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Travel companies suspend donations to certain legislators after violence on Capitol Hill

Marriott International Inc. and Airbnb are among other major corporations that are withholding political donations to lawmakers who voted against the certification of President-elect Joe Biden.

“We have taken into consideration the destructive events on Capitol Hill to undermine a legitimate and fair election and we will pause political donations from our Political Action Committee to those who voted against the election certification,” said the Marriott spokeswoman. , Connie Kim, in a statement.

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The decision comes after Marriott CEO Arne Sorensen condemned the violence on Capitol Hill on January 6, 2021.

“I recognize that we have associates who have very different views on the outcome of this election and the direction of the United States,” Sorenson wrote in an open letter on the Marriott website. “We serve guests who also have a wide range of opinions and perspectives. In the United States, we can use our voice and our vote to share our opinions. But what we cannot do is trample on the Constitution; we cannot use violence and terror. to force an agenda. It’s not who we are, and I would say it’s not what the vast majority of Americans want. “

Airbnb is also taking action. The company released a statement on the political action committee donations that read as follows:

“We have taken into consideration destructive events on Capitol Hill to undermine a legitimate and fair election and will pause political donations from our Political Action Committee to those who voted against the election certification,” said the spokeswoman for Marriott, Connie Kim.

Other major corporations have taken similar actions, including the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, Microsoft, and Facebook.

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The Chamber of Commerce calls Trump’s conduct “ inexcusable ” and pledges to curb certain donations.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the nation’s largest business lobbying group, condemned President Trump’s conduct that led to the Capitol building last week and said on Tuesday that lawmakers who supported his efforts to discredit the election would not would receive more financial support from the organization.

The criticism was the latest backlash against Mr. Trump and business Republicans, who united in their opposition to an assault on the Democratic process, and represented a major break in the traditional alliance between industry and the Republican Party.

“The President’s conduct last week was absolutely unacceptable and utterly inexcusable,” said Thomas J. Donohue, CEO of the Chamber of Commerce. “By his words and actions he has undermined our democratic institutions and our ideals.”

The group said it trusted Congress, the vice president and the cabinet to act “wisely” as it considered invoking the 25th Amendment or removing Mr Trump from office before his term expired. next week. The statement did not go as far as one released by the National Association of Manufacturers last week which explicitly called for the president to be removed from office.

The House runs a powerful political action committee that supports candidates across the country. Neil Bradley, the group’s policy director, said he was assessing how lawmakers voted last week in the electoral vote certification process and how they vote in the coming days when the House sets out to impeach Mr. Trump when making decisions about donations. He said lawmakers who did not respect democracy would no longer receive financial support.

Relations between the House and Mr. Trump have at times been strained. The group opposed its protectionist trade policies and efforts to restrict immigration, but supported its measures to cut taxes and roll back regulations.

In a state of US affairs address Tuesday, Donohue called on Biden to waive most of those tariffs and work with Congress on immigration reform legislation.

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Trump Camp Uses Online Gadget To Fund Donations Through December

Patrick Ruffini, a Republican pollster who previously worked in digital fundraising, said the Trump campaign’s digital marketing tactics reflected Mr. Trump’s personality.

“The president doesn’t have a filter, and there aren’t a lot of restrictions on what he’ll say or do from a fundraising standpoint either,” Ruffini said. He called the campaign an “optimization machine” designed to maximize revenue above all else.

“The corresponding inflation is a common joke,” Mr Ruffini said of the promised ghost matches which went from 500% in May to 600% in June, 700% in July and, sometimes, 900% – and now 1000. % in October. .

Julia Rosen, a Democratic digital fundraiser, likened the tactic to “giving kids candy instead of their Wheaties”: a temporary sugar spike followed by a crash. “If you start off by offering matches to donors, they like that, and it becomes a situation where then they’ll only give if you give them a match,” she says.

“They have optimized themselves in absurdity and parody,” she added of the Trump campaign.

Privately, some Republicans are questioning whether Mr. Trump’s campaign deployed such tactics far too early, depleting a list of supporters that had been seen as one of its most powerful assets. At this point, however, most see little problem with the more aggressive marketing tactics, arguing that the risk of deterring supporters was no worse than losing the election.

Mr. Trump’s campaign used a tool created by WinRed, the donation processing site, which automatically chooses supporters to donate additional for months, and it generated millions of dollars, according to people familiar with the topic. As early as June, the campaign had asked supporters to make a second donation on Mr. Trump’s birthday. The campaign announced a record-breaking $ 14 million online transport that day, but did not mention that it had racked up the pledged contributions in advance.

ActBlue, the Democratic donation processing site, began removing a feature that automatically allowed donors to make recurring donations from its platform earlier this year. A representative said no candidate is currently using the tool but declined to comment further. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, however, still uses the opt-in tool for automatic monthly donations. The Biden campaign directed some Facebook ads to existing donors specifically looking to convert them into weekly and monthly contributors, and landing pages after people clicked on those ads have the recurring donation option pre-verified.