Last month, after several women came forward and accused Alabama Republican Senate nominee Roy Moore of child sexual abuse and other sexual misconduct, the Republican National Committee (RNC) said it had cut ties with the candidate and terminated a joint fundraising program aimed at helping his campaign. In the time since, more women have come forward with similar stories and evidence of their relationships. Yesterday, after Donald Trump offered his full support to Moore anyway, the RNC reversed course and reportedly will resume its efforts to elect Moore in next Tuesday’s special election and will devote party resources to the effort.
A ThinkProgress review of contributions to the Republican National Committee so far in this 2017 to 2018 campaign cycle, at least 15 companies have donated $15,000 or more each from their corporate political action committees (PACs) to the party, and are thus contributing to the pro-Moore efforts. The totals include donations through the end of September. According to Federal Election Commission data from the subscription online Political MoneyLine, these include:
- Comcast Corporation & NBCUniversal with at least $100,000.
- AT&T Inc with at least $60,000.
- Leo A Daly Company with at least $30,000.
- Amerisourcebergen Corporation with at least $15,000.
- Lockheed Martin Corporation with at least $15,000.
- Honeywell International with at least $15,000.
- Pricewaterhousecoopers with at least $15,000.
- AFLAC with at least $15,000.
- Pfizer Inc. with at least $15,000.
- Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company with at least $15,000.
- Textron Inc. with at least $15,000.
- Exelon Corporation with at least $15,000.
- The Boeing Company with at least $15,000.
- Microsoft Corporation with at least $15,000.
- BNSF Railway Company with at least $15,000.
While federal campaign finance law prohibits corporations from donating directly to national parties and federal candidates out of their company treasuries, corporations have long influenced politics by establishing political action committees and pooling donations from executives and other employees.
ThinkProgress reached out to each of these companies to ask them if they are comfortable with their donations being used to help elect Moore. None immediately responded.
UPDATE 12/5/17: MassMutual, in a statement, said that “the specific contribution from our PAC was made prior to the Alabama primary being scheduled and Roy Moore entering the race.” Noting that the company supports organizations on “both sides of the political aisle,” the company said the donation “in no way, shape or form condones Mr. Moore’s alleged actions or his bigoted statements. MassMatual does not support — nor will we ever support — Mr. Moore’s campaign.”
UPDATE 12/6/17: In an emailed statement, Pfizer disputed the connection between its PAC contribution to the RNC and “alleged pro-Moore efforts.” A spokesperson wrote: “Our PAC donation to the RNC is not connected in any way to the Senate race in Alabama. In fact, we made PAC contributions to Roy Moore’s opponent both during the primary and run-off election. Pfizer does not condone, under any circumstances, Mr. Moore’s alleged behavior.”
Update 12/12/2017: Leo A Daly President Dennis Petersen issued a statement denying its donation to the RNC supported Roy Moore’s campaign: “LEO A DALY supports various parties because of their dedication to improving our country. LEO A DALY’s past donation to the Republican PAC was about supporting programs that will improve the quality of life for all Americans of all ages, not because of any specific candidate. It should go without saying that LEO A DALY, in no way, supports the campaign nor the conduct alleged of Mr. Moore.”