The products Americans buy can help fund seditionists and war criminals

St. Louis Post-Dispatch editorial board (TNS)

In the nearly 15 months since the Capitol insurrection, some major corporations have backtracked significantly on their pledge to deny campaign funding to the 147 members of Congress who voted against certification of the 2020 presidential election result.

Just to be clear: 147 members of Congress deliberately sought to undermine American democracy and subvert a legitimate presidential election to advance then-President Donald Trump’s lie that the election was stolen.

Those members deserved pariah status back then, and they still deserve it today. But some corporations that jumped on the bandwagon of national outrage after the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol insurrection have apparently had second thoughts. Maybe subverting democracy wasn’t such a bad thing after all. Or maybe advancing their corporate interests (translation: greed) is more important than maintaining a principled stand.

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The same holds true for major corporations still doing business in Russia despite that country’s war crimes and wanton destruction in Ukraine. Hundreds of companies answered the call to shut down their operations in Russia to make dictator Vladimir Putin rethink his invasion. But for others? Meh.

The corporations most deserving of exposure for their greed are those that have opted both to fund democracy-subverting members of Congress and to continue doing business in Russia. Top on the list is Koch Industries, whose motto is “Creating value. Transforming life.” Ten million displaced Ukrainians can certainly attest to how their lives have been transformed. Koch subsidiary Georgia Pacific, maker of household products that Americans encounter up and down their local supermarket aisles, asserts an “enduring partnership” in the promotion of human and civil rights. That will no doubt be reassuring to the journalists and dissidents poisoned, imprisoned, exiled or assassinated for having challenged Putin.

In this file photo, Republican incumbent candidates Scott Perry, left, and Lloyd Smucker greet each other during an appearance by Vice President Mike Pence who rallied at the Lancaster Airport in Lititz Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2018.  Both Perry, R-Carroll Township, and Smucker, R-Lancaster, on Jan. 6 opposed counting Pennsylvania's electors just hours after a pro-Trump mob stormed the U.S. Capitol.

Back home, Koch joins Boeing, American Crystal Sugar, General Dynamics and Valero Energy among the top corporate donors to congressional seditionists, according to the watchdog group Citizens for Ethics. Koch leads the way in the number of seditionist federal lawmakers who have received donations. Koch wasn’t among the corporations that signed onto condemnation statements after the Capitol Insurrection, but Valero joined Ford Motor Co. and Aflac in pledging a pause and a reevaluation of their campaigndonation policies. They apparently reevaluated in favor of looking the other way and resuming donations either directly to candidates or through their Republican congressional campaign committees.

After the 2020 presidential election, various state legislatures approved election laws designed to reduce minority participation. Hundreds of companies, including American Airlines, Ford, General Motors, and Johnson & Johnson — signed full-page ads in The New York Times and The Washington Post condemning discriminatory voting legislation. Yet Citizens for Ethics says many have backtracked and resumed funding members of Congress who opposed voting rights legislation.

Americans are not just voters; they’re consumers. If they don’t like feeding greed or supporting war criminals and seditionists, a really good option is to take their business somewhere else.

— From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch editorial board (TNS).