50+ Groups Sign Open Letter to Corporate America: Cease Political Spending Now
Temporarily Ceasing Donations to 147 Election Objectors is Not Enough
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, over fifty organizations, investment firms, and religious organizations sent a letter to Corporate America urging them to end their political operations indefinitely in the wake of insurrection at the U.S. Capitol and refusal of 147 members of Congress to certify the presidential election.
“All corporations and trade groups must pledge to cut these politicians off for life,” the letter said of the 147 members who have received more than $170 million from corporate and trade group PACs and nearly $2 million from Big Tech companies. “Instead of creating a list of insurrection-supporting or insurrection-enabling politicians, corporate America should use lessons from this episode as a basis to end their electioneering efforts, altogether.”
The letter also outlines five steps corporate leaders must take to signal their support for democracy and help restore the voice of the people, including shutting down their PACs immediately, ending all super PAC and dark money contributions, and ceasing all contributions to state and local elections.
The letter and full list of signers is available here.
Lisa Gilbert, Executive Vice President, Public Citizen: “For too long Corporate America has been able to influence our democracy in the shadows with CEOs welcoming the opportunity to push their agenda in Washington. Only now, with the stability of our democracy shaken to its core, are companies distancing themselves from the insurrectionists. The attack at the Capitol warrants more than shallow promises to merely pause political donations. We must rededicate America’s grand experiment to its foundational principle- government of, for, and by the people.”
Folabi Olagbaju, Democracy Campaign Director, Greenpeace USA: “Oil and gas corporations aided the political wing of a white supremacist mob. Statements such as the ones we saw from Chevron and the American Petroleum Institute ‘condemning violence’ are far too little too late. These corporations and their executives are a part of the white supremacist power structure attempting to undermine our democracy and it will be up to the Biden administration to hold them accountable. Corporate America must end their political operations indefinitely in the wake of insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. Beyond that, we need transformational democracy reform. The Senate must immediately pass the For the People Act (S.1), which includes necessary reforms to make our political system more inclusive and responsive to people instead of corporations and fossil fuel executives.”
Mel Wilson, Senior Policy Advisor, National Association of Social Workers: “The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) is aligned with the intent of the insistence that corporate America end spending billions of dollars through Political Action Committees (PACs), Super PACs and dark money contributions to influence American elections. Elections belong to the people and their voices must be heard without being drowned out by unrestricted corporate campaign spending. NASW has a long history of fighting for the civil and human rights of vulnerable and marginalized Americans. Unfettered and secret political contributions by the superrich contradicts the national ethos that ability to vote is the great equalizer between the average man and the financial powerful. There are many other ways that corporations can support democracy – contributing huge amounts of money in secret is not one of them.”
Josh Zinner, CEO, Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility: “It’s high time for companies to take a hard look at the risks of continued corporate spending on elections. While companies may perceive a short term gain from funneling money to elected officials, the reputational risk that they face and more critically, the corrosive effect on democracy of corporate money in politics should give them pause. January 6 should sound the alarm that it’s time to get corporate money out of politics.”