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Companies pausing donations to Hoosier elected-officials who challenged election results

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Fort Wayne's NBC) - Several companies are pausing or pulling their political donations from several elected-officials who challenged the 2020 presidential election results.

Many companies including Boeing, Comcast, AT&T, Home Depot, Disney, and General Motors are pausing or pulling their political contributions from elected-officials who challenged the Electoral College results.

According to WISH-TV, an Indianapolis based news station, Indiana-based company Eli Lilly & Co. will "suspend political giving to those who voted against certification of the 2020 election results."

They reported four Indiana elected-officials who voted against the electoral results received donations from LillyPAC in the most recent election:

  • Rep. Jim Banks, a Republican from Columbia City: $10,000.
  • Rep. Jackie Walorksi, a Republican from Jimtown: $10,000.
  • Rep. Greg Pence, a Republican from Columbus who is the brother of Vice President Mike Pence: $5,000.
  • Rep. Jim Baird, a Republican from Greencastle: $1,000.

Fort Wayne's NBC News reached out to Congressman Jim Banks' office to get this response. A spokesperson with his office said he declined to comment.

We reached out to Michael Wolf, chair of Purdue Fort Wayne's Department of Political Science, to learn more about the announcements made by several companies.

https://twitter.com/louie_tran/status/1349173808318607365

Wolf said political contributions from businesses are not new, however, this type of announcement is not common.

"It's very uncommon to have political donors to make such a big public statement about withholding funds and the reason why, and the specific people from whom they're withholding, particular since Eli Lilly is such a big player in the state of Indiana. So that's big," Wolf said.

However, Wolf said the Eli Lilly's announcement would have a limited impact on Banks. He said the Congressman's largest political contributions come from the armed services industry.

Wolf said Banks and the armed services industry have a close relationship, and aligned interests. As a result, he said companies within the industry will not be influenced as much by the current political pressure.

However, Wolf said the companies who are taking a similar stand as Eli Lilly & Co. are taking a bit of a risk.

"These are elected officials," said Wolf. "Many of them are elected in districts that are not competitive. So that person is likely to get re-elected. You have in a sense, for the interest group, taking a huge chance on them turning on you, as far as public policy, so it's no small thing that happened."

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Louie Tran

Louie Tran is the weekend anchor for Fort Wayne’s NBC at 6 and 11pm and a weekday general assignment reporter. To share story ideas, please email him at ltran@wpta21.com.

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