Internet company Google is the latest big-name corporation to seek a return of donations to Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Miss., hours ahead of Tuesday’s runoff election, Fox News informed.
A Google spokeswoman confirmed to Politico and other news outlets that the company was requesting a refund, but did not elaborate further. Records showed the company donated $5,000 to Hyde-Smith’s campaign earlier this month.
Hyde-Smith has been heavily criticized for a remark she made on Nov. 2, four days before she secured her place in the runoff against Democrat Mike Espy. While attempting to praise a supporter, the one-time state legislator and agriculture commissioner said: “If he invited me to a public hanging, I’d be on the front row.”
Mississippi has a history of racially motivated lynchings and violence against people who sought voting rights for black citizens. About 38 percent of the state’s residents are black.
Hyde-Smith has come under additional scrutiny in the intervening days after a photo showing her wearing a replica hat of a Confederate soldier made the rounds on social media, as did a video in which she mused about making it harder for “liberal folks” to vote.
On Monday, Major League Baseball asked that Hyde-Smith return its $5,000 donation. An MLB spokesperson told USA Today: “The contribution was made in connection with an event that MLB lobbyists were asked to attend. MLB has requested that the contribution be returned.”
Last week, retail megastore chain Walmart asked for its $2,000 donation back from Hyde-Smith and tweeted out a statement that her “comments clearly do not reflect the values of our company and associates.”
Railroad owner Union Pacific and medical device manufacturer Boston Scientific have asked for their contributions to be returned.