Market trends

80+ corporations respond to the Capitol riots 

Kailey Raymond

|

January 15, 2021


US Capital with American Flag in background.
US Capital with American Flag in background.

After a historic week that saw a violent insurrection at the US Capitol, corporates are distancing themselves from Donald Trump and his GOP allies. Some of the biggest names in business – from big banks like Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan to consumer brands like Coca-Cola and Target – have all taken a stand against lawmakers by suspending campaign donations. While some are temporarily halting all donations to political campaigns, the approach is not uniform, with others focusing efforts on the members of Congress who voted in favor of objecting to the election results.

Meanwhile, after years of inaction, all the major social media and tech platforms are citing last week’s events as cause to take swift accountability and deny their services to Trump and his political apparatus. Essentially silencing his megaphone, Trump’s accounts have been suspended across Facebook, Twitter, Twitch, Snapchat, and more, provoking many conservatives to switch social media platforms. 

Caught in the middle of the political blowback from last week’s riots is Parler, a Twitter copy-cat popular amongst conservatives. As of Monday morning the app was booted from Apple, Google, and Amazon. Citing violations against their violence, public safety and disinformation policies, the tech giants have all but forced Parler to shut down. 

While some are skeptical that these announcements are short-term PR maneuvers, the pace and volume of companies taking action after last week’s events has left others questioning the future of corporate PACs and how these actions may play into the ongoing discussion around antitrust. 

You can follow how corporations respond to the Capitol riots with AlphaSense. Log in to track platform bans and campaign donations or sign up for a free trial to access the transcripts.

Takeaways:

  • 18 companies suspended accounts, halted services or changed community guidelines after last week’s events
  • 67 companies have paused campaign donations, with 16 deciding to take a stand against the objectors only
  • Companies across all industries suspended donations, which Financials representing 26% and Industrials and Consumer Discretionary brands accounting for 15% of companies pausing their political donations
  • Amazon, AT&T, Marriott and Morgan Stanley are among the 16 companies halting donations to members of Congress that objected to certifying election results 
  • Airbnb, Amazon, Facebook, and Google all suspended donations in some form and took action to remove or moderate their platforms in light of the Capitol riots
  • Notebly, Amazon and Google took action across their platforms and services in multiple ways; halting donations, booting Parler, and disabling Trump’s Twitch and YouTube channels, respectively 

Company Name Industry Campaign Donation Pause Policy Commentary / Further Info Product Usage Policy
3M Industrials All Donations 3M will not be making any political contributions for the first quarter of the year and reassess its political contributions policy in April 2021.
Airbnb Consumer Discretionary Objectors only The Airbnb PAC will update its framework and withhold support from those who voted against the certification of the presidential election results. Canceled all Airbnb reservations in DC for Inauguration week.

Guests will be issued a full refund and hosts will still be paid in full for these canceled bookings.

Amazon Consumer Discretionary Objectors only “Given the unacceptable attempt to undermine a legitimate democratic process, the Amazon PAC has suspended contributions to any member of Congress who voted to override the results of the U.S. Presidential election,” Amazon said in a statement. “We intend to discuss our concerns directly with those members we have previously supported and will evaluate their responses as we consider future PAC contributions.” Booted social-media platform Parler off of its web-hosting services because of its ties to the Capitol rampage

“In light of yesterday’s shocking attack on the Capitol, we have disabled President Trump’s Twitch channel. Given the current extraordinary circumstances and the President’s incendiary rhetoric, we believe this is a necessary step to protect our community and prevent Twitch from being used to incite further violence”

American Airlines Industrials All donations “We will take a three-month pause from political giving to review its contributions. When we resume, we will ensure we focus on a bipartisan array of lawmakers who support U.S. aviation, airline workers and our values, including bringing people together”
American Express Financials Objectors only “Last week’s attempts by some congressional members to subvert the presidential election results and disrupt the peaceful transition of power do not align with our American Express Blue Box values; therefore, the AXP PAC will not support them”
Amgen Healthcare All donations Will pause contributions to all candidates regardless of how they voted on election certification
Apple Information Technology No comments Booted social-media platform Parler off of its app store, saying “Parler has not taken adequate measures to address the proliferation of these threats to people’s safety.”
Archer Daniels Midland Consumer Staples All donations Paused all campaign donations
AT&T Communication Services Objectors only “Employees on our federal PAC [Political Action Committee] board convened a call today and decided to suspend contributions to members of Congress who voted to object to the certification of Electoral College votes last week.”
Bank of America Financials All donations Plans to “review its decision-making criteria” in the next election cycle “in light of the actions that contributed to the appalling violent assault on the U.S. Capitol.”

“We also will halt all PAC funding decisions for the immediate future while the new Congress and incoming Administration establish their priorities and help the country unite and move forward from the lows we all experienced on January 6”

Best Buy Consumer Discretionary Objectors only Made the decision to stop providing campaign contributions to the 147 members of Congress who voted in objection to certifying the presidential election results
BlackRock Financials All donations Said in a memo to employees that it will pause “any further donations to campaigns of public officials” while the company conducts a “thorough review” of the events at the Capitol and evaluates how it will focus its political activity going forward.
Blue Cross Blue Shield Healthcare Objectors only “In light of this week’s violent, shocking assault on the United States Capitol, and the votes of some members of Congress to subvert the results of November’s election by challenging Electoral College results, BCSBA will suspend contributions to those lawmakers who voted to undermine our democracy.”
Boston Scientific Healthcare All donations Temporarily suspending its PAC donations “in light of recent events and the polarized political environment” and reviewing its approach to future contributions
BP Energy All donations Employee group suspended campaign donations for six months, will re-evaluate support criteria
Charles Schwab Financials All donations Halted contributions to all politicians for the rest of this year.
Cisco Information Technology Objectors only Halted contributions focused on those who challenged elections
Citigroup Financials All donations “We want you to be assured that we will not support candidates who do not respect the rule of law,” wrote Ms Candi Wolff, head of Citi’s global government affairs. “We intend to pause our contributions during the quarter as the country goes through the Presidential transition and hopefully emerges from these events stronger and more united.”
Coca-Cola Consumer Staples All donations “In light of these events, The Coca-Cola Company and the Coca-Cola Political Action Committee have suspended political giving,” Coca-Cola said. “We have always taken a bi-partisan approach to political contributions and evaluate our giving based on our political engagement criteria, which we share publicly.”
Comcast Communication Services Objectors only “We will suspend all of our political contributions to those elected officials who voted against certification of the electoral college votes, which will give us the opportunity to review our political giving policies and practices.”
Commerce Bancshares Financials Objectors only Will stop supporting elected officials who objected to the Electoral College vote
ConocoPhillips Energy All donations Paused all donations
CVS Health Healthcare Evaluating policies Its future PAC giving is “under review based on the events of the past few weeks.”
Deloitte Professional Services All Donations Paused all donations
Delta Airlines Industrials Evaluating policies “Previous contributions do not mean DeltaPAC will contribute to a candidate in the future,” Delta said. “Our PAC has robust processes for reviewing candidates before every contribution to ensure they align with both Delta’s position on priority aviation and business issues and importantly, our values.”
Deutsche Bank Financials No comments “Will not do business in the future with Trump or his companies”, the New York Times reported
Discord Communication Services No comments While there is no evidence of the server being used to organize the Jan 6 riots, Discord decided to ban the entire server today due to its overt connection to an online forum used to incite violence and plan an armed insurrection in the United States
Dow Energy Objectors only “Dow Inc. is halting campaign contributions by its political action committees to members of Congress who voted to object to the certification of the U.S. presidential election.”
Etsy Consumer Discretionary No comments “We will consider any items that celebrate last week’s attacks on the Capitol — or any future events that incite violence or threaten our democracy — as policy violations and deactivate shops as we deem appropriate”
Exxon Energy Evaluating policies “Previous contributions to a candidate do not indicate that the ExxonMobil PAC will contribute again in the future. Before giving to any political candidate, the ExxonMobil PAC has a robust process to assess the candidate’s platform, prior voting record, and consistency with the company’s priorities.”
Facebook Communication Services All donations “Following last week’s awful violence in D.C., we are pausing all of our PAC contributions for at least the current quarter, while we review our policies” “We believe the risks of allowing the President to continue to use our service during this period are simply too great”
FedEx Industrials Evaluating policies “Multiple factors impact its decisions to support candidates” and that it will review “all future political contributions.”
Ford Consumer Discretionary Evaluating policies “Events over the past year have underscored the need for a broader, ongoing discussion about other relevant considerations”
Freeport McMoRan Materials All donations Will temporarily suspend donations to Democrats and Republicans alike
General Electric Industrials Objectors only The GEPAC board voted to suspend donations to those who voted to oppose the Electoral College results for the duration of the 117th Congress. “This is not a decision we made lightly, but is one we believe is important to ensure that our future contributions continue to reflect our company’s values and commitment to democracy”
Gilead Healthcare All donations Paused contributions to all candidates regardless of how they voted on election certification.
GoFundMe Information Technology No comments No longer allows people to raise money for travel to a political event where there is risk of violence by the attendees
Goldman Sachs Financials All donations Freezing donations through its PAC and will conduct “a thorough assessment of how people acted during this period.”
Google Communication Services All donations “We have frozen all NetPAC political contributions while we review and reassess its policies following last week’s deeply troubling events.” “Due to the extraordinary events that transpired yesterday, and given that the election results have been certified, any channel posting new videos with these false claims in violation of our policies will now receive a strike, a penalty which temporarily restricts uploading or live-streaming. Channels that receive three strikes in the same 90-day period will be permanently removed from YouTube

“In order to protect user safety on Google Play, our longstanding policies require that apps displaying user-generated content have moderation policies and enforcement that removes egregious content like posts that incite violence”

H&R Block Financials All donations “Pausing political giving” from its bipartisan PAC
Hallmark Consumer Discretionary All donations “The recent actions of Senators Josh Hawley and Roger Marshall do not reflect our company’s values. As a result, HALLPAC requested Sens. Hawley and Marshall to return all HALLPAC campaign contributions.”
Hilton Consumer Discretionary All donations Will not make political donations and will keep its PAC suspended indefinitely as a result of recent events.
Intel Information Technology Objectors only Halting donations to the Republican objectors specifically for either a few months or an indefinite period of time
Johnson & Johnson Healthcare Evaluating policies Is reviewing and evaluating its political donation policies and criteria
JPMorgan Chase Financials All donations Halting donations through its PAC for six months
Kroger Consumer Staples All donations Paused all donations
Leidos Holdings Information Technology All donations Decided to temporarily pause all political donations
Liberty Mutual Financials All donations Suspended PAC contributions for the first quarter
Lyft Industrials Evaluating policies “Lyft is holding on all political donations at the moment.” They “will review future contributions in light of last week’s tragic events,” she said in an email. “We are also reviewing our membership in the Republican Attorneys General Association. … If any membership funds were used to advocate for challenges to the electoral college vote, we will rescind our membership in RAGA.”
Marathon Oil Energy All donations Paused all donations
Marriott Consumer Discretionary Objectors only “We have taken the destructive events at the Capitol to undermine a legitimate and fair election into consideration and will be pausing political giving from our Political Action Committee to those who voted against certification of the election”
Mastercard Financials Objectors only “Simple decency and sober reflection require us to account for the events in Washington this past week –– not just the lawless violence, but also elected US representatives seeking to subvert the decision of the people in the recent Presidential election”
Microsoft Information Technology All donations Pausing donations “until after it assesses the implications of last week’s events,” it said in a statement. “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.”
Morgan Stanley Financials Halting donations from their political action committees, or PACs, to the 147 Republican members of Congress who objected to certifying the election results on Jan. 6.
Northrop Grumman Industrials All donations “We are pausing political action committee giving and evaluating the way forward”
Okta Information Technology No comments “We were notified that Parler was using a free trial of Okta’s product and we have terminated Parler’s access to the Okta platform. While we support organizations across the political spectrum, our platform will not be used for threats of violence and illegal activity.”
PayPal Information Technology No comments Severed ties with GiveSendGo
Pinterest Communication Services No comments Has been limiting hashtags related to pro-Trump topics such as #StopTheSteal and others
PulteGroup Consumer Discretionary All donations Suspended all contributions for at least the next six months while they review their policies and processes
Raytheon Healthcare All donations Putting a hold on political giving
Reddit Communication Services No comments Reddit has banned the subreddit group “r/DonaldTrump”
Salesforce Information Technology All donations Paused PAC contributions.
Shopify Information Technology No comments “Shopify does not tolerate actions that incite violence. Based on recent events, we have determined that the actions by President Donald J. Trump violate our Acceptable Use Policy, which prohibits promotion or support of organizations, platforms or people that threaten or condone violence to further a cause. As a result, we have terminated stores affiliated with President Trump”
Smithfield Foods Consumer Staples All donations Paused all federal campaign contributions until more facts are known about last week’s riot at the U.S. Capitol
Snap Inc Communication Services No comments “We can confirm that earlier today we locked President Trump’s Snapchat account”
State Street Financials Objectors only Decided it had enough of polarizing politics and said it would not support lawmakers or candidates “who demonstrate views or engage in activities that are intended to undermine legitimate election outcomes. As a result, our Political Action Committee (PAC) will not contribute to lawmakers who supported last week’s efforts to undermine our democracy.”
Stripe Financials No comments Will no longer process payments for President Trump’s campaign, which continued to fundraise
T-Mobile Communication Services Evaluating policies Will “reevaluate” its PAC contributions
Target Consumer Discretionary All donations “Temporarily pausing all political donations.”
TikTok Communication Services No comments Removing content violations and redirecting hashtags like #stormthecapitol and #patriotparty to community guidelines
Twilio Information Technology No comments “Twilio’s terms of service make it clear what we expect of customers. Based on activity on the Parler platform, we determined they were in violation of our AUP, specifically prohibiting the spread of disinformaion, encouraging violence, destruction of property and other illegal activity, threatening public safety, and harming Twilio’s reputation.”
Twitter Communication Services No comments “After close review of recent Tweets from the @realDonaldTrump account and the context around them we have permanently suspended the account due to the risk of further incitement of violence”
Tyson Foods Consumer Staples All donations Temporarily suspending all political action committee activity while the company reviews and considers the events of the past week
Union Pacific Industrials All donations Temporarily suspend donations to Democrats and Republicans alike
UnitedHealth Group Healthcare All donations Will pause contributions to all candidates regardless of how they voted on election certification
UPS Industrials All donations Suspended all campaign contributions “for now.”
US Bancorp Financials All donations “Paused all giving from its political action committee.”
Valero Energy Energy All donations Paused all donations
Verizon Communication Services Objectors only “We will be suspending contributions in 2021 to any member of Congress who voted in favor of objecting to the election results”
Visa Financials All donations “Last week the Visa PAC temporarily suspended all political donations as we review our candidate contribution guidelines”
Walmart Consumer Discretionary Objectors only Political action committee is indefinitely suspending contributions to those members of Congress who voted against the lawful certification of state electoral college votes
Wells Fargo Financials Evaluating policies Will review their corporate contribution strategy.
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Kailey Raymond

A customer-obsessed and data-driven marketer, Kailey Raymond leads Customer Marketing at AlphaSense. Previously, she was an early employee at two high-growth tech startups, in charge of launching new markets and building local communities.


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