Corporations which said they would freeze political donations to Republicans who objected to the Electoral College results are unlikely to carry out those promises in a meaningful way, campaign finance experts told The Hill on Wednesday.
Although Fortune 500 companies such as Amazon and Comcast announced a halt to contributions following the January 6 siege on the Capitol, many of the statements left wiggle room to continue them in one form or another.
One such example is that many companies said their suspensions applied to direct contributions toward the 147 Republican congressmen who tried to prevent Congress from certifying a legitimate and fair presidential election, but were uncommitted if the ban included restrictions on donations to groups such as the Republican National Committee, which can give financial support to any GOP lawmaker and candidates they want.
More than a half-dozen firms that took a public stand earlier this month would not commit to a permanent ban on donations to those GOP lawmakers, when contacted by The Hill, while most companies did not even respond.
“I am dubious that it will last ... our current system is pay-to-play politics, and most companies are eager to pay the price of admission, because the federal government has such power over their bottom line,” said Meredith McGehee, executive director of Issue One, which advocates for campaign finance reform.
David Rehr, a public policy and government professor at George Mason University, pointed out that a freeze is “really easy now with no legislation, no action,” suggesting that they will “keep the ban on until their company CEO says, ‘We have a big problem in Congress, get it fixed.’ Something that affects their company in an adversarial way.”
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