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Marriott, JPMorgan Chase and American Express Stop Political Donations After Capitol Attack

Marriott, JPMorgan Chase and American Express Stop Political Donations After Capitol Attack
Joe Cortez

Four brands well known in the travel and loyalty space are reconsidering where they place their political donations after a mob stormed the U.S. Capitol Building on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2020. Marriott International, JPMorgan Chase and American Express will make sweeping changes to whom they give contributions to based on their approach to the 2020 election certification.

Four major travel and loyalty-related brands are announcing changes to their political donation strategy days after an angry mob stormed the U.S. Capitol Building in an attempted insurrection. Marriott International, JPMorgan Chase, American Express and Citi are all announcing shifts in where they place political contributions, ranging from pausing all contributions, to stopping funding for those who opposed the 2020 election certification.

Marriott and Amex Stop Contributions to Objectors, while JPMorgan Chase Pauses All Political Funding

Leading the strategy shift in the travel space is Marriott International, the largest hotel and hospitality company in the world. Marriott announced they would no longer contribute to the campaigns of Republican lawmakers who objected certifying Joe Biden as president-elect of the United States in the hours after the mob ransacked the capitol and breached the chambers of the U.S. Senate

“We have taken the destructive events at the Capitol to undermine a legitimate and fair election into consideration,” Marriott spokesperson Connie Kim told Reuters, confirming other reports. “And will be pausing political giving from our Political Action Committee to those who voted against certification of the election.”

Joining Marriott in rethinking their political contributions are the two companies issuing their co-branded credit cards: American Express and JPMorgan Chase. Amex announced their employee-funded AXP Political Action Committee would no longer make campaign contributions to lawmakers who objected to the election certification.

“Last week’s attempts by some congressional members to subvert the presidential election results and disrupt the peaceful transition of power do not align with our American Express Blue Box values,” Amex chairman and CEO Stephen J. Squeri said in a statement. “Therefore, the AXP PAC will not support them.”

Citigroup, which issues co-branded credit cards for American Airlines, will join JPMorgan Chase in taking a neutral stance. After employees found Citi contributed $1,000 to the Republican senator from Missouri, Josh Hawley, the company announced in an internal memo reported by Reuters that they would stop all political contributions for the quarter. Chase says it will suspend political funding through their PAC for the next six months.

“The focus of business leaders, political leaders, civic leaders right now should be on governing and getting help to those who desperately need it most right now,” the statement from JPMorgan Chase reads, according to Reuters. “There will be plenty of time for campaigning later.”

Travel Brands Lead Changes in Political Contribution Strategies

The travel brands and financial institutions are being joined by a number of companies in changing their donation strategy. The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association and Walmart also told Reuters they will no longer financially support candidates who objected to the 2020 election certification.

At a corporate level, Internet Brands – the parent company of FlyerTalk – did not contribute to any political candidate in the 2020 election cycle. However, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, Internet Brands owner KKR & Co. contributed at least $5,000 to several campaigns, including those of Democrats Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi, and Republicans Mitch McConnell, Susan Collins and Thom Tillis.

View Comments (2)

2 Comments

  1. c502cid

    January 12, 2021 at 5:42 am

    So when politicians of both parties say they raised over $7M in a day it isn’t Ma and Pa Kettle sending in $5 each? Maybe the problem is banks donating in the first place……….

  2. Long Zhiren

    January 14, 2021 at 1:04 am

    If diversity is only skin deep, it’s not diversity and smacks any effort for true understanding, equality and justice. Racing to judgement and discrimination is not justice. It may be a fad of the day, but real leadership rises above that. Shame on the backwards leadership. If you discriminate against perceived discrimination, you become part of the problem, not the solution.

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