It’s an anniversary we’d prefer to not commemorate, but January 6 is a painful reminder of how divided the U.S. has become.
A year ago, we witnessed an outpouring of statements from U.S. companies saying that they would do their part to hold the 147 politicians who supported the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol responsible for their actions. Such responses came in the pledge to stop all political donations to members of the U.S. Congress who helped spark the ransacking of the Capitol or voted against certifying the Electoral College results.
Since last winter, it turned out many of those companies have backtracked on those promises, yet at least seven of them have made it clear nothing has changed in how they’ve approached the actions that surrounded January 6.
Editor's note: Be sure to subscribe to our Brands Taking Stands newsletter, which comes out every Wednesday.
Over the past year, independent journalist Judd Legum and his colleagues at the newsletter Popular Information have been tracking the companies that have pledged to not support members of Congress who objected to certifying the results of the 2020 U.S. presidential election – as well as those corporations that have since resumed cutting checks for those same politicians and the political action committees (PACs) that funnel money to them.
At last check, Legum’s January 6 corporate accountability index has found that only 36 of the dozens of companies that had promised to end such political donations have continued doing so. During 2021, those corporations did not donate any funds to members of the U.S. House and Senate nor any PACs.
But of the 180-plus companies that Popular Information queried about their political donations in 2022, only seven have responded with an explicit promise to withhold any funding during 2022. Those companies are AirBnb, American Express, BASF, Dow, Eversource Energy, Lyft and Microsoft.
The silence of the other 170 or so companies is something to worry about, says Popular Information.
“So dozens of major companies cut off corporate PAC donations to Republican objectors in 2021 but, at this point, most are keeping their options open for 2022. It's a worrisome sign for the future of democracy,” concluded Legum.
Image credit: Brendan Beale via Unsplash
Leon Kaye has written for 3p since 2010 and become executive editor in 2018. His previous work includes writing for the Guardian as well as other online and print publications. In addition, he's worked in sales executive roles within technology and financial research companies, as well as for a public relations firm, for which he consulted with one of the globe’s leading sustainability initiatives. Currently living in Central California, he’s traveled to 70-plus countries and has lived and worked in South Korea, the United Arab Emirates and Uruguay.
Leon’s an alum of Fresno State, the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and the University of Southern California's Marshall Business School. He enjoys traveling abroad as well as exploring California’s Central Coast and the Sierra Nevadas.