Calls for a boycott of Toyota mounted on Monday after it was revealed that the company led in donations to Republicans who objected to certifying the results of the 2020 presidential election.
Axios reported on June 27 that out of the nearly three dozen PACs that have donated to Republicans who objectified to certifying the results, Toyota leads the group by a substantial margin.
Based on data from Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), Toyota gave $55,000 to 37 Republican objectors this year, more than twice as much as Cubic Corporation, a California-based defense contractor and the second company on the list.
This year, 34 other companies made donations of at least $5,000 to objectors include Koch Industries, health insurer Cigna, Deere & Company, AT&T, tobacco company Reynolds American Inc. and Applied Research Associates Inc. In total, 241 companies have donated to objectors.
Amid President Joe Biden’s electoral victory and former President Donald Trump’s promotion of the theory that the election had been stolen, 147 Republicans voted to overturn the election results.
In February, after the Jan. 6 Capitol attack, the company made a contribution to Rep. Andy Biggs, an Arizona Republican who has been one of the most vocal supporters of the theory that the election was stolen.
Toyota defended the contributions in a statement to Axios.
“Toyota supports candidates based on their position on issues that are important to the auto industry and the company. … We do not believe it is appropriate to judge members of Congress solely based on their votes on the electoral certification,” a spokesperson said.
“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.”
According to the CREW report, “nearly 200 corporations and industry groups said they would pause or altogether stop making political contributions” to Republicans who voted against certifying the election results.
However, 109 of the 147 objectors reported that they have received corporate or industry contributions since the insurrection. “Many have failed this test, some reneging on a promise to change their giving while others made no commitment and are giving like nothing ever happened,” the report says.
Online, users called for a boycott of the Japanese car manufacturer.
Steve Dworkin, co-founder of the Democratic Coalition, made it clear he isn’t interested in buying a Toyota. “Today’s a great day not to buy a Toyota,” he said in a tweet.
“We won’t purchase another Toyota again!” wrote Western New England University law professor Jennifer Taub.
Another user questioned if making the donations was worth it. “You’ve now lost exponentially more in future sales,” he said.
MSNBC journalist Joy-Ann Reid designated Toyota the “absolute worst” on “The ReidOut” on Monday night. “Shame on you, @Toyota for funding politicians who have chosen insurrection over democracy,” she wrote in a tweet.
“Hold on a second,” Reid said during the show. “If it’s not appropriate to judge politicians based on them not accepting the basic tenets of American democracy, then what would be appropriate?”