More companies pause contributions to Hawley, others

Washington-DC

FILE – In this Jan. 6, 2021 file image from video, Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., speaks at the U.S. Capitol in Washington. At least four additional companies that have donated to Hawley have announced they are suspending campaign contributions. The announcements by Cerner Corp. in Kansas City, Ameren Corp. and Edward Jones in St. Louis and the Chicago law firm Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner adds to a growing list of donors who have cut ties to the Missouri Republican senator since the attack on the Capitol last week. (Senate Television via AP File)

O’FALLON, Mo. (AP) — Several more companies have suspended campaign contributions to Sen. Josh Hawley in the wake of last week’s attack at the U.S. Capitol, and a political action committee of Republicans opposed to President Donald Trump is pressuring remaining Missouri donors to abandon the GOP senator.

The health care IT firm Cerner Corp. based in Kansas City, Missouri, said Wednesday that it will suspend contributions “to any candidate or official who took part in or incited violence last week in Washington, D.C.” Spokeswoman Misti Preston said the company isn’t “naming specific names,” but Cerner’s political action committee has donated $10,000 to a Hawley-sponsored PAC over the past two years.

Late Tuesday, two St. Louis-based companies — the utility Ameren Corp. and the financial firm Edward Jones — said they were suspending campaign contributions. The Chicago-based law firm Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner also announced a halt, at least temporarily, to political contributions. The firm is based in Chicago but is among the largest in St. Louis.

Ameren, Edward Jones and the law firm have contributed to Hawley, who was a leader of efforts to challenge the 2020 presidential election results and voted to question the Electoral College count, even after a mob of Trump’s supporters broke into the Capitolon Jan 6.

Several prominent Missouri Republicans have distanced themselves from Hawley since the riot, including former Sen. John Danforth and major GOP donors Sam Fox and businessman David Humphreys.

Hallmark Cards, based in Kansas City, went even further, saying on Monday it wanted Hawley and Republican Sen. Roger Marshall of Kansas to return employee campaign donations. The company said its employees donated $7,000 to Hawley and $5,000 to Marshall during the last two years through the company’s PAC.

Steve Schmidt, a longtime Republican official and a founder of the anti-Trump Lincoln Project, wrote on Twitter Tuesday night that the group plans to purchase full-page ads in Missouri newspapers listing all of Hawley’s donors who are demanding their money back. It also plans to put a spotlight on those who are still financing Hawley’s “insurrection and sedition,” Schmidt wrote.

Email messages seeking comment from Hawley’s office were not immediately returned.

Ameren, in a statement, calledJan. 6 “a profoundly sad day in American history.” The company cited those “troubling events” as part of the reason it was suspending all federal PAC contributions.

Edward Jones said it decided to “pause” contributions to all elected officials.

“Our PAC has a long history of bipartisan advocacy, and we want to ensure that any elected officials we support share the values and the views of the firm. We strongly condemn the violence in our nation’s capital, and join with other CEOs, government and civic leaders and members of the business community in calling for a peaceful transition of power, which is a hallmark of our democracy,” a statement from Edward Jones said.

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This story has been corrected to show the Cerner comments came Wednesday, not Tuesday; Ameren and Edward Jones commented late Tuesday, not late Monday; and that Schmidt posted on Twitter Tuesday night, not Monday night.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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