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Watchdog group calls on major corporations to severe ties with Chamber over GOP donations

Watchdog group calls on major corporations to severe ties with Chamber over GOP donations

Accountable.US urged eight major companies, including Disney, Google and Pfizer, to disassociate from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce over their stance on donating to Republicans who voted against certifying the 2020 Electoral College results.

Accountable.US President Kyle Herrig wrote a letter to these companies, highlighting that the Chamber announced in March it will not base decisions on supporting members of Congress solely on the January vote.

Of the eight companies, Disney, Nike, Allstate, General Electric and S&P Global, have said they won’t give to the 147 Republicans who voted to overturn the results following the Jan. 6 insurrection that sought to prevent the vote. Google had said it would freeze its PAC contributions for all donations, and Pfizer put out a statement denouncing the Jan. 6 riots.

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“We understand that Disney announced it has suspended its own political giving following the Capitol insurrection. Since the Chamber’s stance directly conflicts with your own, we urge you to disassociate Disney from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. By continuing membership and financial support to the U.S. Chamber, Disney is violating the spirit of the pledge you made following the insurrection,” Herrig wrote in the letter send to CEO Robert Chapek.

Less than a week after the attack on the Capitol, Chamber of Commerce chief policy officer Neil Bradley said: “There are some members that by their actions will have forfeited the support of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Period, full stop.”

The powerful business lobbying group said last month, however, that it will not base decisions to support members of Congress solely on their votes.  

“We have never heard of accountability.us — they appear to be yet another partisan attack organization — but the Chamber’s position on political giving was made after consultation with more than 100 members (as outlined in this memo),” a Chamber spokesperson said in an email.

The spokesperson added, “This policy states that there is a meaningful difference between lawmakers who voted ‘no’ on certifying the votes of certain states and those who engaged and continue to engage in repeated actions undermining our elections and institutions' legitimacy.”

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Accountable.US plans to engage and call out the companies on social media.

“By continuing to provide financial support of the US Chamber who is acting in direct contravention of their announced policy, they are violating the spirit of the pledges they made. Democracy is not a value that can be compromised, and neither should the promises companies make to uphold it,” Herrig said in a statement on the effort.

Accountable.US found that 24 companies that said they would suspend political giving overall or not give to the 147 lawmakers are members of or donors to the Chamber. In a report, the group called the Chamber’s moves “backpedaling.”

“We will continue to consider acts and conduct that erodes our institutions, and we will look at the totality of a members’ actions. The Chamber is committed to upholding democratic norms and championing common-sense, bipartisan solutions during this time of economic recovery,” the Chamber spokesperson said.