CRE Donor Class Among Benefactors Abandoning Trump And His Allies
Various major political donors, including several commercial real estate players that have previously supported President Donald Trump and his associates in their political ambitions, are now rapidly withdrawing their financial support from him and his allies in Congress.
Hotel giant Marriott International has shut off political donations to the Republican members of Congress who voted on Jan. 6 against certifying Joe Biden as the winner of November's presidential election. A total of eight senators and 139 members of the House of Representatives voted to sustain objections to the certification of electoral votes from Arizona and/or Pennsylvania.
"We have taken the destructive events at the Capitol to undermine a legitimate and fair election into consideration and will be pausing political giving from our Political Action Committee to those who voted against certification of the election," the company told Business Insider.
Marriott’s PAC had donated $1K to the campaign of Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri during the 2020 election and another $1K to the senator's leadership PAC, Popular Information reported.
Hawley has been particularly adamant in questioning the outcome of the presidential race and was famously photographed on Jan. 6 raising a clenched fist toward the pro-Trump crowd that soon thereafter stormed the U.S. Capitol.
On Monday, Airbnb also joined the swelling chorus.
“We will continue to uphold our community policies by banning violent hate group members when we learn of such memberships, and the Airbnb PAC will update its framework and withhold support from those who voted against the certification of the presidential election results,” the company said in a statement.
Telecom giant AT&T on Monday also said it was suspending contributions to members of Congress who objected to the certification of the Electoral College results.
Major health insurer Blue Cross Blue Shield Association President and CEO Kim Keck likewise said it was suspending all support to the 147 Republicans who voted "to subvert the results of November’s election by challenging Electoral College results."
“These corporations are doing something very new, and something that could potentially alienate an important base for them,” Craig Holman, a government affairs lobbyist for Public Citizen, told Popular Information. “I’ve never heard of this happening before.”
Though the recent actions have come in response to the insurrection in Washington, D.C., commercial real estate donors weren't particularly keen on Trump even before the election. Once he obtained the Republican nomination for the 2016 election, Trump raised $5M from real estate donors. Mitt Romney in 2012, by comparison, raised $17M from the industry. Early in the 2020 campaign, Biden managed to outraise Trump in campaign contributions from the CRE industry.
Some companies are going even further. The world’s largest asset manager, BlackRock, said on Monday that it is pausing all political contributions, Bloomberg reports. Citigroup, Goldman Sachs Group, JPMorgan Chase and Morgan Stanley have similarly quit making political contributions for now.
Other companies, such a telecom giant T-Mobile and accountancy Deloitte, have said they are re-evaluating their donations to political action committees in light of the Jan. 6 insurrection.
The shutting of the money spigot comes as other companies take other actions in response to the attack on the Capitol. The largest social media companies have shut down the accounts of Trump and a few others, accusing them of being in violation of their terms of service by inciting violence.
Other organizations are taking more symbolic steps. A number of universities have revoked honorary degrees awarded to the president and others, and thousands of fellow attorneys and law students have signed petitions urging state bar associations to disbar Hawley and Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas over their Jan. 6 votes.