers who objected to certifying Joe Biden's 2020 election win, the Associated Press reported.
The GOP lawmakers objected to certifying the result in relation to false claims made by then-President Donald Trump.
The AP identified Walmart, Pfizer, Intel, General Electric, and AT&T as some of the companies that said they wouldn't donate to lawmakers who opposed certification but had since donated thousands of dollars to political action committees that support them.
Some companies used language from the beginning that left open the possibility of only a temporary pause, but the AP also reported that some argued donating to PACs was different from donating directly to lawmakers.
In April, three months after saying it wouldn't support the 147 lawmakers, Walmart gave $30,000 to the National Republican Congressional Committee, which supports GOP members running in House elections. More than half of House Republicans voted against certification.
"Pledging not to give to a certain person doesn't mean that much when there are so many other ways that corporate money reaches elected officials," Daniel Weiner, a former senior counsel at the Federal Election Commission who now works at the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University's law school, told the AP. "These pledges are largely symbolic."
A Walmart representative, Randy Hargrove, told Insider: "As we have for the past 10 years on a bipartisan basis, we have given equally to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign, the National Republican Congressional Committee, and the National Republican Senatorial Committee."
A Daily Beast analysis also found that companies including Lockheed Martin, UPS, General Motors, and American Express also broke promises not to donate to lawmakers who objected to certification.
In a statement a few days after the riot, Amex said it would pull funding for elected officials who attempted to "subvert the presidential election results and disrupt the peaceful transition of power."
In April, however, the company gave $2,500 to the Republican Legislative Victory Fund, which supports Arizona Republican state senators. That same group had been working on an audit of all 2.1 million votes cast in Maricopa County, where Biden won.
Asked about a different donation - $5,000 in February to the House Conservatives Fund - a representative for AT&T told the AP that the company had been assured the funds wouldn't go toward officials who objected to certification.
As the AP noted, however, the House Conservatives Fund is led by Rep. Mike Johnson, a Louisiana Republican who objected to certifying the vote.
Additionally, campaign-finance experts told the AP there's no way to know whether donated funds ended up going toward officials who opposed certification.
"It's completely frustrating from an accountability point of view," Ciara Torres-Spelliscy, a Stetson University Law School professor who studies corporate campaign finance, told the AP.
Pfizer, Intel, General Electric, AT&T, Lockheed Martin, UPS, General Motors, and American Express did not respond to requests for comment from Insider.
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