NewsElection 2020

Actions

Hallmark asks senators involved in challenging election certification to return campaign donations

Josh Hawley
Posted at 3:11 PM, Jan 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-11 15:11:00-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City, Missouri-based Hallmark is asking Sens. Josh Hawley (R-Missouri) and Roger Marshall (R-Kansas) to return campaign contributions made by its political action committee in the wake of the riot at the U.S. Capitol last week.

“Hallmark believes the peaceful transition of power is part of the bedrock of our democratic system, and we abhor violence of any kind,” the company said in a statement confirming the request. “The recent actions of Senators Josh Hawley and Roger Marshall do not reflect our company’s values. As a result, HALLPAC requested Sens. Hawley and Marshall to return all HALLPAC campaign contributions.”

Hawley and Marshall were among 147 members of Congress, all Republicans, who voted against certifying Electoral College electors from two states last Wednesday in the hours after rioters overran the Capitol after a Trump rally.

HALLPAC, which is Hallmark’s political action committee, donated $5,000 to Marshall’s campaign and $3,000 to Hawley's campaign, according to OpenSecrets.org.

Marshall defeated Barbara Bollier in November to win his first term in one of the nation's most expensive and tightly contested races. He takes over the seat previously held by Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kansas, who is retiring.

The company did not make a donation to Bollier’s campaign.

Hallmark said in its statement that HALLPAC “supports elected leaders from a wide variety of viewpoints—including Democrats, Republicans and Independents.”

The company contributed $95,500 to federal candidates in 2019-20 with nearly two-third, or $63,000, going to support Republicans.

HALLPAC also gave money to several other congress members who voted against the certification of president-elect Joe Biden’s victory even after the proceeding last Wednesday were interrupted by the deadly riot, which resulted in five deaths.

Among the donations HALLPAC made include $6,000 to Rep. Sam Graves, R-Missouri, $2,000 to Rep. Vicky Hartzler, R-Missouri, $2,000 to Rep. Ron Estes, R-Kansas, $2,000 to Rep. Tracey Mann, R-Kansas, and $1,000 to Rep. Jake LaTurner, R-Kansas. All five House members voted against the certification of Arizona’s Electoral College electors and all except LaTurner — who tested positive for COVID-19 and was removed from the House Chamber — voted against the certification of Pennsylvania’s electors.

The PAC contributed to three other representatives who voted against certification — $5,000 to Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer, R-Missouri, $1,000 to Rep. Bill Long, R-Missouri and $5,000 to House Minority leader Kevin McCarthy, R-California.

Additionally, HALLPAC donated $5,000 to the Hawley Victory Committee, according to 2019-20 records.

Hallmark, which has consistently spent more in support of Republican candidates since 1990, hasn't said if it will ask for any of those other campaign contributions back.

HALLPAC also gave $3,000 to former Rep. Steve Watkins, a Kansas Republican who LaTurner defeated during the August primary before winning the seat in November’s general election.

Hallmark’s PAC also donated to two Democratic lawmakers from the Kansas City area. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II, D-Missouri, received $10,000, which was the largest donation made to any campaign, and Rep. Sharice Davids, D-Kansas received $6,000.

HALLPAC also contributed $2,500 to Rep. Ann Wagner, a Missouri Republican from the St. Louis area, who did not vote against certifying any Electoral College results.

This story was originally published by Tod Palmer on KSHB in Kansas City, Missouri.