Kansas City-based Hallmark Cards Inc. is demanding Sens. Josh Hawley of Missouri and Roger Marshall of Kansas return donations its PAC has made to their campaigns, citing their efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.
Hawley was the first senator to commit to objecting to the certification of electoral votes declaring Joe Biden the winner. Marshall was among a handful of senators who supported Hawley’s efforts.
The company is joining a chorus of Hawley critics — and many longtime supporters — who say Missouri’s junior senator bears some of the blame for a pro-Trump mob storming the U.S. Capitol last week, resulting in several deaths.
“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’s spokeswoman, JiaoJiao Shen, said in an email to The Independent. “The recent actions of Sens. 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.”
The company’s PAC gave Hawley $3,000 and Marshall $5,000. The news of their demand was first reported by the newsletter Popular Information.
After weeks of President Trump proclaiming the election was stolen, and Hawley publicly questioning the outcome in at least one state, a mob stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday to block the certification.
Hawley has faced withering criticism, and calls for his resignation, for stoking unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud. His political mentor, former U.S. Sen. John Danforth, called his support for Hawley the “worst mistake I ever made in my life,” and his largest donor called for Hawley to be censured by the U.S. Senate.
Hawley’s spokeswoman did not respond to a request for comment on Hallmark’s announcement.
Several corporations have said publicly that the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol last week is forcing them to reconsider how they dole out political contributions.
Morgan Stanley, Marriott and Dow are all suspending PAC contributions to members of Congress who did not vote to certify the results of the Electoral College. Others, such as Goldman Sachs, are freezing all political donations.
Missouri Independent is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a public charity. It can be found at missouriindependent.com.