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Altria’s PAC Reports First Donation to an Election Results Objector

in Sludge
on July 15, 2021

Several companies that said they were indefinitely pausing their PAC donations after January 6 are confronting the reality of wanting to help re-elect pro-business allies to Congress and are back to supporting Republicans who objected to certifying 2020 presidential election results. 

Of the six senators who voted in favor of sustaining Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Rep. Paul Gosar’s (R-Ariz.) objection to the Arizona results, only Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) is up for re-election in 2022. According to Kennedy’s FEC report for the second quarter of 2021, he got donations from two corporate PACs whose parent companies said they were going on indefinite pauses. 

A spokesperson for tobacco company Altria said in January that the company strongly objected to the violence at the Capitol and that it was suspending its PAC giving to “re-examine our existing contribution criteria and guiding principles.” The company ended its PAC suspension on Feb. 24 and began donating to non-objecting Republicans and Democrats. On June 30 it donated $2,500 to Kennedy. 

The Kennedy donation appears to be Altria’s first donation to an election objector since restarting its PAC, according to a review of FEC filings. 

Government contractor Lockheed Martin paused its PAC in January to make sure its contribution strategy reflected its “core values.” Its pause lasted until April 1, and in May and June it made donations to Kennedy totaling $2,000. Lockheed’s PAC donated to several other election results objectors in the House in May, according to its FEC filings. 

Kennedy is a member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security, which plays a key role in approving funding for contracts with the Department of Homeland Security, including those that have been awarded to Lockheed Martin. 

Louisiana’s Senate seat is a lock for the Republicans, according to Cook Political Report.