Citigroup, Goldman Sachs and others pause their political contributions.
Large companies often donate to both parties, saying that their support is tied to close issues that are of particular interest to their industry. That got increasingly difficult last week after a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol and some Republican lawmakers tried to overturn Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s presidential election victory.
Since then, according to the DealBook newsletter, numerous companies have reviewed political donations through their corporate policy action committees.
Some major banks suspend all political donations:
Goldman Sachs is freezing donations through its PAC and will “make a thorough assessment of people’s behavior during this time,” a spokesman, Jake Siewert, told DealBook.
JPMorgan Chase stops donations through his PAC for six months. “There will be enough time for campaigns later,” said Peter Scher, Head of Corporate Responsibility at the bank.
Citigroup is postponing all campaign contributions by a quarter. “We want you to be sure that we are not supporting candidates who do not respect the rule of law,” wrote Candi Wolff, head of the bank’s government department, in an internal memo.
Other banks, including Bank of America and Wells Fargo, said they were reviewing their corporate contribution strategy.
Some companies suspend donations to certain politicians. Marriott said it would “pause donations from its PAC to those who voted against confirming the election,” a spokeswoman told DealBook. She didn’t say how long the break would be or how the hotel operator would decide when to continue.
Blue Cross Blue Shield, Boston Scientific, and Commerce Bancshares are taking a similar, targeted approach to freezing donations. The Popular Information newsletter tracks responses from these and other companies that have donated to lawmakers who have questioned the election results.
The suspensions coincide with the first quarter after a presidential election, which usually raises little money anyway. Eyebrows are raised at the efforts of some companies to interrupt PAC donations to all lawmakers – those who voted to keep the election as well as those who tried to overthrow it. And companies can still have “dark money” groups that do not disclose their donors but often raise far more money than corporate PACs.
In another fallout, the PGA of America said it would no longer hold its signature championship at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey. Popular with conservatives as an alternative to Twitter, the Parler social app went dark this morning after Amazon cut it off from computer services. Payment processor Stripe has banned the Trump campaign from using their services. YouTube has blocked Steve Bannon’s podcast channel. and the debate over the influence of tech giants on public speaking continues.