Telecom companies withhold political donations, targeting lawmakers who opposed election results

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As the U.S. struggles to make sense of the violent events that unfolded last week in Washington D.C. when a mob, incited by President Trump, stormed the Capitol building while lawmakers sought to certify the election results, more and more tech and telecom companies are pausing their political contributions.

Some companies, like Verizon and Comcast, are even targeting some of 147 lawmakers who chose to contest the certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.

“We will be suspending contributions in 2021 to any member of Congress who voted in favor of objecting to the election results,” said Verizon spokesperson Rich Young. “We watched last week’s events and were saddened.”

Comcast cited the need for the U.S. and its people to focus on “working together for the good of the entire nation” in light of both the challenging times we’re in and “the appalling violence […] at the US Capitol last week.”

“Consistent with this view,” the statement said, “we will suspend all of our political contributions to those elected officials who voted against certification of the electoral college votes, which will give us the opportunity to review our political giving policies and practices.”

AT&T has also suspended contributions to members of Congress who voted to object to the certification of Electoral College votes.

At this time, T-Mobile is said to be “reevaluating” its PAC contributions, according to a CNBC report.

Telecom was not the only technology sector choosing to withhold political donations. Microsoft, Facebook and others have said they will suspend and review political giving to both parties, while Best Buy, Intel and Mastercard are targeting the Republican objectors specifically.

Tech companies, especially those like Facebook and Twitter, try to remain, at least publicly, apolitical. Further, behind the scenes, tech companies actually contribute quite a bit of money to a variety of lawmakers. Therefore, much like everything else that has occurred over the past year, the donation withholdings are another unprecedented and noteworthy development in the country’s ongoing attempts to regain unity and order.



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