Speed Reads

Following the Money

Toyota is the top donor to the 'Sedition Caucus' of Republicans who wouldn't certify Biden's win

After the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, and the decision immediately after by 147 members of Congress to still vote against certifying President Biden's electoral victory, "nearly 200 corporations and industry groups said they would pause or altogether stop making political contributions" to these lawmakers, "also known as the Sedition Caucus," the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) wrote in a report that found some of those corporations reneged on that promise and others just continued "giving like nothing ever happened."

Nearly three dozen corporate PACs gave at least $5,000 to these Republicans since Jan. 6, Axios reported Sunday, using CREW's data, and "Toyota leads by a substantial margin." Toyota's corporate PAC gave to 37 GOP election objectors this year, more than doubling what the runner-up, San Diego defense contractor Cubic Corp., donated to Republicans who voted to nullify Biden's victory. 

"We do not believe it is appropriate to judge members of Congress solely based on their votes on the electoral certification," a Toyota spokesperson told Axios. "Based on our thorough review, we decided against giving to some members who, through their statements and actions, undermine the legitimacy of our elections and institutions." Toyota declined to elaborate on their criteria for choosing which Republicans are sufficiently pro-democracy, but among their PAC's contributions is a February check to Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), one of the most vocal election conspiracy theorists and an allleged organizer of the Jan. 6 "Stop the Steal" rally.

When including post-Jan. 6 donations to the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) and the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), "the two main Republican party committees supporting these members," CREW says, the top donor is Koch Industries, which gave $17,500 to individual members of the "Sedition Caucus" and $105,000 to the NRCC and NRSC.

"By continuing to fund members of Congress who would undermine American democracy, these corporations and industry groups are sacrificing democratic government for access and influence," CREW said. You can see some of the numbers at CREW.