Just weeks after severing ties with the campaign of Alabama Republican Senate nominee Roy Moore, who has been accused by several women of child sexual assault and other sexual misconduct, the Republican National Committee (RNC) has reversed course in a big way. On Tuesday, the national party reportedly sent two contributions totaling $170,000 to the Alabama Republican Party to support Moore’s efforts for next Tuesday’s special election.
The Republican National Committee’s party platform, adopted just last year, explicitly vowed to protect kids from sexual predators and pornographers. “We encourage states to continue to fight this public menace and pledge our commitment to children’s safety and well-being. We applaud the social networking sites that bar sex offenders from participation,” the platform said. But though numerous high ranking Republicans have said they believe Moore’s accusers, it seems the party may have a higher standard for who can be on Facebook than for who can be in the Senate.
As ThinkProgress previously reported, the RNC has received at least $370,000 in contributions already in the 2017-2018 election cycle from corporate political action committees. The companies whose PAC donations have helped to enable the party’s Alabama special election efforts include Comcast Corporation & NBCUniversal, AT&T Inc. Leo A Daly Company, AmerisourceBergen Corporation, Lockheed Martin Corporation, Honeywell International, PricewaterhouseCoopers, AFLAC, Pfizer Inc., Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company, Textron Inc., Exelon Corporation, The Boeing Company, Microsoft Corporation, and BNSF Railway Company. Each gave at least $15,000.
MassMutual put out a statement in response to the story, noting that it does not support Moore and made the donations “prior to the Alabama primary being scheduled and Roy Moore entering the race.” The company did not respond to a follow-up inquiry asking whether the company was asking for the money back. Pfizer, in an emailed statement, disputed any connection between its PAC contribution to the RNC and “alleged pro-Moore efforts,” claiming the donation was ” not connected in any way to the Senate race in Alabama.” A spokesperson wrote that the PAC has donated to Roy Moore’s primary opponent and stated that “Pfizer does not condone, under any circumstances, Mr. Moore’s alleged behavior.”
Moore twice lost his position as an elected justice of the Alabama state supreme court for failure to adhere to the United States constitution. He also has claimed that homosexuality should be illegal, once said that 9/11 was a punishment for America turning away from God, falsely claimed President Barack Obama was a Muslim, and co-authored a 2011 textbook that said women should not run for public office.
This story has been updated to include Pfizer’s statement.