Toyota resumes political donations to opponents of the 2020 presidential election

Toyota again contributes to lawmakers who opposed confirming the official results of the 2020 presidential election, despite the Japanese automaker promised last summer to stop such financial support.

Toyota said in July last year that it would stop supporting lawmakers who questioned the election result due to pressure from critics, including the Lincoln Project, an advocacy group dedicated to defeating former President Donald Trump in his re-election. .

“We understand that the PAC decision to support select members of Congress who challenged the results worried some stakeholders,” the company said at the time. “We are actively listening to our stakeholders, and at present we have decided to stop contributing to those members of Congress who challenged the certification of certain states in the 2020 election.”

Eight months later, the Japanese automaker has apparently reconsidered its position. In March, Toyota gave money to the rep. Jackie Walorski, a Republican from Indiana who voted to overturn the election result on January 6, 2021, reported Popular Information on Monday. Walorski also voted against a federal lawsuit for Trump and against setting up a bipartisan committee to investigate the uprising.

The company also contributed $ 1,000 last month to Tennessee Republican David Kustoff, who voted in line with Walorski on issues related to the 2020 election, according to a file from the Federal Election Commission. Mississippi Republican Trent Kelly and Louisiana Republican Garrett Graves also received money from the Toyota PAC in March.

After a six-month hiatus, Toyota has “resumed contributions to some members of Congress,” the company said Monday in an email to CBS MoneyWatch. “We will not support those who, through their words and actions, create an atmosphere that encourages violence,” the company added.

The position did little to influence the Lincoln project, which dusts off an advertisement that it made and despised Toyota’s contribution before the company changed its policy last summer.

The group reissues its ad accusing Toyota of “helping fund a movement that vehemently sought to take votes away from U.S. customers, not to mention Toyota’s own employees.”

This 2021 ad followed a report from Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington that showed that in the months following the January 6 attack on the U.S. capital, Toyota had given a total of $ 55,000 to about three dozen Republicans challenging certification. The carmaker gave twice as much as the second-largest corporate donor to lawmakers who voted against confirming the election vote, according to the progressive watchdog group.

Following the January 6 attack, 147 Republicans voted against confirming the results of the presidential election despite the lack of evidence of fraud or the fact that the vote had been manipulated. At the time, many companies including Toyota promised to review or suspend their political donations.

One month after the Capitol siege, Toyota also donated $ 1,000 to Arizona Republican Andy Biggs, according to federal election commission records. The congressman has challenged the integrity of the election.

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