In this 2020 photo, a worker walks near a mural of a Boeing 777 airplane at the company’s manufacturing facility in Everett. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

In this 2020 photo, a worker walks near a mural of a Boeing 777 airplane at the company’s manufacturing facility in Everett. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

Boeing keeps giving big money to lawmakers who voted to overturn the election

Amazon and Microsoft stopped donating to members of Congress who voted against certifying the election.

By David Gutman / The Seattle Times

Washington’s largest companies, with long histories of political donations to both parties, have taken different approaches to their giving in the year since the attack on the United States Capitol.

In the hours and days following the 2021 insurrection, there was near unanimity among the corporate giants: The horror at the Capitol was unacceptable and they would pause and reassess their political giving.

In the year since, Washington’s twin tech giants, Amazon and Microsoft, have continued to donate generously to both parties. But neither company has made a single donation to any of the 147 Republican members of Congress who voted, after the attack on the Capitol, to overturn the results of the 2020 election.

Boeing, after a brief pause, has shown no hesitation in supporting the Republican legislators who voted against certifying the presidential election of Joe Biden.

In 2021, Boeing donated $190,000 to 61 members of Congress who voted to overturn the election results, according to federal campaign finance data.

Boeing actually gave more money to Republican candidates who voted to overturn the results than it did to Republican candidates who voted to accept the results of a free and fair election.

“Major corporations were quick to condemn the insurrection and tout their support for democracy — and almost as quickly, many ditched those purported values by cutting big checks to the very politicians that helped instigate the failed coup attempt,” said Kyle Herring, the president of Accountable.us, a nonpartisan group that investigates corporate power and donations. “The increasing volume of corporate donations to lawmakers who tried to overthrow the will of the people makes clear that these companies were never committed to standing up for democracy in the first place.”

A new report from Accountable.us found Boeing to be the second largest donor nationally to members of Congress who voted to overturn the election.

Boeing declined to comment Thursday.

All three corporations — Amazon, Microsoft and Boeing — promised after the attack on the Capitol that they would reevaluate their political giving.

Since then, all three companies have given slightly more money to federal Republican candidates than they have to Democrats, according to data collected by OpenSecrets, a government transparency group.

All three have donated to Washington Republican Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Dan Newhouse, who signed on to a legal brief before the Capitol attack that sought to overturn the election results in four states won by Biden.

(McMorris Rodgers had announced she would vote to object to the election results, but backtracked after the attack. Newhouse and Washington’s third Republican, Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, both voted to impeach Trump after the attack.)

“Given the unacceptable attempt to undermine a legitimate democratic process, the Amazon PAC has suspended contributions to any member of Congress who voted to override the results of the U.S. presidential election,” an Amazon spokesperson said five days after the attack.

Amazon has kept its word, mostly. It has not given any direct contributions to candidates who voted to overturn the election.

It has, however, made two donations to leadership PACs of two members of Congress, Rep. Jackie Walorski, R-Indiana, and Rep. David Crouzer, R-N.C., both of whom voted to overturn the election.

Amazon did not respond to requests for comment Thursday.

Leadership political action committees are typically used by politicians as vehicles for distributing campaign money to colleagues, to travel or to hire additional staff.

The week after the attack, Microsoft said it would stop political donations “until after it assesses the implications of last week’s events” and “it will take additional steps this year [2021] to consider these recent events and consult with employees.”

In February, Microsoft announced that it would suspend donations to candidates who voted to overturn the election results through the 2022 elections and it would also suspend donations to state officials and organizations who supported the cause of overturning the election.

Microsoft has not given any money to candidates who voted to overturn the election, nor does it appear to have given money to PACs associated with those candidates.

One week after the attack on the Capitol, Boeing announced that it “strongly condemns the violence, lawlessness and destruction that took place.”

“We are not making political contributions at this time,” the company said. “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.”

Boeing’s pause on political donations lasted less than five months.

In early May, it unleashed a gusher of campaign cash to politicians of both parties. Notably, those included Rep. Kevin McCarthy, the House Republican leader, who voted to overturn the election results.

McCarthy, much like Boeing, once harshly condemned the attack, even saying a week afterward that Trump “bears responsibility.”

Since then, he and Boeing have softened their stances.

He called the House investigation into the attack a “sham process” and threatened telecom companies that complying with subpoenas issued by investigators could bring retribution from Republicans.

Boeing, in addition to its donations to individual legislators, donated last year to the Republican National Committee, the National Republican Senatorial Committee and the National Republican Congressional Committee. Boeing also donated to similar Democratic committees.

Talk to us

More in Herald Business Journal

Nuno Taborda
Former Rolls Royce executive to lead Everett aerospace firm

magniX, which builds electric aircraft motors, has hired Nuno Taborda as its next CEO.

Epic Ford on the corner of 52nd Street and Evergreen Way in Everett is closed. The dealership has been in business for more than 50 years. (Janice Podsada / The Herald)
After 50 years, Everett’s Epic Ford dealership closes shop

It opened in 1971, when gas guzzling muscle cars like the Ford Mustang still ruled the road.

Dan Bates / The Herald
When Seattle Genetics founder, Clay Siegall lost his father while in college, he switched from studying for an MD to studying for a PhD., and a goal to treat cancer patients.  His efforts are paying off in lives.
Bothell biotech CEO resigns after domestic-violence allegation

Clay Siegall co-founded Seagen, which develops therapies for cancer patients. He’s accused of attacking his wife.

FILE - A sign at a Starbucks location in Havertown, Pa., is seen April 26, 2022. Starbucks says it will pay travel expenses for U.S. employees to access abortion or gender-confirmation procedures if those services aren't available within 100 miles of a worker’s home. The Seattle coffee chain says, Monday, May 16, 2022, the benefit will also be available to dependents of employees enrolled in its health care coverage. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, file)
Starbucks will cover travel for workers seeking abortions

Amazon and Tesla also will provide the benefit. Walmart and Facebook have stayed silent.

A barista pours steamed milk into a red paper cup while making an espresso drink at a Starbucks coffee shop in the Pike Place Market, Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2015, in Seattle. It's as red as Santa's suit, a poinsettia blossom or a loud Christmas sweater. Yet Starbucks' minimalist new holiday coffee cup has set off complaints that the chain is making war on Christmas. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Interfaith group asks Starbucks to drop vegan milk surcharge

They say the practice amounts to a tax on people who have embraced plant-based lifestyles.

FILE - In this Monday, March 1, 2021 file photo, The first Alaska Airlines passenger flight on a Boeing 737-9 Max airplane takes off on a flight to San Diego from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in Seattle. A Boeing pilot involved in testing the 737 Max jetliner was indicted Thursday, Oct. 14,2021 by a federal grand jury on charges of deceiving safety regulators who were evaluating the plane, which was later involved in two deadly crashes. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)
Alaska Airlines to keep canceling flights at high level for weeks

Flight cancellations since April will continue. The chaos has been damaging for Seattle’s hometown airline.

FILE - An airplane flies past the Boeing logo on the company's headquarters in Chicago, on Thursday, Dec. 20, 2001. Boeing Co., a leading defense contractor and one of the world's two dominant manufacturers of airline planes, is expected to move its headquarters from Chicago to the Washington, D.C., area, according to two people familiar with the matter. The decision could be announced as soon as later Thursday, May 5, 2022, according to one of the people. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)
Boeing expected to move headquarters from Chicago to DC area

The move would put Boeing executives close to their key customer, the Pentagon, and the FAA.

This 3D rendering shows Sila's 6000-foot facility in Moses Lake, to be used to manufacture lithium-ion anode battery materials. (Business Wire)
New factory in Moses Lake will bring hundreds of new jobs

The plant will manufacture lithium-ion anode battery materials for cars and cellphones.

Dr. David Kirtley at the new Helion headquarters, Antares, in Everett, Washington on Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022  (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Helion Energy: New Everett company has the sun in its eyes

The firm is the winner of a new award by Economic Alliance Snohomish County, called Opportunity Lives Here.

Marysville Mayor Jon Nehring is this year's winner of the Henry M. Jackson Award given by Economic Alliance Snohomish County. Photographed in Marysville, Washington on April 25, 2022. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Jon Nehring: Longtime Marysville mayor who’s nurtured growth

He’s helped steer the city’s transformation and is winner of the Jackson Award by Economic Alliance Snohomish County.

Monti Ackerman, recipient of the John Fluke Award, is pictured Thursday, April 28, 2022, outside his office in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Monti Ackerman: A passionate volunteer and calculator whiz

The Fortive executive is the winner of this year’s Fluke Award by Economic Alliance Snohomish County.

Rep. Mike Sells, D-38, is the recipient of this year's Henry M. Jackson award. The award recognizes a visionary leader who through partnership, tenacity and a strong commitment to community has created lasting opportunities to improve quality of life and positively impact the regional economy. Photographed in Everett, Washington on April 29, 2022.  (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Rep. Mike Sells: He fought for WSU Everett and worker rights

The retiring legislator is the recipient of the Floyd Award from Economic Alliance Snohomish County.