Corporate executives called on senators to certify Joe Biden's election — but they didn't listen.
A group of corporate executives last week urged Congress to certify President-elect Joe Biden's victory in the 2020 presidential election.
Several of the Republican senators bankrolled by their corporate PACs tried to block that certification.
Nearly 200 chief executives signed on to a letter released on Jan. 4 that call for lawmakers to accept the election results during the joint session of Congress scheduled for two days later to certify Electoral College voting results. "Attempts to thwart or delay this process run counter to the essential tenets of our democracy," the letter said. "There should be no further delay in the orderly transfer of power."
Several Republican lawmakers refused to accept Biden's decisive victory: Seven senators voted to reject democratically chosen electors for Biden, as did most of the House Republican caucus, even after a violent mob of Trump backers stormed the Capitol building earlier in the day.
A review of Federal Election Commission campaign finance data revealed that 14 of the people that signed the letter lead companies with corporate political action committees that over the past two years have donated money to the senators who voted to deny Biden's victory.
Combined, the PACs donated at least $98,500.
AECOM's vice chairman, Daniel R. Tishman, signed the letter.
Its PAC gave Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) $1,000 and Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) $1,000.
Deloitte CEO Joseph Ucuzoglu signed the letter.
Its PAC gave $10,000 to Sen. Roger Marshall (R-KS).
Popular Information reported on Monday that an internal company memo to staff said Deloitte will "suspend political contributions" and "will not support those who work to undermine the rule of law."
Ernst & Young
Kelly Grier, Ernst & Young's U.S. chair & managing partner and Americas managing partner, signed the letter.
Its PAC gave $5,000 to Sen. Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) and $10,000 to Marshall.
In an emailed statement, a spokesperson noted that Ernst & Young "strongly condemns the attack on our Capitol and the threat to our democracy and civil liberties" and said, "Effective immediately, the EY Political Action Committee (PAC) is suspending its giving. Now is not the time for partisanship and campaigning—rather it should be a time for unity."
Goldman Sachs chairman and CEO David M. Solomon signed the letter.
Its PAC gave $10,000 to Marshall.
The company told CNBC on Sunday that it would freeze PAC donations, likely for six months, "in light of what happened."
JetBlue CEO Robin Hayes signed the letter.
Its PAC gave $3,000 to Scott and $1,000 to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)
KPMG U.S. chair and CEO Paul Knopp signed the letter.
Its PAC gave $5,000 to Lummis and $10,000 to Marshall.
Marsh & McLennan
Marsh & McClennan president and CEO Dan Glaser signed the letter.
Its PAC gave $1,000 to Marshall.
In an emailed statement, a company spokesperson acknowledged the contribution and said Marsh & McClellan was "the first in the Insurance sector to end PAC contributions to the lawmakers who objected to the certification."
MetLife president & CEO Michel A. Khalaf signed the letter.
Its PAC gave $2,000 to Marshall.
In an emailed statement a company spokesperson condemned the riots and said its PAC board "is reviewing all of its guidelines and giving to ensure that they are consistent with the company's purpose and values. We strongly support the peaceful transition of power, and one of our guiding principles will be to support candidates who uphold our values and the rule of law."
Microsoft president Brad Smith signed the letter.
Its PAC gave $3,500 to Lummis and $3,500 to Marshall.
In an emailed statement, a spokesperson said, "Microsoft's political action committee decided last Friday that it will not make any political donations until after it assesses the implications of last week's events. The PAC regularly pauses its donations in the first quarter of a new Congress, but it will take additional steps this year to consider these recent events and consult with employees."
In the past, Microsoft has promised to rethink its corporate giving to anti-LGBTQ and anti-immigrant politicians, only to quietly resume PAC donations to them months later.
New York Life Insurance
New York Life Insurance chairman and CEO Theodore Mathas signed the letter.
Its PAC gave $2,500 to Marshall.
Pfizer chairman & CEO Albert Bourla signed the letter.
Its PAC gave $5,000 to Lummis and $5,000 to Marshall.
PricewaterhouseCoopers U.S. chair and senior partner Timothy Ryan signed the letter.
Its PAC gave $2,500 to Lummis and $10,000 to Marshall.
In an emailed statement, a company spokesperson called the attack "deeply disturbing" and "against everything we stand for in our democracy."
"Given this moment in history, the PwC PAC has suspended all political contributions to any member of Congress who voted to object to the certification of electoral votes," they said. "We will continue to evaluate our contribution strategy taking into account our purpose and values."
Sidley Austin partner and executive committee chair Michael Schmidtberger signed the letter.
Its PAC gave $2,500 to Marshall.
The Travelers Companies chairman and CEO Alan D. Schnitzer signed the letter.
Its PAC gave $5,000 to Marshall.
In an emailed statement, a company spokesperson said, "We are not making any contributions through our Political Action Committee in the near term, and we will continue to assess how we approach future political donations."
The American Independent Foundation reached out to all 14 businesses; except where noted, they did not respond to requests for comment for this story.
Several other companies have indicated in the aftermath of the riots that they are reexamining their PAC donations.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.