Judd Legum Profile picture
I write Popular Information, a newsletter about politics and power. Send tips: DMs open | judd@popular.info | jlegum@protonmail.com
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21 Jan
1. A top DC lobbying firm hired a controversial Trump advisor and tried to keep it under wraps.

When I reached out for comment, the firm attempted to cover up the cover up.

But I have receipts.

popular.info/p/top-dc-lobby…

Follow along if interested.

https://t.co/Few8mD4zpC
2. The firm @forbestate hired Trump advisor Tate Bennett on January 5 as an SVP at the firm.

Normally, when @forbestate hires someone at that level there is a press release, a tweet, and an article in Politico.

But with Bennett NOTHING.

popular.info/p/top-dc-lobby…
@forbestate 3. I reached out to @ForbesJeffrey, the co-founder of the firm, and asked why the firm was keeping Bennett's hiring quiet.

I gave him a deadline of 5PM on 1/20 to respond.

Forbes never responded

But on January 20 at 4:04 PM an article on Bennett's hiring appeared in Politico ImageImage
Read 8 tweets
19 Jan
UPDATE: @Oracle suspends donations to members of Congress that voted against certifying Biden’s win.
The announcement came the day after popular.info reported that 500 Oracle employees wrote the board demanding action
The announcement is particularly significant because @Oracle CEO Larry Ellison is one of Trump's top donors and supporters

reuters.com/article/us-chi…
Read 4 tweets
19 Jan
1. 79 members of the Pennsylvania legislature publicly opposed certification of the Electoral College

Will corporations continue to support their campaigns?

We asked them.

Follow along if interested.

popular.info/p/corporations…
2. @LillyPad (Eli Lilly) has suspended contributions to members of Congress who objected to the Electoral College. The company told Popular Information that the same policy applies to members of the PA legislature who opposed certification.

popular.info/p/corporations…
3. Several major corporations that have paused all political contributions to members of Congress said that policy extends to state-level politicians

@Microsoft
@chubb
@Boeing
@UPS
@MarathonPetroCo
@LibertyMutual
@firstenergycorp

popular.info/p/corporations…
Read 7 tweets
16 Jan
1. We asked 144 companies if they will continue contributing to members of Congress who objected to the Electoral College

We've now heard back from 91

Some major companies that have remained silent

@JetBlue
@Nestle
@SamsungUS
@ViacomCBS
@SouthwestAir

popular.info/p/three-major-…
@JetBlue @Nestle @SamsungUS @ViacomCBS @SouthwestAir 2. If you work for any of these companies and have information, please reach out to me.

jlegum@protonmail.com and my DMs are open.

I will protect your identity.
3. IMPORTANT: Just because a company responds, it doesn't mean the response is particularly meaningful.

Specifically, companies announcing they are "pausing" *all* political donations for an indefinite period of time are saying very little.

popular.info/p/where-things…
Read 6 tweets
16 Jan
Josh Hawley is holding a fundraiser next month at @Lowes_Hotels for his leadership PAC, Fighting for Missouri.

In non-election years, PACs file semi-annually.

That means, if this event goes forward, all donors will be reported no later than 7/31/2021

I will report back then.
A lot of people are questioning whether the announcements by corporations this week will have any lasting impact.

The answer depends on whether people keep paying attention.

Sign up to the newsletter for updates and accountability journalism.

popular.info/subscribe
The fact that we won't know this information until July shows the weaknesses in the campaign finance disclosure system.

Yes, there is dark money.

But even with the money that isn't "dark" the disclosure is too slow.

We need reform so we can have more accountability.
Read 4 tweets
15 Jan
BLOOMBERG: "Corporate PACs Donation Halt Chills a Congress Hooked on Cash"

bloomberg.com/news/articles/…
"If it does last, the tourniquet on giving would impost a small but significant constriction in the system of political fund raising that favors incumbents, provides access for lobbyists and helps decide who rises to leadership positions."
"Of the 399 House incumbents who ran for re-election last year, 86 raised more than half of their campaign money from business PACs in the 2020 election cycle"
Read 5 tweets
15 Jan
"Republicans are scrambling to contain the fallout as major donors freeze political contributions and distance themselves from lawmakers who voted to overturn the Electoral College results."

thehill.com/business-a-lob…
"House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), who voted to reject electoral votes from Arizona and Pennsylvania, has been calling existing donors trying to calm nerves"
"One lobbyist described McCarthy calls to donors: “I would equate it to trying to get a plane out of a spin, trying to level the wings.”
Read 4 tweets
15 Jan
We asked 144 companies if they planned to continue contributing to members of Congress objected to the Electoral College vote.

We've now heard back from 85.

Some major companies that have remained silent

@Safeway
@Oracle
@Publix
@Clorox
@Enterprise

popular.info/p/three-major-…
@Safeway @Oracle @Publix @Clorox @Enterprise 2. If you work for any of these companies and have information, please reach out to me.

jlegum@protonmail.com and my DMs are open.

I will protect your identity.
3. IMPORTANT: Just because a company responds, it doesn't mean the response is particularly meaningful.

Specifically, companies announcing they are "pausing" *all* political donations for an indefinite period of time are saying very little.

popular.info/p/where-things…
Read 8 tweets
14 Jan
1. Here is some information you won't read about in Politico Playbook today.

On Jan 5, @benshapiro turned over his "Daily Shapiro Action" email to Ted Cruz.

Cruz used the opportunity to push his bogus allegations that the election was invalid.
@benshapiro 2. @benshapiro guest-edited Politico Playbook today, which was a coup for him because he likes to posture himself as an "intellectual" who rejects conspiracy theories and misinformation.

But that's not what happens behind the scenes.

And I have receipts.
3. In July, I reported how there was "an undisclosed financial relationship between The Daily Wire, the website founded by Ben Shapiro, and Mad World News, a notorious outlet that exploits fear and bigotry for profit."

popular.info/p/facebook-adm…
Read 8 tweets
13 Jan
1. BREAKING

3 major corporations say they'll suspend donations to the Republican Attorneys General Association, which helped drive participation in last Wed's events

@Facebook

@Lyft

@DoorDash

Follow along for more on these 3 plus 60 other corps

popular.info/p/after-riot-m…
@Facebook @lyft @DoorDash 2. University of Phoenix (@UOPX) is taking things a step further.

The for-profit university, which donated $50,400 to RAGA last year, is demanding its money back

"We have asked RAGA to return our contribution to us as soon as possible."

popular.info/p/after-riot-m…
3. @Lyft tells popular.info that it "not be renewing our membership in RAGA for 2021"

@Facebook says it was "surprised and appalled" by the RAGA's conduct

popular.info/p/after-riot-m…
Read 13 tweets
12 Jan
1. In this thread, I will try to summarize the flood of announcements from corporate America over the last few days.

Some of these announcements are genuinely significant.

Others are just efforts to buy time.

Follow along if interested.

popular.info/p/three-major-…
2. @Hallmark gets a category of its own. It is the only company demanding refunds, specifically from @HawleyMO and @RogerMarshallMD.

This is especially brutal for Hawley, because Hallmark is headquartered in his home state. This was the cover of today's Kansas City Star.
3. @AmericanExpress also gets its own category. It will no longer donate to any member of Congress that objected to the Electoral College vote on Wednesday. A spokesperson told popular.info that decision was permanent.

popular.info/p/three-major-…
Read 8 tweets
12 Jan
1. Republicans are convinced the PAC announcements are all a bad dream and soon they will wake up and the money will return.
2. "The sheer extent of the Republican opposition will make it difficult for businesses to simply cut off those who voted against certifying Biden’s victory, said a senior Republican business strategist, speaking on condition of anonymity."

reuters.com/article/us-usa…
"Roughly two-thirds of all House Republicans, including seasoned legislators and vocal Trump partisans, supported the challenge."

“Are they all going into the bucket of ‘no contributions’? I would be shocked if they all get put in.”
Read 4 tweets
11 Jan
Companies announcing a "three month pause" in donations are just trying to lay low until things blow over.

There is never much PAC activity during the 1st quarter of a cycle

We'll be monitoring these companies to see what happens after the "pause"
Three companies just told popular.info they would temporarily suspend all donations: @Visa (indefinite), @AmericanAir (3 mos), @ADMupdates (indefinite)
More companies that are pausing all contributions: @Google (indefinite), @UnitedHealthGrp (indefinite), @HRBlock (indefinite).
Read 4 tweets
11 Jan
BREAKING: In an internal memo to staff obtained by popular.info, @AmericanExpress CEO Steve Squeri says the company will no longer support the Republican members of Congress who objected to the Electoral College

popular.info/p/three-major-…
"Last week's attempts by some congressional members to subvert the presidential election results and disrupt the peaceful transition of power do not align with our American Express Blue Box values; therefore AXP PAC will not support them," Squeri writes.
Notably, this announcement does not appear to be time limited.

Sign up for updates and more accountability journalism.

popular.info/subscribe
Read 4 tweets
11 Jan
1. There has been A LOT of news about major corporations suspending their political contributions to members of Congress that objected to the presidential vote.

I'm going to summarize where we are at in this thread.

Follow along if interested.

popular.info/p/three-major-…
2. @Hallmark is demanding refunds from the two senators it supported @HawleyMO and @RogerMarshallMD

@DowNewsroom is suspending donations to Republicans who voted against certification for at least the durations of their current terms

popular.info/p/three-major-…
3. Four companies have indefinitely suspended donations to members of Congress who objected to the presidential vote:

@BCBSAssociation
@MarriottIntl
@CommerceBank
@Mastercard
Read 7 tweets
11 Jan
UPDATE: Dow (@DowNewsroom), the massive chemical company, tells me it will not donate to any member of Congress that objected to the certification of the presidential vote

This is not a pause. The company won't donate to these Republicans ever again.

popular.info/p/three-major-…
@DowNewsroom For updates and independent accountability journalism, sign up for my newsletter

popular.info/subscribe
Since 2014, Dow's PAC donated $1.4 million to Republicans and 396K to Democrats.

This is not a company that is pandering to liberals.

But it's drawing the line at the subversion of Democracy.
Read 4 tweets
10 Jan
1. BREAKING

3 major corporations say they'll stop donating to members of Congress who tried to overturn the election

BlueCross BlueShield (@BCBSAssociation)

Marriott (@MarriottIntl)

@CommerceBank

Follow along for more on these 3 plus 141 other corps

popular.info/p/three-major-…
@BCBSAssociation @MarriottIntl @CommerceBank 2. In the last 3 cycles, the BlueCross BlueShield PAC has donated 959K to GOP candidates and 359K to Dem candidates.

Now, BCBS's CEO says it will "suspend contributions to those lawmakers who voted to undermine our democracy"

popular.info/p/three-major-…
@BCBSAssociation @MarriottIntl @CommerceBank 3. @CommerceBank's PAC favors Republicans over Democrats by a 6 to 1 margin. The bank now says it has "suspended all support for officials who have impeded the peaceful transfer of power"

@MarriottIntl released a similar statement to Popular Information.

popular.info/p/three-major-…
Read 12 tweets
9 Jan
I am equally impressed with Facebook and Twitter's decision to ban Trump now as Betsy DeVos and Elaine Chao's decision to resign now.
Both acts seems to mostly reflect Trump's waning power and are unconnected to any larger effort to address how they have facilitated the spread of extremism, conspiracy theories, and violence
With respect to Facebook and Twitter, banning Trump now, with hours left in his presidency seems like an easy way to avoid tougher conversations about how their algorithms are used to spread misinformation, extremism, and violence.

I'd prefer to focus on that rather than Trump.
Read 4 tweets
7 Jan
1. Romney has gotten a lot of praise for saying the right things yesterday, and I get it.

But I also think its important to take a broader perspective and understand Romney's role is creating the conditions the resulted in yesterday's riot.

Follow along if interested.
2. The key moment came about 9 years ago, when Romney had just clinched the nomination, making him the most powerful person in GOP politics

Trump, meanwhile, was getting attention for pushing the racist conspiracy theory that Obama was not born in the US

popular.info/p/the-chickens…
3. So what did Romney do? He traveled to Trump's Vegas hotel to kiss Trump's ring and get his endorsement.

This event transformed Trump from a side show to a GOP power player.

And it established that conspiracy was acceptable in high-level GOP politics

popular.info/p/the-chickens…
Read 8 tweets
6 Jan
1. The National Association of Manufacturers (@ShopFloorNAM) released a stunning -- yet justified statement -- condemning not only Trump but all the politicians that are enabling him.

This is an organization that represents companies like @exxonmobil, @pfizer, and @goodyear
@ShopFloorNAM @exxonmobil @pfizer @goodyear 2. "Throughout this whole disgusting episode, Trump has been cheered on by members of his own party, adding fuel to the distrust that has enflamed violent anger. This is not law and order. This is chaos. It is mob rule. It is dangerous."
3. "This is sedition and should be treated as such. The outgoing president incited violence in an attempt to retain power, and any elected leader defending him is violating their oath to the Constitution and rejecting democracy in favor of anarchy."
Read 5 tweets
6 Jan
1. Today, 130+ GOP members of Congress will vote to ignore millions of voters and try to install Trump for a second term.

We reviewed thousands of FEC records to find the top corporate donors to this group.

Follow along if interested.

popular.info/p/20-corporati…
2. Top corporate donors to 138 Republican members of Congress voting to subvert democracy:

@ATT ($2M, 130 members)
@Comcast ($1.7M, 126 members)
@UPS ($1.5M, 121 members)
@Deloitte ($1.3M, 90 members)
@EY_US ($1.2M, 79 members)
@PwC (890K, 71 members)

popular.info/p/20-corporati…
3. Top corporate donors to 138 Republican members of Congress voting to subvert democracy (con't):

@UnitedHealthGrp (749K, 73 members)
@Delta (710K, 86 members)
@KPMG (693K, 67 members)
@Walmart (679K, 111 members)
@Pfizer (610K, 74 members)

popular.info/p/20-corporati…
Read 16 tweets