Toyota is reversing course on campaign donations to lawmakers who tried to overturn the election.
The car manufacturer announced Thursday that it will no longer donate to members of Congress who voted against certifying the 2020 election, according to The Detroit News.
Toyota spokesperson Edward Lewis told the newspaper that while “the vast majority” of its 2021 donations went to Democrats and Republicans who supported the certification of the 2020 election, the company understands “that the PAC decision to support select Members of Congress who contested the results troubled some stakeholders.”
We are actively listening to our stakeholders and, at this time, we have decided to stop contributing to those Members of Congress who contested the certification of certain states in the 2020 election.
Lewis may be crediting the change in position to “stakeholders,” but it should be noted that Toyota reversed its policy just hours after the Lincoln Project released a damning video attacking the car company for “lavishing massive campaign donations on Republicans who tried to overturn the 2020 election and who now seek to cover up the January 6th attack on the Capitol.”
After the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, dozens of Fortune 500 and other companies, including Nike and Walmart, promised to no longer donate to Republicans who voted to overturn the election results.
Toyota was reportedly one of them, but watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) revealed late last month that the car company had donated $55,000 to 37 elected GOP members of Congress after the Capitol riot.
Toyota defended its position to Axios.com at the time by saying, “We do not believe it is appropriate to judge members of Congress solely based on their votes on the electoral certification.”
CREW communications director Jordan Libowitz said his group appreciates Toyota’s change of heart, but said it shouldn’t have been necessary.
“We’re thankful that Toyota has seen the light and will stop donating to members of the sedition caucus,” Libowitz told HuffPost. “It shouldn’t take a public pressure campaign to get them to do the right thing, but we’re glad it worked.”
The Lincoln Project now plans to target other corporations donating to these lawmakers, such as Boeing, Koch Industries, Lockheed Martin and others.
“The Lincoln Project will not sit by and watch as companies like Toyota — companies that have benefited from America’s economic strength and freedom — give money to politicians who are working to overthrow that same system,” Lincoln Project co-founder Reed Galen told The Detroit News. “This is no longer a fight between two political parties or entrenched interests. It is no less than a fight to preserve American democracy.”
Toyota’s decision to suspend funding to lawmakers who voted to overturn Americans’ choice for president represents a win for the Lincoln Project after a period of criticism over its practices.
The Lincoln Project was founded in 2019 by Republican “Never Trumpers” George Conway, Steve Schmidt, John Weaver and Rick Wilson with a stated goal of defeating then-President Donald Trump.
In recent months, the PAC has come under increased scrutiny over questions about where millions of dollars in donations went, and sexual harassment allegations against Weaver.
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