NewsLocal News

Actions

Hallmark asks Sens. Hawley, Marshall to return campaign contributions

Josh Hawley
Congress Electoral College
Posted at 12:26 PM, Jan 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-12 14:53:01-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Hallmark is asking Sens. Josh Hawley and Roger Marshall to return campaign contributions made by its political action committee in the wake of the deadly Capitol riot last week.

“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 said in a statement confirming the request. “The recent actions of Senators 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.”

Hawley and Marshall were among 147 members of Congress, all Republicans, who voted against certifying Electoral College electors from two states last Wednesday in the hours after rioters overran the Capitol after a Trump rally.

HALLPAC, which is Hallmark’s political action committee, donated $5,000 to Marshall’s campaign and $3,000 to Hawley's campaign, according to OpenSecrets.org.

Marshall, a Kansas Republican, defeated Barbara Bollier in November in one of the nation's most expensive and tightly contested races. He takes over retiring Sen. Pat Roberts’ congressional seat.

The company did not make a donation to Bollier’s campaign.

Hallmark said in its statement that HALLPAC “supports elected leaders from a wide variety of viewpoints—including Democrats, Republicans and Independents.”

The company contributed $95,500 to federal candidates in 2019-20 with nearly two-third, or $63,000, going to support Republicans.

HALLPAC also gave money to several other congress members who voted against certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s victory even after the proceeding last Wednesday were interrupted by the deadly riot that left five people dead.

Reps. Sam Graves ($6,000) and Vicky Hartzler ($2,000) of Missouri along with Reps. Ron Estes ($2,000), Tracey Mann ($2,000) and Jake LaTurner ($1,000).

All five representatives voted against certification of Arizona’s Electoral College electors and all except LaTurner, who tested positive for COVID-19 and was removed from the House Chamber, voted against certification of Pennsylvania’s electors.

The PAC contributed to three other representatives who voted against certification, Reps. Blaine Luetkemeyer ($5,000) and Bill Long ($1,000) of Missouri and Rep. Kevin McCarthy ($5,000), a California Republican and the House Minority Leader.

Additionally, HALLPAC, which has consistently spent more in support of Republican candidates since 1990, donated $5,000 to the Hawley Victory Committee, according to 2019-20 records.

Hallmark wouldn't say if it would ask any other candidates to refund donations, but said it was pausing donations as it reviews its policies.

"We have no additional comments beyond what we shared yesterday (Monday)," a company spokesperson said in a statement emailed Tuesday to 41 Action News. "HALLPAC is currently evaluating its giving policies and does not plan to make any contributions until that process is complete."

HALLPAC also gave $3,000 to former Rep. Steve Watkins, a Kansas Republican who LaTurner defeated during the August primary before winning the seat in November’s general election.

Hallmark’s PAC also donated to two Democratic lawmakers from the Kansas City area. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II of Missouri received $10,000, which was the largest donation made to any campaign, and Rep. Sharice Davids of Kansas received $6,000.

HALLPAC also contributed $2,500 to Rep. Ann Wagner, a Missouri Republican from the St. Louis area, who did not vote against certifying any Electoral College results.