Jan. 6 is over, but U.S. corporations are still funding a slow-motion coup. Call them out!

Quote: Kyle Herrig, president of Accountable.US
  • Action #1 – OMG, Where should I start? May we suggest the corporate sponsors of the 2022 King Holiday Observance?
  • Action #2 – OK, I’ve got the hang this. Who else can I contact?

In the days after the insurrection and the certification vote in Congress, Fortune 500 corporations and powerful industry lobbying groups vowed not to forget the horrific events of January 6th. They described the insurrection as “appalling,” an “assault on our democracy,” and “an attack on all those things that people cherish and associate with America. 

Some permanently halted their PAC donations to the 147-member strong Sedition Caucus in response, but for many, any action was just temporary. +$8 million dollars has flowed to Caucus members, committee and allied party committees since the attack on our Capitol. Bruce F. Freed, the president of the Center for Political Accountability stated “Companies need a healthy democracy to compete and grow and thrive. They still look at political spending too narrowly as a matter of access. They’re not looking at what the broader interests and broader risks are...They think it’s back to business as usual, but our politics today are not business as usual.”

Which leads us to our current slow-mo insurrection. “Technically, the next attempt to overthrow a national election may not qualify as a coup..[but] with tacit and explicit support from their party’s national leaders, state Republican operatives have been building an apparatus of election theft.” Over 33 laws in 19 states will make it harder for Americans to vote. We need to update our definitions…

Action #1 – OMG, Where should I start? May we suggest the corporate sponsors of the 2022 King Holiday Observance?

We cross-referenced corporations mentioned in the this resource with sponsors of the 2022 King Holiday Observance. Of their 34 sponsors, 14 had reactions to the coup which have been called out by those sources for weasel words, false equivalence issues, and temporary promises to cut off anti-democratic legislators, the very same ones who refuse to support voting rights across the nation. These include companies like Bank of America, Coca Cola, Delta, FedEx, Ford, and Target.

We started with great sample scripts from the boldprogressives.org site and mixed in the moral responsibilities corporations have as sponsors of a celebration honoring one of America’s most important advocates for voting rights.

Feel free to mix it up with your own phrasing and add information if you’re a customer of theirs. We’re encouraging real letters, printed out or handwritten, or emails, written to the people who are making the decisions.

Type 1 sample letter – “False equivalency

(INTRO FOR TYPE 1) Dear [_____],
After the deadly insurrection on January 6th, [corporate name] announced that it would suspend ALL corporate PAC donations. However, this stance creates a false equivalency between the 147 traitors who voted to overturn our democracy and everyone else, but I assume you needed time to consider options. It has been months now… I assume that you also know that the attack on our democracy did not end that day, and as a sponsor of the 2022 King Holiday Observance, I would expect [corporate name] to do more.

(BASIC LETTER BODY – all letters)

As you well know, the coup attempt has not ended. The eight senators of the Sedition Caucus, along with all their fellow GOP senators, intend to vote against both the Freedom to Vote Act, and the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, thereby allowing a slow-motion coup by means of election manipulation and voter suppression to spread in state houses across our country. Every corporate dollar funding supporters of this anti-democratic movement, takes us further from the principles espoused by MLK Jr., and directly conflicts with the King Center’s call to action to pass voting rights. (tinyurl.com/King-Center-call-to-action)

So I’m asking [corporate name] to publicly join with corporations like Nike and American Express to announce that you will PERMANENTLY end PAC donations to the 147 traitors in Congress who voted to overturn our election. But in Martin Luther King, Jr.’s name, I’m asking you to extend that ban to ANY legislator, at ANY level of government, who would vote against these fundamental safeguards for democracy.

Thank you for doing so.

[Your name] (you can include date and address.)

Contact:

Type 2 sample letter – “Temporary pause”

(INTRO FOR TYPE 2) Dear [_____],
After the deadly January 6th insurrection, [corporate name] temporarily paused its corporate PAC donations to the 147 traitors who voted to overturn our democracy. I’m asking you to announce that your PAC will NEVER AGAIN DONATE to any of them. But as you are a sponsor of the 2022 King Holiday Observance and supporter of the principles espoused by Martin Luther King, Jr. and the King Center, I’m asking you to do more.

(ADD “BASIC LETTER BODY” from Type 1 sample letter here)

Contact:

Type 3 sample letter – “No response”

(INTRO FOR TYPE 3) Dear [_____],
I’m [writing/calling] to ask [Publix Super Markets] to take a strong stand in response to the violence of January 6 at the Capitol — and announce that your corporate PAC will permanently stop donating to the 147 Republicans who tried to overturn our democratic election. And as you are a supporter of the 2022 King Holiday Observance and the principles espoused by Martin Luther King, Jr. and the King Center, I’m asking you to do more.

(ADD “BASIC LETTER BODY” from Type 1 sample letter here)

Contact:

Type 4 letter – “Back to their old tricks

After the deadly January 6th insurrection, major corporations pledged to stop supporting Members of Congress who voted to overturn our democracy — and [Ford Motor] was one of them — thank you. But FEC filings show that your iconic American car company has backtracked – making political contributions to PACS which provide funds to some of the 147 anti-democratic traitors of that terrible day.

We can’t have true accountability if companies like [Ford Motor] take a strong public stand when everyone is watching, but then go back on their word or skirt around their promise as soon as they think people have looked away. And knowing that you’re doing this, while publicly acting as a supporter of the 2022 King Holiday Observance and the principles espoused by Martin Luther King, Jr. and the King Center, would influence me against having anything to do with your company or your products. But you have an opportunity to do better.

(ADD “BASIC LETTER BODY” from Type 1 sample letter here)

Contact:

Type 5 letter – “What’s the hold up

After the deadly insurrection on January 6th, [corporate name] was asked to join other big corporations like Nike and American Express to permanently stop all PAC donations to the 147 traitors who voted to overturn our democratic election. [corporate name] announced it would review its policies but it’s been months…And as you are a supporter of the 2022 King Holiday Observance and the principles espoused by Martin Luther King, Jr. and the King Center, I’m asking you to commit to them through your actions and to do even more. 

(ADD “BASIC LETTER BODY” from Type 1 sample letter here)

Contact:

Action #2 – OK, I’ve got the hang this. Who else can I contact?

CREW, Popular Information and the New York Times have been monitoring corporate enablers. Their information has been refashioned into lists, complete with company contact information, addresses, phone numbers and sample scripts by the awesome entities listed below.

We would first start with the bold progressives.org site, just because it’s the easiest.

  • Hit the bright red offenders first. These include AT&T, Cigna, Ford (also a MLK supporter from Action #1), Intel, Pfizer, T-Mobile/Sprint.
  • Then thank corporations (in green) that did the right thing. Someone in their boardroom fought for this – let’s give them more power and give their companies a record to live up to. These include American Express, Charles Schwab, Eli Lilly & Co.,Eversource Energy, Exelon, Hallmark, Holland & Hart, Nike, S&P Global, Sony Music, State Street, Structured Finance Assoc., Universal Music Group, Viacom. Warner Music Group, Zillow.
  • Then pick companies you know and do business with.

Boldprogressives.org

https://act.boldprogressives.org/whipcount/drain-the-traitors/

  • This resource divides corporate responses to the insurrection by type, and asks those who haven’t made definitive and permanent breaks with the Sedition Caucus to step up.
  • Click on “Active refusal” and there’s a pop-up with a relevant quote from the corporation that you can reference in your comment.
  • The “TWEET” column will link you directly to a tweet form
  • The “CALL” column will link you to a page with a sample call script tailored to the corporation in question. You can also use these scripts as a basis for emails or letters.

CREW – Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington

CREW – This sedition is brought to you by…This resource is useful for the listings of top donors and how much money they’ve paid out, if you want to add that information to your letter. They assume the “pause & evaluate” group will keep their word, but they will continue to track them.

Google Doc.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1UM5ZVSYaH8K21zt2redu3b4JFhufxJW9/edit

  • This great resource is organized by source material, either Popular Info. or the NYT.
  • Includes twitter links and mailing addresses, along with sample letters
  • We’ve copied the creators’ letter models below.

Sample letters

LONGER VERSION – Letter to businesses that have reversed their positions and who, per the [NYT article/ Popular Info] article have resumed giving to Sedition Caucus members.

Dear [___] ,

I was disappointed to read the [January 6, 2022, NEW YORK TIMES/01/06/22 POPULAR INFORMATION] article reporting that [corporate name] has resumed contributions to members of Congress who voted to not certify the 2020 election results.

Let me be clear that this is a nonpartisan issue. I am writing as a moderate on the political spectrum who is a supporter of capitalism and whose family has benefitted from many years of employment in the corporate world.

But with support goes an expectation that our corporate community will honor the fundamental value of democracy and use its influence to punish candidates and organizations who threaten that democracy.

uch political or financial sway, but I will do all I can to raise awareness of your organization’s failure and to support corporations that ARE furthering this fundamental value by not funding candidates and PACs who are not.

[Your name] (you can include date and address.)

SHORTER VERSION – Letter to businesses that have reversed their positions and who, per the [NYT article/ Popular Info] article have resumed giving to Sedition Caucus members.

I was disappointed to learn [January 6, 2022, NEW YORK TIMES/01/06/22 POPULAR INFORMATION] that [corporate name] has resumed contributions to members of Congress who voted to not certify the 2020 election results.

I support capitalism, and my family has benefitted from many years of employment in the corporate world.

But with support goes an expectation that our corporate community will honor the fundamental value of democracy and use its influence to punish candidates and organizations who threaten that democracy.

[Your name] (you can include date and address.)

Letter SUPPORTING corporations who have continued to withhold contributions to the Sedition Caucus

I was pleased to learn (01/06/22 NYT) that Microsoft has continued to cease contributions to members of Congress who voted to not certify the 2020 election results.

I support capitalism, and my family has benefitted from many years of employment in the corporate world. But with support goes an expectation that our corporate community will honor the fundamental value of democracy and use its influence to punish candidates and organizations who threaten that democracy.

Thank you for doing so.

[Your name] (you can include date and address.)

Example of letter to corporation, shared by Robert Hubbell in his January 7, 2022 TODAY’S EDITION NEWSLETTER.

As lifelong USAA member, I appreciated your “We’re Grateful for Your Loyalty” note today.  Several months ago, I contacted USAA in hopes that I would get a direct response from you regarding the $457,000 that USAA provided to Republicans who supported Trump’s attempted coup.  I received a weak, unsatisfactory reply from your Director of Member Relations.  

Many corporations indicated they would no longer fund those in Congress who support Trump’s Big Lie.  USAA has remained silent.  As a military member-based organization your silence makes you just as complicit as those who participated, and continue to participate, in the attempted coup to overturn our Democracy. . . . Honor your oaths to protect and defend the Constitution!

Resources

  • (Popular Information) The truth about corporate contributions to Republican objectors since January 6
  • (Rolling Stone) What Insurrection? Corporate America Can’t Stop Bankrolling the Jan. 6 Sedition Caucus
  • (CREW) Nearly 190 companies pulled political donations after the insurrection. That’s not enough.
  • (CREW) This sedition is brought to you by…
  • (NYT) Corporations Donated Millions to Lawmakers Who Voted to Overturn Election Results
  • (Guardian) Trump’s coup attempt has not stopped – and Democrats must wake up
  • (PBS) ‘Slow-motion insurrection’: Democracy experts alarmed over GOP takeover of election machinery
  • (Atlantic) Trump’s next coup has already begun. Jan. 6 was practice. Donald Trump’s GOP is much better positioned to subvert the next election.
  • (Voting Rights Lab) A Threat to Our Democracy: Election Subversion in the 2021 Legislative Session
  • (Voting Rights Lab) 50-State Chart: Interference with Election Administration(BrennanCenter) Voting Laws Roundup: October 2021
  • (accountable.us) REPORT: Corporations Claiming to Support John Lewis Voting Rights Bill Gave $164K to Senate Republicans That Blocked It

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