Oklahoma’s congressional delegation could see political repercussions after all five of the state’s U.S. House of Representatives members voted against certifying President-Elect Joe Biden’s electoral college win.
An Oklahoma Watch analysis of campaign finance records found that nearly half of the 35 largest corporate donors to Oklahoma’s U.S. House delegation are either pausing all campaign contributions or specifically suspending donations to the 147 Republicans who voted to overturn the presidential election.
That vote took place hours after the Jan. 6 riot and failed insurrection at the U.S. Capitol that left five dead.
The five Oklahoma lawmakers collectively took in at least $568,000 during the 2020 election cycles from political action committees that are now vowing to review, pause or end contributions to those who voted for the election challenge, according to Oklahoma Watch review of companies that have made public announcements.
That would amount to almost 15% of the political action committee funding they received over the last two years.
The decisions by big-name donors come as executives and industry leaders have put at least some of the blame on President Trump and GOP lawmakers for inciting the riot or spreading misinformation about the election results.
Oklahoma’s two senators —Jim Inhofe and James Lankford — voted against the move to throw out millions of votes in those states.
But all five of the state’s U.S. House lawmakers — Reps. Stephanie Bice, R-Oklahoma City; Tom Cole, R-Moore; Kevin Hern, R-Tulsa; Frank Lucas, R-Cheyenne, and Markwayne Mullin, R-Westville — all supported throwing out millions of votes in the state-certified elections in Arizona and Pennsylvania.
None of these lawmakers, nor President Donald Trump or his legal team, have shown any evidence of widespread voter fraud in those states or elsewhere in the more than two months since Election Day.
Their attempt to stop the votes from counting failed as Congress went on to certify the election result, paving the way for Biden to be inaugurated Wednesday.
The state’s U.S. House delegation’s votes, however, could become costly when they are up for re-election in 2022.
Companies that have announced they are halting donations to the lawmakers who opposed the election result include big-spending donors like AT&T, Comcast, Verizon, Walmart and Amazon.
“At this crucial time, our focus needs to be on working together for the good of the entire nation,” Comcast, which is one of the top donors to Oklahoma’s House delegation, said in a statement. “Consistent with this view, we will suspend all of our political contributions to those elected officials who voted against certification of the Electoral College votes, which will give us the opportunity to review our political giving policies and practices.”
Several candidates for Oklahoma’s upcoming congressional and legislative primaries continue to push the lie that there was widespread fraud in the 2020 presidential election. With little pushback from party leaders, experts worry about the long-term effects.
Other companies and interest groups are taking a less aggressive stance, saying they are either reviewing their giving policies or at least temporarily suspending all campaign contributions in the aftermath of the failed insurrection.
This includes companies that have given thousands to Oklahoma’s delegation the past two years, such as Google, Lockheed Martin, Marathon Petroleum, McDonald’s, Microsoft, Boeing, American Airlines, UPS, Ernst & Young, ExxonMobil and Cox.
Trade groups, including the National Beer Wholesalers Association, which gave $40,000 to the state’s five U.S. representatives, and American Banks Association, which gave $39,500 to the delegation, similarly are pausing donations following their reviews.
Of the top 35 corporate political action committee donors to Oklahoma’s U.S. House delegation, 18 companies or trade associations haven’t announced changes to their political contributions or have said they are following their usual review process.
This includes several Oklahoma-based groups, including the Williams Company, ONEOK and Chesapeake Energy. All three did not return requests for comment from Oklahoma Watch on Friday.
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