Toyota Draws Controversy Over Donations to Election-Objecting Officials

Toyota is at the center of a controversy over political contributions it’s made since the January 6, 2021 attack on the United States Capitol. According to data gathered by the nonprofit Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), the Japanese automaker’s recent political donations have lined the pockets of 37 congress members who declined to certify the results of the 2020 election, which was won by President Joe Biden.

Although Toyota is far from the only major corporation to donate to members of Congress who voted against certification, its donation pool is far bigger than any other company that’s spent a minimum of $5,000 toward funding election-objecting members of congress. For reference, health insurance provider Cigna’s donations funded just nine election-objecting officials, or less than a quarter of Toyota’s reach, making its pool of recipients the second biggest after Toyota, per CREW. 

Whatever your leanings, Toyota has found itself in a political storm—a situation automakers don’t often find themselves in. Complicating matters is the fraught nature of the storm itself, one essentially pitting verifiable reality against the verifiably inaccurate stance of a major political party. As for how Toyota sees itself in all this, below is its statement to Axios:

“We do not believe it is appropriate to judge members of Congress solely based on their votes on the electoral certification. 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.” A Toyota spokesperson told MotorTrend that the company didn’t have anything to add to that statement.

To see the full list of companies, as well as the total donations made, that have contributed $5,000 or more to election-objecting members of congress, head over to CREW’s website. 

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