Oklahoma lawmakers could lose campaign cash because of Capitol riot
Oklahoma members of Congress received tens of thousands of dollars in the last two years from corporate political committees that have announced they are pausing campaign contributions because of the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.
Major companies such as Walmart and Boeing have announced the temporary halt in campaign donations. Some of the companies have suspended all contributions, while others, including Walmart, won’t donate to the Republicans who voted on Jan. 6 to reject electoral votes from two states.
All five Oklahomans in the U.S. House of Representatives voted to reject Electoral College votes from Arizona and Pennsylvania. Oklahoma Republican Sen. James Lankford challenged the votes from Arizona but, after the riot, voted against upholding the challenge. Oklahoma Republican Sen. Jim Inhofe opposed the effort to challenge electoral votes.
In a statement, Walmart said, “We examine and adjust our political giving strategy at the end of every election cycle, and that review will continue over the coming months.
“However, in light of last week’s attack on the U.S. Capitol, Walmart’s political action committee is indefinitely suspending contributions to those members of Congress who voted against the lawful certification of state electoral college votes.”
Many companies have political action committees (PACs) that pool donations from employees to contribute to candidates. A list compiled by the Wall Street Journal shows only a small number of companies have announced a suspension of contributions, but they are some of the nation’s biggest, and include ones from the financial, tech, defense and retail industries.
Boeing, which has become a major employer in the Oklahoma City area, gave to several Oklahoma lawmakers in the 2019-20 election cycle.
In a statement, the company said, “Boeing strongly condemns the violence, lawlessness and destruction that took place in the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. Given the current environment, we are not making political contributions at this time. We will continue to carefully evaluate future contributions to ensure that we support those who not only support our company, but also uphold our country’s most fundamental principles.”
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Oklahoma lawmakers declined to comment about the company policy changes.
The contributions from the companies to Oklahoma lawmakers were just a small percentage of the total special interest money accepted in the last election cycle. Rep. Markwayne Mullin, R-Westville, accepted just over $1 million from political action committees in 2019 and 2020, with $76,500 from major companies that have announced suspensions.
Rep. Tom Cole, R-Moore, collected nearly $1 million from PACs in the last two years, with $81,000 coming from the companies. Freshman Rep. Stephanie Bice, R-Oklahoma City, received money from only one company on a list of PACs compiled by the Wall Street Journal, Marathon Oil.
The period immediately following an election, such as now, is typically slow in terms of fundraising; corporate PACs now suspending donations will have plenty of time to engage later.
Who gave what to whom
Here are the campaign contributions to Oklahoma lawmakers from companies that have announced a suspension in giving because of the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol. Donations to representatives were from the 2019-2020 election cycle. Donations to Sen. James Lankford were from 2017-2020, four years of his current six-year election cycle. Sen. Jim Inhofe opposed the effort to challenge Electoral College votes.
Sen. James Lankford — $37,000
Best Buy $1,000
Blue Cross/Blue Shield $3,000
JP Morgan Chase $4,500
Dow Chemical $1,000
Goldman Sachs $3,500
Boston Scientific $3,000
Lockheed Martin $2,000
Rep. Frank Lucas — $69,000
JP Morgan Chase $7,000
Marathon Oil $6,000
Goldman Sachs, $5,000
Phillips 66 PAC $7,500
Charles Schwab $1,000
Coca Cola $1,000
Lockheed Martin $7.000
Chubb Group Holdings $1,000
Rep. Tom Cole — $81,000
Phillips 66 $3,500
Blue Cross Blue Shield $4,500
Lockheed Martin $10,000
Rep. Stephanie Bice — $4,500
Rep. Markwayne Mullin — $76,500
Phillips 66 $6,000
Blue Cross/Blue Shield $2,000
Boston Scientific $3,500
Lockheed Martin $1,000
Rep. Kevin Hern - $57,000
Best Buy $1,000
Morgan Stanley $7,000
Black Rock $5,000
Lockheed Martin $2,000
Capital One $6,500