The money donated during the month was less than one-tenth the roughly $190,000 the 10 company PACs gave candidates in January 2017, and tiny relative to the roughly $10 million donated to candidates during the 2019-2020 election season. The 147 lawmakers who voted to overturn President Joe Biden’s victory had received more than $2 million from those 10 PACs during the last two-year political cycle.
Only committees tied to two of the companies – General Electric Co and American Express Co – reported any new giving to federal candidates in January.
American Express’ PAC gave $5,000 to Republican Senator John Thune of South Dakota, while GE’s gave $5,000 to Representative Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, a prominent Republican Trump critic, and $1,000 to Representative Rick Larsen of Washington, a Democrat.
Political giving usually slows down in the months after a US general election and money from corporate political action committees is a small slice of the funds raised by political campaigns.
But the paucity of corporate-affiliated giving in January points to a slower start in one corner of political finance ahead of the 2022 midterm elections.
Corporate PACs cannot donate money from the company treasury but generally serve as a conduit for contributions from managers and shareholders.
Committees affiliated with Best Buy, State Street Corp, Dow Inc and Nike Inc did not report new donations to any candidates in January.
While more than a thousand PACs are associated with corporate America, the 10 reviewed by Reuters include major companies which made clear public statements that they would throttle back donations following the January 6 Capitol attack.