Among more than 100 corporate and trade association PACs that said they would change their donation practices following the events of Jan. 6, contributions this year “totaled just $50,150 in January, compared with more than $2.7 million in January 2019, at the same point in the election cycle, a CQ Roll Call analysis of disclosures with the Federal Election Commission found.”
Of the four party campaign committees—the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, and the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC)—the NRSC had the smallest drop in corporate PAC contributions, though all saw a drop of more than 90%. Eight Republican senators voted against certifying the electoral votes of at least one state.
Corporate PAC money isn’t the big money anymore for most politicians. For many Republicans, what matters is outside dark money—attack ads run against their Democratic opponents by groups with secret donors and no morals. Those groups can’t officially coordinate with campaigns, but they’re also not subject to contribution limits. For many Democrats, small-dollar donations are the answer to that big Republican money.
The PACs in the CQ Roll Call analysis dropped from giving a total of around $2.7 million in 2019 to giving less than $50,000 at the same point in 2021—a big drop in the giving by these groups, but a small drop in the overall fundraising by all candidates and committees. For comparison, the NRCC raised $7.4 million and the DCCC raised $7 million in January.
You never want to cheer on corporate campaign giving, which is a bad force in U.S. politics. Nonetheless, having the response to specifically Republican offenses be a punishment to Republicans and Democrats both is maybe the most offensive kind of both-sides behavior we’ve seen yet in a political environment filled with it.