U.S. markets open in 44 minutes
  • S&P Futures

    3,765.50
    0.00 (0.00%)
     
  • Dow Futures

    30,899.00
    +21.00 (+0.07%)
     
  • Nasdaq Futures

    12,411.00
    -44.00 (-0.35%)
     
  • Russell 2000 Futures

    2,152.20
    +7.70 (+0.36%)
     
  • Crude Oil

    65.22
    +1.39 (+2.18%)
     
  • Gold

    1,688.00
    -12.70 (-0.75%)
     
  • Silver

    25.06
    -0.41 (-1.59%)
     
  • EUR/USD

    1.1925
    -0.0054 (-0.45%)
     
  • 10-Yr Bond

    1.6120
    +0.0620 (+4.00%)
     
  • Vix

    28.03
    +1.36 (+5.10%)
     
  • GBP/USD

    1.3821
    -0.0073 (-0.53%)
     
  • USD/JPY

    108.3650
    +0.3890 (+0.36%)
     
  • BTC-USD

    47,843.02
    -1,533.74 (-3.11%)
     
  • CMC Crypto 200

    956.40
    -30.81 (-3.12%)
     
  • FTSE 100

    6,652.71
    +1.83 (+0.03%)
     
  • Nikkei 225

    28,864.32
    -65.78 (-0.23%)
     
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Companies donated $170M to GOP election objectors: RPT

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Public Citizen's Research Director Mike Tanglis joined Yahoo Finance Live to discuss how $170 million was donated by companies to GOP election objectors and what this means for these politicians moving forward.

Video Transcript

- We want to get to a new report out here by Public Citizen's, a report finding that companies and industry groups donated a total of $170 million to GOP members who objected to the 2020 election results. And for more on that, we want to bring in Mike Tanglis. He is a research director at Public Citizen and also co-author of this report. And, Mike, great to have you on the program. In total we saw 147 members of Congress object to these results. Just run us through the companies and the industry groups here that have donated the most to these lawmakers over the past couple of years.

MIKE TANGLIS: Sure. So what you see in our report is that a lot of household names, their corporate PACs have contributed a lot of money to these 147 individuals and also some of the biggest trade associations in the company. So the National Association of Realtors, the National Bankers Association, the National Automobile Dealers Association. They've all contributed large sums of money, all of them more than a million, to these 147 members that have voted against certification last week.

- Any expectation, though, that three months from now they won't just very quietly start donating again?

MIKE TANGLIS: That's a very good question. I think that's very likely. I think what you see in a lot of the responses from these companies in the trade associations are-- is they use phrases like we're pausing, we're suspending, we're going to review it. So to us, and certainly to a cynic like me who studies this stuff, you see-- you can see a scenario where just in a couple of months they'll test the waters to see, OK, can we start it up again without people noticing. And I think that's very likely to happen. And there have been a few that actually have already concretely said they would not do it anymore, but those are a small number.

- And, Mike, if we do see, though, companies follow through and continue to distance themselves from these lawmakers, what kind of effect-- I guess, how significant of an effect could that have?

MIKE TANGLIS: It's a great question. So there's a couple of things to consider when you talk about the effect it could have. So if it's just a single PAC-- I'll give you example here. A single pack can contribute $10,000 to a candidate in a cycle. So if just a couple of those packs decide we're done, it really has no effect. Now, let's just say, hypothetically, 30 PACs decided that they would all stop giving, right, that would end up being a lot more money. So it would go up into $300,000 in a cycle, so that will matter. But it's important to note that when it comes to PAC spending, it is a small percentage or a smaller percentage of the overall contributions these politicians receive. So, for example, if a PAC can only give $10,000 in a cycle, just two executives contributing the maximum in a cycle would be more than that.

And there's also another important thing to remember about where else these companies and trade groups put their money and they put them in the super PACs. So recently there was a story about Charles Schwab deciding to close down their PAC. There was an article today online in the Daily Poster pointing out that Charles Schwab, himself, actually contributed millions of to Republican super PACs last cycle that then went and contributed to all of these-- or helped out these same politicians. So there's going to be-- it could have an impact. But if they decide to shut down PACs and just ramp up super PAC spending, there could be even more money flowing around. So our point that we try to make it Public Citizens, if you're going to shut down the PAC, you have to stop contributing to super PACs and you have to stop contributing other outside groups-- dark money groups that spent in elections as well.

- Any expectation that the incoming Biden administration and the Congress, which will be Democrats in the first 100 days, would finally address campaign finance reform because both sides are guilty of dipping their hand deep into that dark money?

MIKE TANGLIS: It's a great question. You see some quotes coming out from some Democrats where there sort of seem to be a little weary and almost complaining saying, "don't punish us all for this." So, you know, we hope at Public Citizen that there will be some appetite for it, certainly now that the Democrats control all three. There is a chance of it happening, so we hope to get some things through. Most likely what will happen is we'll get some advancements on transparency and things like that, but, obviously, as long as Citizens United is still the law of the land, they're limited in what they can do.

- Mike Tanglis, great to have you on, research director at Public Citizens.