Marriott has become the first major travel company to take a stand on political donations, following what happened this past week in DC.
Marriott will stop donating to certain politicians
It has been revealed that Marriott’s political action committee (PAC) will no longer donate to campaigns of lawmakers who challenged the certification process of President-elect Joe Biden. As a Marriott spokesperson explains:
“We have taken the destructive events at the Capitol to undermine a legitimate and fair election into consideration and will be pausing political giving from our Political Action Committee to those who voted against certification of the election.”
While some companies have said that they’ll take the events of the past week into consideration when making future donations, not many have taken a hardline stand as of now.
What politicians did Marriott donate to?
I had never actually looked at this before, so it was a fun rabbit hole to go down. First of all, it’s interesting to see how Marriott’s political donations have changed by election cycle. In the past the company would donate overwhelmingly to Republicans, while in recent cycles that trend has changed significantly.
According to Open Secrets:
- In 2000, Marriott donated $3,000 to Democratic candidates, and $130,900 to Republican candidates
- In 2020, Marriott donated $108,500 to Democratic candidates, and $89,500 to Republican candidates
- It was the 2010 election cycle where Marriott went from donating more to Republicans to donating more to Democrats
What did Marriott’s PAC donate to in 2020? Here are some notable politicians and PACs that got Marriott’s money:
- Marriott donated a total of $2,000 to organizations associated with Missouri Senator Josh Hawley, who was trying to overturn the election results; this includes $1,000 for the “Hawley Victory Committee,” and $1,000 for the “Fighting for Missouri PAC”
- Not related to this situation specifically, but Marriott also donated $1,500 to the campaign of Senator David Perdue in Georgia
- Conversely, Marriott donated $2,500 to a PAC associated with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi
- But then Marriott also donated $1,000 to “Heartland Values PAC,” associated with South Dakota Senator John Thune
As you can see, we’re not talking about huge amounts here — it’s not the amount that’ll do much damage to these politicians, but rather the sentiment.
I don’t understand big companies making political donations
This is more a general thought on my part rather than specific to this situation, but I don’t really get the way that big corporations go about making donations. I mean, I get it — they want to make donations here and there in hopes of politicians viewing them favorably when in power.
However, the approach big companies take towards donations are incredibly inconsistent. Like, what does a company actually stand for if it supports both Nancy Pelosi and Josh Hawley?
I mean, I guess I can answer my own question — companies stand for nothing and are just trying to be viewed as favorably by all politicians as possible. But still…
Marriott has become the first major travel brand to pledge that it won’t make donations to politicians who tried to overturn the electoral votes. In practical terms that seems to mean the company won’t make any donations to Josh Hawley going forward, at least based on my review of the list that Marriott’s PAC has donated to.