Corporations Gave Election Deniers A Last-Minute Surge Of Campaign Cash

The 170-plus Republican election deniers who were just elected to Congress had some crucial last-minute help, according to a new analysis of corporate political donations.

Large corporations and industry trade associations furnished them with more than $165,000 in the final few weeks of the 2022 midterm elections, the corporate influence watchdog Accountable.US found, showing that the corporate taboo against donating to politicians who embrace the “big lie” that the 2020 election was fraudulent has all but evaporated.

Roughly $113,000 flowed to Ted Budd (R-N.C.) and Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.), two victorious Senate candidates who have refused to acknowledge that Joe Biden won the 2020 presidential race. Mullin also accused Democrats of trying to steal the 2022 midterms. Together, they received dozens of corporate campaign donations from food and beverage conglomerates, finance and fossil fuel companies.

The scale of the funding marks a clear reestablishment of corporate favor-seeking. In the immediate aftermath of the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, many corporate political action committees suspended donations to Republicans who egged on the mob and voted against certifying the 2020 election.

This latest analysis covers only contributions made in the final three weeks of the midterms, which did not have to be disclosed before the election, per federal reporting guidelines. Among the top givers were FedEx, Walmart, U.S. Bancorp and Lowe’s.

The total amount that corporate America has donated to Republicans who support the big lie is far larger: some $67 million since the violent insurrection at the Capitol, Accountable.US previously estimated. The top overall recipients were new Speaker Kevin McCarthy (Calif.) and Reps. Steve Scalise (La.), Sam Graves (Mo.), Jason Smith (Mo.) and Blaine Luetkemeyer (Mo.).

A separate analysis by OpenSecrets determined the top donors to election deniers were the National Association of Realtors, the National Beer Wholesalers Association, the National Auto Dealers Association, the American Bankers Association and American Crystal Sugar.

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