Toyota faces backlash as main donor to GOP opponents of presidential vote
Toyota has come under criticism online after a new report found the Japanese automaker to be the main donor to Republicans who opposed certification of the 2020 presidential election results.
As of Jan. 6, 2021, Toyota’s corporate PAC has donated a total of $ 55,000 to 37 Republican politicians who opposed election certification, according to data released by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. , a progressive watchdog group.
The automaker, headquartered in Plano, has donated more than twice as much money to those who voted against certification of the vote as the next corporate donor, according to the report. Defense contractor Cubic Corp. was the second major donor.
First reported by Axios, political donation data sparked criticism of the company under the trending hashtag #BoycottToyota online and spawned memes comparing the company to insurgents.
“We don’t think it’s appropriate to judge members of Congress solely on the basis of their voter certification votes,” a Toyota spokesperson told Axios.
The spokesperson also reportedly said the company had reviewed politicians and “decided not to give away certain members who by their statements and actions undermine the legitimacy of our elections and our institutions.”
Toyota did not specify how it makes this distinction.
In a statement provided to The Dallas Morning News, Toyota has said its PAC is bipartisan; he did not address the future of his contributions to politicians who challenged the election results.
“With factories in 9 states and Toyota / Lexus dealerships in nearly every Congressional district, the Toyota Lexus PAC supports a diverse number of applicants across the country. The PAC is bipartite and structured so that no political party receives more than 60% of all donations and no less than 40%. Because the makeup of Congress changes from election to election, the percentage of donations to each party will rise and fall, ”Toyota spokesman Eric Booth said in the statement.
After the Jan. 6 uprising on the U.S. Capitol, 147 Republicans voted against certification of presidential election results when there was no evidence of fraud or manipulation of vote data.
In an extraordinary move, many publicly traded companies – including Toyota – have pledged to reassess or suspend political donations in the wake of the attack on Capitol Hill. One company, Charles Schwab, has completely dissolved its PAC.
“Given recent events and the horrific attack on the US Capitol, we are evaluating our future CAP criteria,” Toyota said at the time.
The new CREW report shows that some companies are resuming their financial support for opponents.
Thirty-four companies, including Dallas-based AT&T and Austin-based Dell, donated at least $ 5,000 to the campaigns and PACs of one or more Republican opponents in 2021, the report said.
Texas Representative Lance Gooden (R-TX) was among the GOP election opponents that received the most corporate PAC funding. Gooden received $ 23,500 from corporate donors and commercial interest groups, according to the CREW report.