A number of major U.S. companies that have supported GOP conventions in the past have pulled their sponsorships from the 2016 edition, set to take place next week (July 18-21) in Cleveland, Ohio.
Some didn't specify their reasons for backing out, but Emily Lauer, a spokeswoman for the Cleveland host committee, told Bloomberg on June 16 that the lull in corporate commitments seemed to rise around the same time that Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Gov. John Kasich (R-OH) dropped out, leaving front-runner Donald Trump alone in the GOP field.
Yet "the sky is not falling," Lauer insisted. She told Bloomberg her nonpartisan Cleveland 2016 Host Committee had raised about $57.5 million of the group's $64 million goal for the convention, which is proof the party still garners a lot of support.
Although, it's interesting to note that $55.5 million of that donation amount came in early April, weeks before Trump had emerged as the GOP's presumptive nominee on May 4, reported Cleveland.com on June 17.
Here's a look at the corporations that have backed out of the GOP gathering next week and what they've donated in the past...
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Atlanta-based package shipping leviathan United Parcel Service Inc. (NYSE: UPS) will not be sponsoring the GOP convention this year, though it donated $400,000 in cash and services to the GOP convention in 2012 and a similar amount to the Republicans in 2008.
Company CEO David Abney has been an outspoken Trump critic. On April 20, he told attendees at a luncheon in Atlanta that opportunities in emerging markets and other parts of the global economy should triumph over presidential candidates' "trade bashing."
"Notice I said 'triumph,' I did not say 'trump,'" Abney quipped, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported on April 20. "I have a Mississippi accent, I know that. So I have to watch my words."
Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) made headlines after Politico reported on June 18 the tech giant wouldn't be supporting the GOP convention this year. The company's decision not to stemmed from Donald Trump's divisive statements on Muslim immigrants, reported Politico.
You see, Apple CEO Tim Cook has publicly supported diversity and the fair treatment of undocumented immigrants, women, and minorities. Apple set a new corporate/political standard by explicitly telling Republican leaders that Trump's bigoted rhetoric is the reason that they're sitting out, reported Politico.
Apple donated $165,000 in computers and other tech gear for the 2008 GOP gathering. It also loaned iPhones to organizers of the 2012 Republican convention.
Now here's a tech darling that donated $1 million in cash and tech gear to the last two RNCs, only to turn around this year and say "you're not getting anything from us"...
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You see, HP has since split into two corporations:
- HP Inc., which sells personal computers and printers; and
- Hewlett Packard Enterprise, which sells commercial computer systems.
Neither company is donating to the GOP convention this year.
All because of Meg Whitman, the chairwoman of HP Inc. and CEO of spin-off Hewlett Packard Enterprise. Whitman has been a prominent Republican fundraiser over the years. She was also finance co-chairwoman for former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's campaign in 2012. But the tech CEO has been extremely outspoken about her disdain for Donald Trump, likening him to fascist dictators like Hitler and Mussolini on June 10, according to The Washington Post.
Whitman has also called Trump "a dishonest demagogue" and said his nomination would be "disastrous for the party," reported ABC News today.
The Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE: KO) contributed $666,000 to the GOP convention in 2012 but is dramatically drawing back the amount it is giving this year. Though the corporation already gave $75,000 to both parties' conventions this time around, those donations took place in 2015. Coca-Cola has since stressed to various anti-Trump groups that it will not give a penny more, reported The Daily Beast on May 6.
Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE: WFC), which gave $500,000 to each party's convention in 2012, will only give to the Democrats this time around.
On June 17, a Wells Fargo spokeswoman said that the company was pulling its sponsorship from the Republican National Convention because it has a history of contributing to cities in which it has a banking presence only.
Furthermore, she noted, the Democratic convention will actually take place at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.
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