Toyota PAC Was Top Donor to Republicans Who Opposed Election

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Toyota Motor Corp.’s political action committee has donated to about a quarter of the 147 Republican members of Congress who opposed certifying the 2020 election results for President Joe Biden, spreading $55,000 among them.

The automaker gave more money to more of the Republican lawmakers in the group -- 37 -- than any other company, according to Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a nonprofit watchdog group.

Like dozens of other companies, Toyota announced it would suspend and review its PAC donations in the wake of the Jan. 6 riot by supporters of former President Donald Trump and the subsequent objections by the 147 Republicans to the Electoral College results from at least one state. It resumed making donations on Feb. 1, and as early as Feb. 4, it made a $1,000 contribution to Representative Alex Mooney of West Virginia, a Republican who supported Trump’s false claims of election fraud.

“Toyota supports candidates based on their position on issues that are important to the auto industry and the company,” the company said in a statement, and would not make decisions based on the certification votes alone.

The company’s PAC has donated $298,000 so far in 2021 to candidates and committees, Federal Election Commission records show, including $5,000 to Representative Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, $2,000 and $1,000 to Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming. Both voted to impeach Trump, who has vowed to support primary challengers to each. Toyota also gave to Democrats in both the House and Senate.

According to CREW, the PACs of Cigna Corp., AT&T Inc. and JetBlue Airways, all of which pledged to pause and review PAC donations, have made at least one contribution to the campaigns or leadership PACs of members who objected to the Electoral College victory by Biden over Trump. The group says that 241 PACs of corporations and industry trade associations have made donations to members who voted against certification.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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