Some of the most powerful trade associations in financial services are rethinking political donation strategies in light of last week’s siege of the U.S. Capitol by followers of President Donald Trump.
The desire to withhold campaign donations has spread across the corporate and trade association landscape in the days since the Jan. 6 uprising. Heath insurer Cigna will stop giving money to elected officials who “encouraged or supported violence” during the attacks on the Capitol. The insurer sent an e-mail to employees Tuesday explaining the company’s new position.
JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs and Citigroup were among the first major financial firms to say they are suspending political contributions.
While none of the industry trade associations have taken such a bold stance, all of the organizations contacted by InsuranceNewsNet said they are reviewing political donations carefully.
“We are having an active and robust discussion regarding our 2021 strategy that considers recent events,” said Armstrong Robinson, chief advocacy officer for Finseca.
The Center for Responsive Politics is a non-profit, nonpartisan research group based in Washington, D.C., that tracks the effects of money and lobbying on elections and public policy. According to its website, Open Secrets, leading financial services’ trade associations raised and donated the following amounts during the 2019-2020 election cycle:
The American Council of Life Insurers: Raised $1.17 million and donated $487,500 to Democrats and $379,500 to Republicans.
“ACLI condemned the violent attack on Congress last week and is reviewing PAC giving consistent with those values and the peaceful transfer of power that has distinguished the United States for more than 200 years,” said Jack Dolan, vice president of public affairs.
Finseca: Raised $835,216, and donated $286,500 to Republicans and $241,000 to Democrats.
“Democracy, on which our great nation is built, allows our citizens to use their voices and challenge our leaders to be better and do better,” said Armstrong Robinson, chief advocacy officer. “The work that Finseca does encourages our members to use their voice as a profession. It’s important that we not only serve the profession to the best of our ability, but with policymakers who embody our values.
“At the beginning of every cycle, we consult with our members, our Board of Directors and industry partners to develop a plan for political activity.”
The National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors: Raised $1.7 million and donated $689,500 to Republicans and $484,000 to Democrats.
“NAIFA and the IFAPAC Candidate Selection Group are carefully establishing our 2021-2022 election cycle budget and the events at the Capitol last week are being taken into consideration,” said Diane Boyle, senior vice president for government relations.
The National Association of Health Underwriters: Raised $1.3 million and donated $344,500 to Republicans and $409,000 to Democrats.
“We fully support a thoughtful process that allows our members to continue to engage in the political process through our PAC, which was created to enhance the ability of the voices of healthcare insurance agents and brokers to be heard,” a NAHU statement reads. “These voices are important to our country’s future. HUPAC will continue to monitor the events in DC and, as always review future contributions on a case-by-case basis.”
America’s Health Insurance Plans: Raised $288,877 and donated $143,500 to Democrats and $127,500 to Republicans.
“Our nation, the laws of our land, and the safety of our citizens and the political leaders who serve them, are paramount,” said Matt Eyles, president and CEO of AHIP. “These priorities will be front and center as we immediately review our policies governing political giving. At this time of global pandemic and economic downturn, there are so many health care and other enormous challenges that our nation must face and solve together.”
Money is typically given to chairpersons of relevant House and Senate committees. For example, Rep. Richard Neal, D-Mass, is chairman and Kevin Brady, R-Texas, ranking member of the powerful House Committee on Ways and Means.
Both Neal and Brady received $10,000 from ACLI and NAIFA, while Finseca donated $10,000 to Neal and $6,500 to Brady. Ways and Means played a key role in retirement security legislation in the 116th Congress.
InsuranceNewsNet Senior Editor John Hilton has covered business and other beats in more than 20 years of daily journalism. John may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @INNJohnH.
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