These 17 businesses are bankrolling Sen. Tom Cotton


The Arkansas Republican called for the military to occupy American cities.

The Republican senator who called for military occupation within the United States to control protests against racism and police violence has received more than $300,000 from 17 large corporate PACs.

Tom Cotton of Arkansas argued last week in a widely criticized, error-riddled New York Times opinion piece last Wednesday that U.S. troops should be dispatched to "restore order" as protesters across the country marched against police violence following the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in Minneapolis after a white police officer kneeled on Floyd's neck for several minutes while Floyd was handcuffed and repeatedly said he could not breathe.

On Sunday, the paper's opinion editor resigned after the paper acknowledged Cotton's piece "did not meet" its standards.

Popular Information first reported on Monday that several large companies that have funded Cotton's campaigns have recently embraced the Black Lives Matters movement in public comments. The newsletter's author, Judd Legum, noted that Cotton "has positioned himself to the right of [Donald] Trump on criminal justice issues" and believes America has an "under-incarceration problem."

A review of Federal Election Commission data reveals that, dating back to Cotton's 2012 congressional campaign, at least 17 corporate political action committees have given him more than $15,000 each in campaign contributions. All totaled, these 17 companies have given at least $301,500 to his campaigns.

They include:

Ernst & Young ($23,000)

Ernst & Young US tweeted on Tuesday: "Building a better working world means creating one that is fair and just for all. EY is committed to being an agent of change, standing against racism and discrimination. #BlackoutTuesday"

The global professional services company did not respond to an inquiry for this story.

Goldman Sachs ($20,500)

Goldman Sachs announced on Wednesday that it would give $10 million toward racial and economic justice.

"We must stand up and support organizations dedicated to the fight for a more just and equitable society," the firm's chair and CEO, David M. Solomon, wrote. "To honor the legacies of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery, we must all commit to help address the damage of generations of racism."

A spokesperson for the financial services giant declined to comment for this story.

National Beer Wholesalers Association ($20,000)

Craig Purser, the National Beer Wholesalers Association's president and CEO, said in a press release on Tuesday: "The beer industry stands with communities and against racial inequality. We are appalled and saddened by the injustices inflicted on our friends and neighbors. We must take a stand against prejudice and bigotry. America must live up to the promise of liberty and justice for all. And we need to use this moment to renew our fight against injustice and work toward becoming a more perfect union."

The trade group for the beer distribution industry did not respond to an inquiry for this story.

Windstream ($18,000)

Windstream's president and CEO Tony Thomas wrote in a statement on Thursday: "At Windstream, we reject all forms of racism, hatred and violence. As a communications company serving diverse communities across America, we will listen and learn from this moment, and do our part to bring people together."

The telecommunications company did not respond to an inquiry for this story.

American Dental Association ($17,000)

On Wednesday, the American Dental Association's president Chad P. Gehani joined dentistry leaders to call on dentists to help heal their communities.

"This is the moment of the dental community — as a robust tapestry of people from all backgrounds and walks of life — to live its values," they said in a joint statement. "We must live each day with intention. We must choose to live with integrity and respect toward our fellow human beings. We must choose to recognize that their lives matter, too."

The trade association for the dental profession did not respond to an inquiry for this story.

Deloitte ($16,000)

In a LinkedIn post, Deloitte US CEO Joseph Ucuzoglu wrote: "As an organization deeply committed to inclusion, Deloitte stands against the legacy of systemic bias, racism and unequal treatment that continues to plague our communities. We must address the social injustice in our communities and cannot remain silent."

The accounting company did not respond to an inquiry for this story.

PricewaterhouseCoopers ($15,000)

Tim Ryan, Pricewaterhouse Coopers US chair and senior partner, wrote in a June press release, "It is my responsibility as a leader to not only stand with them against racism to condemn these killings, but to use my privilege to be a part of the solution and take action — to help dismantle the racism and injustice that has become so pervasive in our society."

A spokesperson for the professional services firm wrote in an email: "PwC stands against racism in the workplace, in our communities and in our country. PwC's Political Action Committee reviews its political contributions on an on-going basis and will continue to do so in light of the recent significant events that have transpired."

Liberty Mutual Insurance ($15,000)

In a news release from June 6, Liberty Mutual announced that it would give $1 million to the Equal Justice Initiative and promised "to have honest, open and sometimes difficult conversations as part of our ongoing efforts to listen, learn and most importantly, combat systemic racism."

The property and casualty insurance company did not respond to an inquiry for this story.

Credit Union National Association ($15,000)

Jim Nussle, president and CEO of the Credit Union National Association and a former GOP congressman, tweeted Friday: "We need to have honest, important conversations about racism, discrimination, and socioeconomic disparities in our communities. And we need to take action."

The trade association for the credit union industry did not respond to an inquiry for this story.

Bank of America ($15,000)

Bank of America announced on June 2 that it would make a $2 billion commitment "to combat racial inequality accelerated by the global pandemic," citing the "sense of true urgency, particularly in view of the racial injustices we have seen in the communities where we work and live."

A spokesperson for the banking behemoth declined to comment for this story.

Other businesses donating included:

  • AKSM Urology PAC ($25,000)
  • Stephens Inc.($20,000)
  • American Crystal Sugar Company ($17,500)
  • Murphy Oil Corporation ($17,000)
  • ArcBest ($16,000)
  • BNSF Railway ($16,000)
  • Investment Company Institute ($15,500)

None of these companies have responded to inquiries about their donations.

Some of the donations, including $2,500 from Ernst & Young PAC and $3,000 from Liberty Mutual PAC sent this March, were sent to Cotton after it became apparent that he would not face any Democratic opponent in his 2020 reelection race at all.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.