Sheldon Adelson, simultaneously a Mafia and a one-man Israeli front operation-- who has also been a conduit for political money from China-- has been the biggest single contributor to the Republican Party for many years and one often party's primary shot-callers. He died-- non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma-- last night in Malibu, age 87. Technically a dual citizen of the U.S. and Israel, he was the top Israeli agent in the U.S., openly bribing Republican politicians to bend to Israel's will. In the last two election cycles alone, he laundered nearly half a billion dollars into Republican campaigns. He was widely considered one of the most toxic influences on American politics in the past century and his death will be (quietly) celebrated by all good-government reformers.
His death comes at a particularly fraught time for the GOP, though Israel will continue bribing Republicans through his equally criminal wife. Judd Legum (Popular Information) has been doing a spectacular job as an activist-journalist since the Trump coup, to persuade and report on major American companies to swear off contributions to the seditionist party. Today, as Adeleson finally croaked, Legum reported that, coincidentally, the dam has broken. He and his team contacted 144 corporations last week, asking if they would continue to support the Republican members of Congress who objected to the certification of the Electoral College vote. "We received a trickle of about 15 responses and published the results on Sunday morning," he wrote this morning. "Among those responding, three were particularly notable-- Marriott, BlueCross Blue Shield, and Commerce Bank said they would suspend PAC contributions to the 147 Republicans who voted to overturn the election results in one or more states." His work was widely reported by the mainstream media, prompting several more companies to announce changes. And then, yesterday-- BOOM! "Dozens of companies sent statements regarding their PAC contributions. Popular Information began hearing from companies we had never contacted. There was not only a flood of announcements, but many were far more aggressive in rejecting the Republican members of Congress who tried to subvert the democratic process.
Hallmark, in a statement to Popular Information, didn't just rule out future donations from its PAC but demanded refunds from two Senators who objected to the Electoral College vote-- $3000 from Josh Hawley (R-MO) and $5000 from Roger Marshall (R-KS).
... Hallmark's demand is a particularly stinging rebuke because it is one of the largest employers in Kansas City, Missouri, Hawley's home state. Many of the 2700 employees that work at Hallmark's headquarters are also Marshall's constituents. Hallmark is not just cutting off their financial support. It is sending a strong message to the communities that Hawley and Marshall represent.
American Express CEO Stephen J. Squeri, in a memo to employees released to Popular Information, announced that the company's PAC would no longer support any member of Congress who objected to certifying the Electoral College vote... An American Express spokesperson confirmed to Popular Information that the decision was permanent. The company will not donate to these Republicans ever again.
Dow, the giant chemical company, told Popular Information on Monday that it was "immediately suspending all corporate and employee political action committee (PAC) contributions to any member of Congress who voted to object to the certification of the presidential election." Dow announced that the "suspension will remain in place" for a minimum of "one election cycle." The suspension "includes contributions to the candidate’s reelection committee and their affiliated PACs."
AT&T, the largest individual corporate donor to the Republican objectors, told Popular Information on Monday that it would "suspend contributions to members of Congress who voted to object to the certification of Electoral College votes last week." Last week, AT&T said only that it would "weigh candidates’ positions, votes cast and actions taken when making decisions about future PAC support."
Prominent corporations ending donations to more than half of the Republicans in Congress-- permanently or indefinitely-- is unprecedented in American politics.
...Other companies who announced they were indefinitely suspending donations to the Republicans who objected to the Electoral College vote include Amazon, AirBnB, Deloitte, Comcast, Verizon, Best Buy and Mastercard.
"Simple decency and sober reflection require us to account for the events in Washington this past week-- not just the lawless violence, but also elected US representatives seeking to subvert the decision of the people in the recent Presidential election," Mastercard said in a message to employees obtained by Popular Information.
Yesterday, taking its lede from Legum, Reuters reported that "Republicans in the U.S. Congress faced growing blowback on Monday from businesses that said they would cut off campaign contributions to those who voted last week to challenge President-elect Joe Biden’s victory. The announcements by Amazon.com Inc, General Electric Co, Dow Inc, AT&T Inc, Comcast Corp, Verizon Communications Inc, American Express Co, Airbnb Inc, Cisco Systems Inc, Best Buy Co Inc and Mastercard Inc, among others, threaten to throttle fundraising resources for Republicans who will soon be out of power in the White House and both chambers of Congress. AT&T and Comcast, for example, are among the biggest corporate donors in Washington."
One of Austin's most prominent progressive activists, former city attorney and former congressional candidate Mike Siegel noted this morning that "The illusory promises of rapacious interests like JP Morgan, posturing as if they care about democracy by pausing campaign donations to the Plotters of January 6, must be seen as the cynical ploy they are. They hope we won't notice how they've propped up Trump and his enablers for four years, how they've profited from massive wealth inequality and environmental destruction, and how ultimately it is a choice, us or them. As long as immortal limited liability companies can pump unlimited cash bribes into our political system, democracy will be unattainable. We must end corporate money in politics, point blank. No quarter for coup plotters-- or their corporate backers."
Current congressional candidate and Albuquerque state Senator Antoinette Sedillo Lopez sees this much the way Siegel does. She sent me a few lines she's going to be posting on her Facebook page today: "If corporate PACs want to take a moral stand, they should cease giving money to all elected officials. Corporate PAC influence weighs far too heavily on our electoral and law making process. This is why I refuse to accept a dime of corporate PAC money and I will fight to end Citizens United."