Supporters of US President Donald Trump protest outside the US Capitol

Toyota Has a Garbage Explanation for Being #1 Donor to Republicans Who Helped Incite the Capitol Riot

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According to a report from Axios, Toyota has donated tens of thousands of dollars this year to politicians who encouraged the January 6th insurrection by objecting to Joe Biden’s election certification.

The data was compiled by the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington and shows that nearly three dozen corporate PACs have made donations to election-objectors this year (meaning since the Capitol riot) but at $55,000, Toyota leads the pack by an incredible margin.

In addition to donating more than twice as much as the next-closest PAC, Toyota also donated to 37 election objectors—nearly five times as many as any other company. When asked what they had to say for themselves, Toyota really outdid itself and issued a statement that might actually be even worse than the donations themselves. (Maybe.)

“We do not believe it is appropriate to judge members of Congress solely based on their votes on the electoral certification,” a Toyota spokesperson told Axios.

The spokesperson did go on to say “Based on our thorough review, we decided against giving to some members who, through their statements and actions, undermine the legitimacy of our elections and institutions.” But Axios writes that “The spokesperson did not respond to a follow-up about the specific threshold for statements that cross that line.”

Toyota has actually been issuing that terrible statement for a while. After January 6, Toyota said it would be reevaluating its “future PAC criteria.” It was one of more than 100 companies that said they would cut ties (to varying degrees) with Republicans who objected to the 2020 election certification and helped incite the insurrection. But back in April, Popular Information reported that many of those companies had done nothing of the sort. At the time, Toyota gave the outlet the same statement we’re hearing now, which, as Popular Info’s Judd Legum pointed out, was “taken word-for-word from a memo issued by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in March.”

In May, the company also told Business Insider“Toyota supports candidates based on their position on issues that are important to the auto industry and the company.”

One of those candidates whose position on auto industry issues apparently outweighs his position on sedition is Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona. Axios writes that Biggs “has been one of Congress’ most vocal election conspiracy theorists. According to an organizer of the ‘Stop the Steal’ rally prior to the Capitol attack, Biggs also helped put on that event, a charge Biggs has denied.”

So Toyota might not have donated to Marjorie Taylor Greene or Josh Hawley, but it seems entirely disingenuous to pretend like they have any sort of ethical standard that matters.

(via Axios, image: ALEX EDELMAN/AFP via Getty Images)

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Vivian Kane
Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.