Major Charlotte companies reevaluating political donations after insurrection

Major Charlotte companies reevaluating political donations after insurrection

CHARLOTTE — Several Charlotte companies are reevaluating or temporarily halting political donations after last week’s insurrection at the US Capitol.

The statements come as companies nationwide are examining, and in some cases, requesting refunds of political donations to lawmakers who objected to the certification of presidential election results. In North Carolina, seven lawmakers voted to support one or both objections raised during the official certification of electoral votes: Reps. Dan Bishop, Ted Budd, Madison Cawthorn, Virginia Foxx, Richard Hudson, Greg Murphy and David Rouzer.

A spokesperson for Bank of America, Charlotte’s highest ranked Fortune 500 company, is has temporarily halted all PAC funding decisions.

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“For upcoming elections, we will take into account the appalling events of Jan. 6 before making any PAC decisions regarding those members,” a memo sent to employees, who have contributed to the company’s PAC, indicated. “We also will halt all PAC funding decisions for the immediate future while the new Congress and incoming administration establish their priorities and help the country unite and move forward from the lows we all experienced on Jan. 6.”

FEC records show the Bank of America Corporation Federal PAC has donated $9,000 to Budd since 2019 and $2,000 to Hudson in September 2020. The Bank of America Corporation State and Federal PAC contributed $3,500 to Rouzer since July 2019.

A spokesperson for Duke Energy said the company is pausing all federal political contributions for 30 days. The company said how members of Congress conducted themselves will factor into future support.

“We were shocked and dismayed by the events at the Capitol last week. Duke Energy is taking this very seriously and is taking a pause on all federal political contributions for 30 days,” said Erin Culbert, of Duke Energy. “During this time, we are evaluating Duke Energy-supported candidates’ values and actions to ensure they align to our values and goals. The way members of Congress conducted themselves in this critical time will be an important consideration in future support.”

According to FEC records, the Duke Energy Corporation PAC has donated $10,000 each to Hudson and Rouzer since March 2019, $4,500 to Foxx since December 2019, $4,000 to Budd since March 2019, $2,000 to Murphy since September 2019 and $1,000 to Cawthorn in September 2020

A spokesperson for Lowe’s said the company will factor last week’s events into future considerations.

“Lowe’s regularly evaluates our political giving,” a spokesperson for Lowe’s said. “As we assess candidates and elected officials, we will continue to rely on our established criteria and the actions of those we consider supporting. The events of last week factor into our future considerations.”

According to FEC records, the Lowe’s Companies PAC has donated $10,000 each to Foxx and Rouzer since March 2019, $9,000 to Hudson since March, $6,500 to Budd since March 2019, $5,000 to Murphy since November 2019 and $2,000 to Cawthorn since July 2020.

One of Charlotte’s newest major companies, Truist, is reviewing donation practices. The banks SunTrust and BB&T merged to form Truist in late 2019.

“We’re carefully reviewing our political engagement practices to assure that Truist supports candidates who exclusively advance unity and democracy,” Kyle Tarrance, Director of Media Relations for Truist, said.

According to FEC records, the Truist Financial Corporation Federal State & Local Political Action Committee, formerly SunTrust Banks Inc. Main Street Bankers PAC, donated to Budd in July 2019. The Truist Financial Corporation Political Action Committee, formerly Branch Bank and Trust Political Action Committee, contributed $10,000 to Budd since March 2019, $7,000 to Virginia Foxx since July 2019, $2,500 to Hudson in September 2019 and $2,500 to Rouzer in June 2019. The Truist Financial Corporation Federal PAC, formerly SunTrust Banks Inc. Political Action Committee, donated $7,500 to Budd since December 2019, $5,000 to Hudson in October 2020, $5,000 to Rouzer since March 2020, $5,000 to Cawthorn in October 2020 and $3,000 to Foxx in October 2020.

Bishop did not receive any political contributions PACs associated with Bank of America, Duke Energy, Lowe’s or Truist. Lawmakers mentioned in this story declined to comment or did not respond to inquiries from Eyewitness News.