Some of the biggest corporations in the U.S. collectively poured a massive $8 million into supporting election deniers running for House and Senate seats in the midterm elections.
The $8m contributed by the top 20 corporations was just a slice of overall corporate giving to election deniers in the 2022 cycle. An earlier analysis found that, in total, election deniers benefited to the tune of $65m from corporate interests.
Well-known companies including AT&T, Boeing, Delta Air Lines, and Home Depot funded candidates who falsely claimed that former president Donald Trump won the presidential election in 2020.
A study by the non-partisan government watchdog organization Accountable.US, based on the latest filings to the Federal Election Commission, reveals the extent to which big corporations were prepared to back Republican nominees despite their open peddling of false claims undermining confidence in democracy.
Many of the candidates were ultimately unsuccessful in their election bids.
The candidates included several prominent advocates of Trump’s lie that the 2020 presidential election had been stolen from him.
At the top of the list of 20 corporations backing election deniers through their political action committees (Pacs) is a familiar name in the world of rightwing agitating – Koch Industries. It is the second-largest privately owned company in the U.S. It is notorious for using its profits, largely from oil, to push conservative politics in an anti-government, anti-regulatory direction under its owners.
According to the review, the Koch energy conglomerate spent $771,000 through its Pac on Republican candidates with a track record of casting doubt on elections.
Coming in close behind Koch is the American Crystal Sugar Company PAC. It spent a whopping $630,000 supporting election deniers running for federal office.
AT&T cellular network company’s Employee Federal PAC spent $579,000.
Home Depot’s PAC gave $578,000. Lower down on the list came media giant Comcast Corporation & NBC Universal and Delta Air Lines, whose PACs gave $365,000 and $278,000 respectively.
The new study suggests that top corporations that chose to use their financial muscle to enhance the chances of election deniers waged a non-too-successful gamble.