Lobbyists for at least 13 corporations that pledged to stop giving money to election-denying Republicans have been stuffing the pockets of those very Republicans, according to Federal Election Commission filings reviewed by Politico. The findings underscore how influence peddlers have worked around their employers’ attempts to distance themselves from lawmakers who voted against certifying the 2020 election results on Jan. 6.
Politico uncovered more than $28,000 in lobbyist cash that has flowed to lawmakers who moved to overturn President Biden’s win. Most of the money donated came from Big Tech lobbyists. Microsoft lobbyists gave the most, with Fred Humphries donating $2,500 to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and $1,000 to Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan. Greg Maurer, a lobbyist for Facebook, gave $2,500 Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise and $3,250 in total to lawmakers who voted against the election certification. A lobbyist for Google shelled out $1,000 to Scalise and half that amount to Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.).
“It clearly is a workaround,” Craig Holman, a government ethics expert at the advocacy group Public Citizen, told Politico. “If a company is serious about not giving a campaign contribution to insurrectionists, then they can’t allow people who are in senior executive positions who represent the company to make those same contributions. And that would include the CEO as well as the lobbyists of the company.”
Rolling Stone reported last October that some corporations have had a difficult time not giving money to the 147 Republicans who objected to the 2020 election. Pfizer, for instance, had promised it wouldn’t donate to any of them, yet eventually gave $20,000 to the National Republican Senatorial Committee without getting a commitment that the money wouldn’t help one of the six senators who voted to object. The company claimed that this didn’t violate its pledge.
“The deadly assault on the nation’s Capitol forever damaged our democracy, yet many corporations have done more than forgive and forget — they’re rewarding the lawmakers who helped instigate sedition,” Kyle Herrig, president of, said in a statement provided to Rolling Stone last fall. “Corporations continuing to donate to members of the Sedition Caucus have made clear nothing trumps their need to hold political influence, not even a healthy democracy for their customers, employers, and shareholders.”