The intent is provide examples of companies that generally contribute to Republican candidates and causes and those that contribute to Democrat candidates and causes. Many companies contribute to both parties. Understanding the flow of money through the political system leads to an understanding of the source of political influence on politicians and helps explain how they vote.

Why is it important for us to know about these companies? First, if you want to “vote with your dollars”, it is helpful to have a list. Second, money has always had a tremendous influence on American politics, but now that influence is unprecedented. The 2010 Citizen’s United Supreme Court decision unleashed an avalanche of undocumented and untraceable cash into our election system. Of the $1 billion spent in federal elections by super PACs since 2010, nearly 60 percent of the money came from just 195 individuals and their spouses, according to the Brennan Center report.

Just stop for one moment and think about that statement. Total US population is 330M and out of that 330M, 195 people and their spouses spent 60% of the over 1 billion dollars spent on federal elections since 2010 through 2015. That is $ 600M spent by 195 people and their spouses. The imbalance of influence on our political system is beyond anything that we could ever imagine in the US. As we work on becoming more knowledgeable about politics . . .  knowing which companies/people contribute, how much, when and how will give us insight and a way to “connect the dots.”

Read April 2017 article, Bill O’Reilly and the Upside of Corporate Cowardice, on Fox News firing Bill O’Reilly as a result of corporations pulling advertising from his show.

Read another April 2017 article with more on Bill O’Reilly, advertising and the role of women’s buying power.

Below are sites that can help you get started

Below are some of the most well known, and easily recognizable brands, contributing to Republican candidates or causes. This list is not comprehensive or up to date, just pointing you in the right direction. In fact we should expect companies to change columns as they make public statements in favor, or not in favor, of policies.

RESTAURANTS, FOOD, BEVERAGE

  1. Brinker International (Maggiano’s, Brinker Cafe, Chili’s, On the Border, Macaroni Grill, Crazymel’s, Corner Baker, EatZis) (83%)
  2. Carl Jr.
  3. Chik-a-fil
  4. Conagra Foods (83%)
  5. Coors ( 92%)
  6. Darden Restaurants (Red Lobster, Olive Garden, Smokey Bones, Bahama Breeze) (89%)
  7. Domino’s Pizza
  8. Hardees
  9. McDonald’s Corp. (86%)
  10. Outback Steakhouse (96%)
  11. Papa John’s Pizza
  12. Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. chicken (100%)
  13. Smithfield Foods Inc. (88%)
  14. Tricon Global Restaurants (KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell) (87%)
  15. Waffle House (100%)
  16. Wendy’s Int’ l. (93%)
  17. Yuengling Beer

OIL AND GAS

  1. Anadarko Petroleum (92%)
  2. ChevronTexaco (87%)
  3. ConocoPhillips Spirit (89%)
  4. ExxonMobil (96%)
  5. Halliburton (91%)

RETAIL

  1. 3M Co. (87%)
  2. B. F. Goodrich tires (97%)
  3. Baxter Healthcare Corporation (81%)
  4. Cigna Corporation (83%)
  5. Ford Motor Company (84%)
  6. Goodyear Tire (89%)
  7. Home Depot (89%)
  8. Illinois Toolworks (97%)
  9. J. C.Penney Corp. (89%)
  10. Owens Corning (83%)
  11. Mariott International, (81%)
  12. WalMart, ($467K, 97%)

OTHER

  1. Branch Banking & Trust Co (90%)
  2. Catepillar (89%)
  3. Harris Corp. (98%)
  4. International Paper (90%)
  5. Meadwestvaco Corp (90%)
  6. National City Corp. (95%)
  7. National Rifle Association
  8. Timken Corp. (91%)

I highly recommend reading is Dark Money by Jane Mayer. It is a very thorough and well researched book about the evolution of the role of money in our politics, specifically conservative Republican money, the Koch brothers, the huge, sophisticated integrated network of relationships and money that have drastically changed the political landscape in America in recent years.   AMWAY Although new legislation has prohibited “pyramid schemes” Amway’s “multi-level marketing” system barely skirts these laws and the company has been sued multiple times by its own distributors (see this video). 100% of political donations made by Amway and the DeVos family go to Republican causes.

  • Betsy DeVos, the new administration’s pick for Secretary of Education, is heir to the Amway fortune and has proposed a dismantling our public education system.

KOHLER CO.

The Wisconsin-based plumbing giant is run by Terry Kohler, one of the top Republican donors in the country. Typically big Republican donors receive favorable treatment from Wisconsin governor Scott Walker in exchange for campaign contributions. 100% of political donations made by the Kohler’s are for Republican causes.

PHILLIPS INTERNATIONAL INC.

The Washington-based publisher puts out more than 100 magazines, newsletters, directories, and market studies aimed at the financial industry. 100% of political donations made by Phillips go to Republican causes.

THE EATON CORPORATION

And their subsidiary, Cooper Industries, produce electrical equipment for power plants, airplanes and automobiles. Despite being headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, the company contributes tens of thousands of dollars each year to Republican PACs, and almost none to those associated with Democrats. The company also spends over a million dollars a year lobbying political candidates, a move that has resulted in numerous lucrative government contracts..

FLOWERS FOODS

The Georgia-based maker of Wonder Bread, Nature’s Own, Whitewheat, Dave’s Killer Bread and many other packaged bakery products has given nearly 100% of their political donations to Republican causes. In fact, over the past three decades, even the Koch brothers have given more money to Democratic candidates than Flowers.

3M COMPANY (80%)

Brown-Forman Corp. (Southern Comfort, Jack Daniels, Bushmills, Korbel wines – as well as Lennox China, Dansk, Gorham Silver) (80%) are names on many bridal list.

JP Morgan Chase & Co and other banks

Many banks and financial institutions are usually major Republican contributors. ANOTHER ACTION TO TAKE In the world of online advertising, many companies are not aware, and do not keep close track of,where their ads appear. If you see an ad for a company you support on an extreme website such as Brietbart, call the company and voice your objection. As this article shows, you can make a difference by removing revenue from these biased sites.

Below are some of the most well known, and easily recognizable brands, contributing to Democratic candidates or causes. This list is not comprehensive or up to date, just pointing you in the right direction. There is less information available about Democratic contributions. It is unlikely that these companies will change their political orientation and are more likely to make public statements that reinforce their positions.

RESTAURANTS, FOOD, BEVERAGE

  1. Ben and Jerrys
  2. DC locations — Comet Ping Pong, Besta Pizza, Terasol, Prose and Politics and Beyond Borders (see pizzagate)
  3. Budweiser
  4. Grubhub
  5. Lifeway Food
  6. Oreos
  7. Penzey’s Spices
  8. Pepsico
  9. Starbucks

OIL AND GAS

 

RETAIL

  1. Amazon
  2. Apple
  3. Costco
  4. Dell
  5. Facebook
  6. Google
  7. Instagram
  8. Lyft
  9. Macy’s
  10. Microsoft
  11. Netflix
  12. Nordstroms
  13. Target
  14. Twitter
  15. You Tube

OTHER

  1. Carrier
  2. Dreamworks
  3. National Football League
  4. National Basketball League

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Common Ground
We don’t need to search any further for common ground in our country. We have it.
We all want the same things – a safe, prosperous, free, democratic nation with opportunity for all. At the same time, we will all be harmed if our democracy, our free press, our Constitution and our core American values are threatened. We will all certainly be harmed if reckless behavior triggers any number of potential armed conflicts.

None of us know how this will all play out so let's make a deal. Let’s get up to speed on the issues, establish some facts, take action and watch what happens together . . .