A new report by watchdog group Accountable.US finds two Texas oil companies have donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to members of Congress who voted against certifying the 2020 election results.
The two companies, Irving-based ExxonMobil and San Antonio-based Valero Energy, joined other Fortune 500 corporations and trade groups in 2021 in spending $8.1 million to financially back these members.
ExxonMobil spent $61,000 in campaign contributions and Valero Energy spent $112,500, according to the report that combed through Federal Election Commission filings.
The recipients include House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and nine Texas lawmakers: Reps. Brian Babin, Jodey Arrington, Randy Weber, John Carter, August Pfluger, Beth Van Duyne, Troy Nehls, Ronny Jackson and Michael Cloud.
Valero Energy was among the list of major companies who paused their political contributions after the Jan. 6 Capitol attack. Six months later, the oil refiner began donating to Republicans who voted to overturn the results.
Both companies have also contributed to the re-election of Gov. Greg Abbott, who led Texas Republicans in passing Senate Bill 1, a new law passed in response to Trump’s election myth that has made it more difficult to access the ballot box.
In a statement, Accountable.US President Kyle Herrig said major corporations like ExxonMobil and Valero Energy were quick to condemn the insurrection and tout their support for democracy, but quickly cut big checks to the very politicians that helped instigate the failed coup attempt.
“The increasing volume of corporate donations to lawmakers who tried to overthrow the will of the people makes clear that these companies were never committed to standing up for democracy in the first place,” Herrig said. “Even as democracy continues to be in the crosshairs of powerful purveyors of the Big Lie, these CEOs would rather amass political influence than stand up for their customers, shareholders, and employees.”
Other major companies listed in the report for contributing to the “Sedition Caucus” include Boeing, which contributed $190,000, Chevron ($62,500), FedEx ($58,500), Pfizer ($49,500) and General Motors ($92,500).
Fernando covers Texas politics and government at the Texas Signal. Before joining the Signal, Fernando spent two years at the Houston Chronicle and previously interned at Houston’s NPR station News 88.7. He is a graduate of the University of Houston, Jack J. Valenti School of Communication, and enjoys reading, highlighting things, and arguing on social media. You can follow him on Twitter at @fernramirez93 or email at email@example.com