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The Grab Your Wallet guide to flexing your consumer power for democracy

Remember January 6th? Many legislators would love you to forget it. Two weeks ago Republicans successfully blocked the creation of a special commission to investigate the attack.

This has experts worried. More than 100 scholars of democracy recently issued a public statement warning that democracy itself is in grave danger. 

Back in January, a bunch of U.S. corporations announced they were suspending donations to the 147 elected officials who voted to overturn the presidential election results.

While some have already broken their promises (we’ll get into that below), others may be revealed in next months’ corporate PAC filings. 

In the meantime, here’s how things stand today and what you can do about it. 

AT&T, Cigna, And Intel quickly broke their word 

In terms of their corporate political spending, AT&T is one of the most active and influential companies. It could play a decisive role in using that political spending to protect democracy. 

Unfortunately, in the 2020 election cycle, AT&T contributed $764,000 to politicians who would end up becoming election objectors in 2021. It also donated over $650,000 to Senators who would end up blocking the commission. 

Then, following a public announcement that they would suspend donations to objectors, AT&T donated $5,000 in February to the House Conservatives Fund

Intel and Cigna, each of which made similar promises to suspend giving to lawmakers who voted to overturn election results, each sent $15,000 to the National Republican Campaign Committee and the National Republican Senatorial Committee respectively.

Who never made the promise in the first place? 

Aside from AT&T, Intel, and Cigna there are several other companies that are donating in ways that could damage democracy.

Here are the big consumer brands that donated to politicians that ended up being both election objectors and Republicans who voted against the commission:

They haven’t spoken up about whether or not they’re planning on changing their political donation activities in ways that will protect democracy. 

So, what can you do about it? 

The Grab Your Wallet community is known for getting things done. From 2016 to 2020, we successfully got over 70 companies to cut financial ties with the Trump family. We should use that same power to protect democracy. 

Reach out to our short list of eight companies that are donating in ways that could inadvertently be endangering democracy. Tell them it’s not ok.

As usual, we recommend calling and/or emailing the company before posting to social media about it. If you do post to social media, be sure to use the #GrabYourWallet hashtag so we can find your post and share it. 

Here’s the Grab Your Wallet list of the eight companies to contact: 

  1. AT&T   
    • Phone: 1-210-821-4105 // Email: press@att.com
    • Sample script: “Hi there. I’ve been an AT&T customer for (x) years. I see that AT&T recently donated to the House Conservatives Fund after promising to suspend donations to election objectors.  I wouldn’t normally reach out to a company based on its general political donations, but in light of the Republican party’s blockage of the commission to investigate the January 6th insurrection, donations to the Republican party really concern me right now. I am considering changing phone carriers given this information. Please communicate my feedback to management. Thank you and have a good day!”
  2. Cigna 
    • Phone: 1-800-997-1654 // Email: press@cigna.com
    • Sample script: “Hi, there. I’m reaching out to express concern that Cigna’s political donations could be endangering democracy. I wouldn’t normally reach out to a company based on its general political donations, but in light of the Republican party’s blockage of the commission to investigate the January 6th insurrection, donations to the Republican party really concern me right now. Please communicate my concerns to management.”
  3. Intel 
    • Phone: 1-800-538-3373 // Email: press@intel.com
    • Sample script: “Hi, there. I’m reaching out to express concern that Intel’s political donations could be endangering democracy. I wouldn’t normally reach out to a company based on its general political donations, but in light of the Republican party’s recent blocking of a commission to investigate the January 6th insurrection, donations to the Republican party really concern me right now. Please communicate my concerns to management.”
  4. FedEx
    • Phone: 1-800-463-3339 // Email: press@fedex.com
    • Sample script: “Hi, there. I’m reaching out to express concern that FedEx’s political donations could be inadvertently endangering democracy. Specifically, I’m concerned about the $263,000 FedEx gave in the past to politicians who ended up being both election objectors and voted against investigating the January 6th insurrection. Does FedEx plan to continue contributing to such politicians in the future? Please communicate question and concerns to management.”
  5. Delta
    • Phone: 1-404-715-2554 // Email: publicrelations@delta.com
    • Sample script: “Hi, there. I’m reaching out to express concern that Delta’s political donations could be inadvertently endangering democracy. Specifically, I’m concerned about the $236,000 Delta gave in the past to politicians who ended up being both election objectors and voted against investigating the January 6th insurrection. Does Delta plan to continue contributing to such politicians in the future? Please communicate my question and concerns to management.”
  6. Lowe’s
    • Phone: 1-800-813-7613 // Email: tiffany.l.mason@lowes.com
    • Sample script: “Hi, there. I’m reaching out to express concern that Lowe’s political donations could be inadvertently endangering democracy. Specifically, I’m concerned about the $176,000 Lowe’s gave in the past to politicians who ended up being both election objectors and voted against investigating the January 6th insurrection. Does Lowe’s plan to continue contributing to such politicians in the future? Please communicate my question and concerns to management.”
  7. Pfizer
    • Phone: 1-800-505-4426 // Email: Charles.E.Triano@pfizer.com
    • Sample script: “Hi, there. I’m reaching out to express concern that Pfizer’s political donations could be inadvertently endangering democracy. Specifically, I mean the $158,000 the company gave to politicians that ended up being both election objectors and those who voted against investigating the January 6th insurrection.Does Pfizer plan to continue contributing to such politicians in the future? Please communicate my question and concerns to management.”
  8. Procter & Gamble
    • Phone: (800) 445-6937 // Email: mediateam.im@pg.com
    • Sample script: “Hi, there. I’m reaching out to express concern that Procter & Gamble’s political donations could be inadvertently endangering democracy. Specifically, I mean the $45,000 the company gave to politicians that ended up being both election objectors and those who voted against investigating the January 6th insurrection. Does P&G plan to continue contributing to such politicians in the future? Please communicate my question and concerns to management.”

This piece will be updated as appropriate when new corporate PAC filings are made public in July 2021.

Image: Artem Beliaikin via Unsplash