After a violent mob stormed the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, many businesses and trade groups condemned the attack And committed to reviewing and modifying their approach to political donationincluding ending donations to candidates who voted against certification of the 2020 presidential election.
Three years later, this day still occupies an important place in politics. President Biden framed the 2024 presidential election as a battle for American democracy, suggesting in a speech Friday that it would test whether democracy is still a “sacred cause.” The same day, the Supreme Court agreed to hear an appeal by Republican front-runner Donald Trump against a Colorado court ruling that barred him from the state’s Republican primary ballot because of his actions surrounding the riot.
But the business community has not put the enormous financial pressure on candidates and groups who reject elections as the initial flood of convictions and commitments in 2021 might have suggested, new data shows.
Corporate political action committees still donate millions to election opponents. Hundreds of corporate PACs and trade associations have contributed more than $108 million to campaigns and committees linked to members of Congress who have insisted the election was stolen from Trump, according to a analysis of Federal Election Commission data from January 6, 2021 to September. Open Secrets, a nonprofit campaign finance research organization. “Companies have committed to opting out, but we haven’t seen that come to fruition,” Anna Massoglia, head of investigations at Open Secrets, told DealBook.
The political guardian Accountable.US found that overall donations from Fortune 500 companies and about 700 trade associations to congressional election opponents, is down only about 10% — or about $3.7 million — in the 2022 election cycle compared to 2020. And more than 250 companies and industry groups increased their donations to these lawmakers after trying to undermine the election.
Corporate PAC figures show what companies openly disclose — so even though they don’t reveal the entire gift, they are significant, Massoglia said. “Corporations also funnel funds through trade associations, super PACs and even dark money groups that can ultimately be used to benefit election deniers,” she said. Many companies also donate to state-level efforts.
Some companies that have started giving again The various groups that attempted to undermine the 2020 presidential election defended the decision by saying they were adopting it on a bipartisan basis. “Support for these organizations does not represent an endorsement of all issues supported by the organization,” General Motors said in 2021 when it was delivered to the Republican State Leadership Committee after signing a statement opposing restrictions on the right to vote.
Money is not the only political tool corporations have. “Some might have thought that January 6 was a one-time event, but this is an ongoing reckoning,” said Jen Stark, co-director of the Center for Business and Social Justice, which works to mobilize the private sector to engages in social and political issues. . . She recommends that companies demonstrate that civic engagement, as well as election and campaign work, is important. For example, companies could make it easier for employees to participate by giving them information and time to participate.
The nonprofit Leadership Now has worked with businesses on initiatives at the state and federal levels, including filing amicus briefs, lobbying for voting rights legislation, and supporting reforms aimed at strengthening the electoral process. Daniella Ballou-Aares, founder and CEO of the group, said businesses should be concerned about the potential for violence and social unrest to come. “Post-election risk suggests businesses should be proactive,” she said.
Paul Tagliabue, a lawyer and former NFL commissioner who has worked with Leadership Now and other groups to involve business leaders in election efforts, said he tried not to be too prescriptive, but he outlined the formula he shares: “Educate, empower and “engage.” -Ephrat Livni
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
More jobs were created last month than expected. The latest jobs report released yesterday reveals that 216,000 jobs were created in December, far exceeding economists’ forecasts. The data also found that wages continued to rise, which could complicate the Federal Reserve’s decision-making on when to cut interest rates.
The Food and Drug Administration has approved massive drug imports from Canada for the first time. The regulator allowed Florida to buy millions of dollars’ worth of drugs at prices far lower than the state would have had to pay in the United States. The decision upends a policy that critics say kept drug prices high and overturns long-standing objections from the pharmaceutical industry.
Claudine Gay has resigned as president of Harvard. The academic has faced intense pressure from some donors and politicians over his response to anti-Semitism on campus following the Hamas attacks on Israel on October 7 and his allegations of plagiarism. The controversy has raised broader questions about the role of corporate diversity, equity and inclusion programs and the role of donors in determining university policy.
The first Mickey Mouse and thousands of other copyrighted works entered the public domain. The character who starred in “Steamboat Willie” can now appear in non-Disney works after the copyright expires on January 1. Some innovative projects have already been announced: two horror films and a video game.
By the numbers: Red Sea attacks impact global economy
As Iran-backed Houthi rebels continue to attack commercial ships crossing the Red Sea, some of the world’s largest logistics companies have stopped using this crucial transit route.
The attacks have already rippled throughout the global supply chain and could potentially cause further disruption and price increases. Here are some of the big numbers driving this disruption:
Shipments are rerouted at a high cost. Normally, approximately 12 percent of world trade passes through the Suez Canal. The number of transits through the canal in the 10 days ending Tuesday is falling 28 percent a year earlier, according to the International Monetary Fund PortWatch Platform. Avoiding the Suez Canal requires bypassing the southern tip of Africa, which adds approximately two weeks at each stage of the journey and approximately $1 million in fuel costs for each round trip between Asia and Europe.
Delivery prices have increased. The cost of shipping a container from Asia to Northern Europe has increased 173 percent just before the start of the attacks after the start of the war in Gaza, according to the maritime platform Freightos. Prices from Asia to the Mediterranean have more than doubled. The cost of insuring ships transiting the Red Sea has also climbed, to around 0.5 percent in the value of a ship’s hull, a sharp increase of 0.1 to 0.2 percent last month, according to Bloomberg.
But oil prices remained stable. Shipments of oil and refined products like diesel and gasoline through the Suez Canal have fallen about 40 percent in December compared to October, an analyst told the New York Times. This has yet to translate into major price increases, thanks to a combination of factors that include lower demand for oil as well as high oil and gas inventories. The price of Brent crude is approximately $79 per barrelslightly lower than before the increase in attacks.
Attacks in the Red Sea are not the only threat to supply chains. The Panama Canal, through which about 5 percent of world trade passes, has limited the number of ships that can pass through it due to severe drought. Continued disruptions could create higher shipping costs that would be passed on to consumers just as inflation begins to ease.
On our radar: the “Succession” auction
“Succession,” HBO’s hit drama series about fictional media mogul Logan Roy, his dysfunctional family and the struggle to take over his business, ended in 2023. Now, the family’s assets are available to the highest bidder . Hundreds of props, costumes and furniture used in the series will be auctioned by Heritage Auctions next Saturday. Features include Kendall Roy’s Forbes cover (“The Heir With the Flair”); Tom Wambsgans’ Waystar ID card; “wild boar, on the ground” sausages; Shiv Roy’s hair clip; Funeral leaflets for Logan Roy; and lots and lots of costumes. Even if you’re not willing to shell out, say, at least $2,700 to win Greg Hirsch’s dog mascot costume, browse the lot This is very fun.
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