The weakening of democracy in the United States has been financed in part by money from large American companies, including Home Depot, UPS, Boeing and Delta Air Lines, which during the last American election cycle paid no less than 8 million US dollars to candidates promoting conspiracy theories about the theft of the 2020 election, even though the existence of this fraud has no basis.
This is what has just been brought to light by the latest compilation of electoral contributions declared to the Federal Election Commission, carried out by the independent organization Accountable.us.
These campaign donations have gone into the pockets of dozens of the 244 candidates for Senate or House of Representatives positions who seek to undermine public confidence in democracy and the electoral process. These politicians came to the defense of the Capitol insurgents on January 6, 2021, several even took part in this insurrection, and the majority arise in mouthpiece of the unfounded accusations of electoral fraud made on purpose by the ex- President Donald Trump to justify his defeat.
The American multinational hardware company Home Depot, which has 182 stores in Canada, arrives at the 4e rank of the 20 American companies having massively financed these candidates, with more than half a million dollars poured into their campaigns during the last mid-term elections. She did it through her political action committee in the United States.
Top of the list is the second-largest private company in the United States, Koch Industries, which has paid more than US$770,000 to candidates denying the legitimacy of the 2020 presidential elections like that of current President Joe Biden. .
The conglomerate, whose fortunes are largely based on oil exploration, is known in the political finance community in the United States for its support for right-wing candidates and conservative policies aimed at limiting laws and regulations. hindering the smooth running of its energy business.
Among the 20 generous contributors to the campaigns of these conspirators, we also find the multinationals United Parcel Service (UPS), The Boeing Company, the communications giant Comcast Corporation and NBCUniversal, the American division of the Swiss bank UBS, Delta Air Lines, PricewaterhouseCoopers or the Lockheed Martin Corporation Employee Political Action Committee. All of these companies have economic interests and commercial activities in Canada as well.
Nearly another $11 million has been placed in the pockets of these populist candidates challenging the foundations of American democracy through corporate interests through the political action committees of the National Association of Realtors — which defends the interests of real estate agents — the National Beer Wholesalers Association, the National Automobile Dealers Association or the American Bankers Association, reveals Accountable.us. To recite nobody else but them.
According to the Brennan Center for Justice, which closely monitors threats to American democracy and the electoral system, Home Depot co-founder Bernard Marcus also personally contributed to the campaign of several of these conspirators, to the tune of 3.35 million US dollars. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis received half a million dollars. Republican candidate for governor of Michigan, Tudor Dixon, received US$100,000. She was defeated at the end of a campaign during which she claimed that Donald Trump had won the elections in 2020. Which is false.
Contacted by The dutyHome Depot did not deny its support for conspiracy theorists, but said its political contributions target both Republican and Democratic candidates “who advocate on behalf of business and retail to create jobs and foster economic growth,” said US spokeswoman Sara Gorman.
According to washington post, of the 244 Republican candidates promoting the electoral conspiracy who were in the race in 2022 for positions in the United States Congress, 81 were defeated. These elections therefore ensured the presence of a hundred of these conspiratorial populist conservatives within the American legislative apparatus.
Resistance to the anti-democratic discourse carried by the Republican camp, however, enabled the Democrats to avoid the red wave – the color of Donald Trump’s party – that political observers were announcing for these mid-term elections. Worse, in the last 20 years, Joe Biden is the American president who has saved the most furniture during this electoral cycle, generally unfavorable to the party which occupies the White House. He retained his majority in the Senate, and lost that of the House by a narrow majority granted to the Republican opposition.
For Kyle Herrig, president of Accountable.us, this support for conspiratorial candidates could damage the reputation of companies that have loosened their purse strings to help them get elected. “The voter rejection of many conspiracy theorists should send a clear message to these companies,” he said in an interview with the Guardian. Prioritizing political influence over protecting democracy could threaten their own bottom line [financiers]. »