Corporate America is singling out the 147 Republican members of the U.S. House and Senate who on Jan. 6 promoted President Donald Trump’s big lie by trying to overturn Joe Biden’s election.
They want to freeze campaign contributions to the perpetrators. While those political action committees have every reason to consider Sens. Ted Cruz, R-Texas., and Josh Hawley, R-Mo., fair game for helping to organize the debacle, they should not dismiss Idaho Congressman Russ Fulcher’s participation.
Among the companies that have closed their checkbooks are:
l American Express — The attempt to “subvert the presidential election results and disrupt the peaceful transition of power do not align with our American Express Blue Box values. ...”
l AT&T — “Employees on our Federal PAC Board ... decided to suspend contributions to members of Congress who voted to object to the certification of Electoral College votes. ...”
l Blue Cross Blue Shield — “In light of (the Jan. 6) violent, shocking assault on the United States Capitol, and the votes of some members of Congress to subvert the results of November’s election by challenging Electoral College results (the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association) will suspend contributions to those lawmakers who voted to undermine our democracy.”
l Comcast — It will stop contributions “to those elected officials who voted against certification of the Electoral College votes, which will give us the opportunity to review our political giving policies and practices.”
l Marriott — “We have taken the destructive events at the Capitol to undermine a legitimate and fair election into consideration and will be pausing political giving from our Political Action Committee to those who voted against certification of the election.”
l Verizon — “We will be suspending contributions to any member of Congress who voted in favor of objecting to the election results.”
Hallmark went so far as to ask Hawley and Sen. Roger Marshall, R-Kan., who also voted to decertify the results, to return its money — $7,000 for Hawley and $5,000 for Marshall.
Another tier of companies — including Charles Schwab, Citigroup and Ford — have put all political contributions to Congress on hold.
If Fulcher isn’t paying attention, he should be.
In his last reelection campaign, the Idaho Republican drew one-third of his money from political action committees. Less than 3 percent came from small individual contributions.
Some of that cash comes directly from companies such as Comcast, which contributed $4,500 to his campaign.
Others, however, write checks to leadership and ideological political action committees, which are among Fulcher’s most generous supporters. They include the House Freedom Fund ($16,850), the Freedom Fund ($10,000), the Majority Committee PAC ($10,000) and House Minority Whip Steve Scalise’s Eye of the Tiger PAC ($7,500).
The spigot is being turned off just at a time when the GOP hopes to win back the House majority in 2022. So if money is tight and control of the House is on the line, you can bet leadership PACs won’t be as inclined to funnel scarce dollars to a fellow Republican from a district as reliably GOP as Fulcher’s.
So Fulcher will need to put the squeeze on his Idaho donors.
When he does, will they tolerate Fulcher’s behavior — or will they, too, take a stand against misleading the American people about the results of an election fairly won and repeating a lie that fueled an insurrection at the Capitol?
Ask that of the following Fulcher contributors:
l Melaleuca Inc. ($5,600), CEO Frank VanderSloot ($2,800) and his wife, Belinda VanderSloot ($2,800).
l Hewlett Packard ($3,000).
l J.R. Simplot Co. ($6,000).
l The Kootenai Tribe ($1,000).
l Mdu Resources Group, owners of Intermountain Gas Co. ($1,000).
l PotlatchDeltic Corp. ($5,000).
l Vista Outdoor ($2,000).
l Micron Technology ($5,000).
l Hecla Mining Co. ($2,000).
l U.S. Ecology ($5,000).
l Idaho Forest Group ($5,500).
l Idaho Central Credit Union ($5,500).
Now in his second term, Fulcher is early enough in his career that he can be swayed if Idaho corporations express their disapproval about his recent actions.
Congressman Mike Simpson and Sens. Mike Crapo and Jim Risch, all R-Idaho, need no such comeuppance. They voted to certify Biden’s win. Besides, they have precious congressional seniority on key committees — Simpson on Apprioriations, Crapo on Finance and Risch on Foreign Relations.
Fulcher is a backbencher who needs corporate Idaho’s support far more than it needs him.
Here’s a moment of conscience for Idaho business and industry — and for those employees who contribute to those company political action funds.
If they stand on principle today, America, Idaho and even Fulcher will be better for it. — M.T.