Toyota has announced it will stop making campaign donations to Republican Representatives and Senators, who voted on Jan. 6 against certification of the electoral votes from key states in the 2020 Presidential election.
Toyota defends its actions
“Toyota is committed to supporting and promoting actions that further our democracy. Our company has long-standing relationships with Members of Congress across the political spectrum, especially those representing our U.S. operations. Our bipartisan PAC equally supports Democrats and Republicans running for Congress,” Scott Vazin, Toyota’s vice president of communications, said in a statement emailed to www.thedetroitbureau.com
“In fact, in 2021, the vast majority of the contributions went to Democrats and Republicans who supported the certification of the 2020 election. We understand 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, have decided to stop contributing to those Members of Congress who contested the certification of certain states in the 2020 election,” the Toyota statement said
New ad attacks Toyota
Fox Business News reported Toyota’s statement came after The Lincoln Project, a group of apostate Republicans who oppose former President Trump and his close political allies in the GOP, released a new video confronting the automaker. The Lincoln Project ad released this week condemned Toyota’s donations to 38 of the 147 Republicans who voted against certifying the 2020 election results.
The Lincoln Project has labeled 139 representative and 8 Senators the “Sedition Caucus” to underscore their threat to democracy and democratic values. The effort to halt certification of the electoral votes from states such as Arizona, Georgia and Pennsylvania were part of a final effort by Trump to have the results of the 2020 Presidential election overturned. President Joe Biden won the election by more than 7 million popular votes, which allowed him to pile 306 electoral votes to defeat Trump decisively.
Toyota’s position is complicated by the fact the automaker has major installations in states such as Texas, Mississippi, Alabama, West Virginia, Indiana, and Kentucky, where the Congressional delegations are dominated by pro-Trump Republicans.
Ad follow report on campaign contributions
The ad comes on the heels of a report from the nonprofit Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington or CREW, which published a report in late June that listed corporations and industry PACs that contributed the most money to the 139 Republican representatives and 8 Republican senators who voted against certification.
The report stated that since Jan. 6, 2021, Toyota’s corporate political action committee has donated a total of $55,000 to 37 Republican politicians who objected to certifying the election. The CREW investigation was triggered by a Toyota donation in February to a Republican Congressman from West Virginia who voted against certification on Jan.6, The Detroit News reported. The donation came after Toyota had said publicly it planned to stop donations to Republican representatives, who voted against certification on Jan. 6.
CREW tweeted Toyota’s announcement the company was halting political contributions those who opposed certification of the 2020 election was a step in the right direction.
“Today, Toyota announced they’ll no longer donate to members of Congress who voted to overturn the election. This is a big win. But our work is not over. We’re going to keep tracking, hold Toyota to their word, and call out every company that backs the Sedition Caucus,” CREW’s statement said.
“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 said in a statement published by 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,” Galen said.
More challenges ahead for Toyota
Toyota could be facing another political challenge in Texas where Republican-controlled legislature is moving to impose new restrictions on voting. Civil Rights groups have called the Republican-backed restrictions an assault on voting rights.
Major Texas-based corporations like American Airlines and Dell Technologies come out against the voting legislation proposed by the GOP, according to The Huffington Post. “This is the single greatest attack on democracy and the ability to vote in Texas in more than a decade,” said former Rep. Beto O’Rourke, a leading Texas Democrat told the web site.
In an email, Vazin said Toyota has not issued any statements on the Texas legislation on voting.