Toyota, the auto manufacturer, has announced that it is — for now — ending contributions to Republican members of Congress who voted in favor of overturning the presidential election results. This announcement marks a reversal from the company’s previous approach. This year, they’ve sent donations to 37 of the 147 Republican members of the House and Senate who voted against certifying Biden’s presidential election wins in certain states. Initially, after public backlash, Toyota stood by their financial support for the 37 Republicans in question — but now, their stance has changed.
In a statement, the company revealed as follows:
‘Toyota is committed to supporting and promoting actions that further our democracy. Our company has long-standing relationships with Members of Congress across the political spectrum, especially those representing our U.S. operations. Our bipartisan PAC equally supports Democrats and Republicans running for Congress…. We understand that the PAC decision to support select Members of Congress who contested the [2020 election] results troubled some stakeholders. We are actively listening to our stakeholders and, at this time, we have decided to stop contributing to those Members of Congress who contested the certification of certain states in the 2020 election.’
Read their statement below:
— Riley Beggin (@rbeggin) July 8, 2021
Previously, a Toyota spokesperson insisted to Axios that the company did “not believe it is appropriate to judge members of Congress solely based on their votes on the electoral certification” — although that’s a pretty foundational issue! Whether or not individual members of Congress voted to certify the outcome of last year’s presidential election reveals whether or not they were willing to accept the democratic process as it stands in the United States.
For 147 Republicans in Congress — including 37 who benefited from donations from Toyota this year — the answer was that they were, in fact, ready to back the discarding of the functions of democracy in this country. The presidential election results that came before Congress for a vote constituted the tested outcome of this democratic process. Republicans who voted against accepting the results may have claimed that what they wanted to go with instead was some better version of so-called democracy, but what they really backed amounted to an authoritarian takeover in Donald Trump’s name.