Washington D.C. – On the heels of President Biden’s national address on the growing threats to democracy which is now the top concern among Americans, nonpartisan investigative research organization Accountable.US launched the ‘American Democracy Scorecard’ project today – a living, public interactive resource that scores all Fortune 100 companies’ actions around critical democracy issues. The project lays out corporations’ purported values and actions on helping protect our democracy and compares them to the companies’ political spending habits. In its initial review, Accountable.US found 66% of Fortune 100 companies received an F grade on their commitment to preserving democracy. The American Democracy Scorecard website is a living site that will be updated regularly.
The Scorecard website features a landing page that lays out the 100 company grades in an easily digestible and searchable fashion. Clicking on company names leads to summary pop-outs highlighting some of the criteria that led to each company’s score. Navigating further will lead users to detailed profiles that examine companies’ political spending – including donations to election objectors, to federal opponents of key voting rights bills, to state supporters of voter suppression tactics – and their corporate values, including public statements on democracy and voting rights, affiliations with special interest groups working to expand or undermine democracy, transparency in political activities, and other efforts such as providing voter information resources to customers or employees.
Americans overwhelmingly say corporations should stand up for democracy, yet we’re seeing the vast majority of major companies failing miserably. Corporate executives know their customers, employees, and shareholders want to buy from, work for, or invest in a company that shares their values, not just one that preserves its bottom line. They pay lip service to democratic ideals and the rule of law and then support policymakers peddling the Big Lie. At a time when threats to democracy are Americans’ top concern, everyone deserves to know whether a company's actions align with their purported values.
Corporations and their executives that use their power and influence to preserve democracy will only find it’s good for their business and the economy."
Kyle Herrig, president of Accountable.US
Accountable.US also created a customized campaign finance database with data from the FEC and 20 separate state political contribution databases to assist with scoring for this project.
At Issue: Based on several surveys, many corporations and Americans recognize our democracy is under assault (18 states passed 34 voter suppression laws since 2021). Many of these same corporations have made broad proclamations supporting democratic ideals while simply failing to help protect the democratic system under which they have thrived. In some cases, they continue to support policymakers and organizations that seek to restrict voting rights, engage in voter suppression efforts, baselessly question the integrity of our elections, and undermine our democracy as a whole. By measuring how well the rhetoric of these top corporations matches their actions and comparing them to one another, we hope this will serve as a lasting resource to make companies think twice about engaging in behavior that undermines democracy and can also harm their reputation. Just as important, this tool will help consumers and employees make more informed decisions about where to spend their hard-earned dollars or where to seek employment.
KEY INITIAL SCORECARD FINDINGS:
- Company scores breakdown by percentage: 66% of companies received an F; 16% of companies received a D; 5% of companies received a C; 13% of companies received a B; 0% of companies received an A
- Worst Scorers: The companies with the 10 worst scores, all receiving a failing grade: AT&T, Verizon Communications, Energy Transfer, Charter Communications, Comcast, Boeing, Exxon Mobil, Lockheed Martin, UnitedHealth Group, Pfizer. AT&T had the dubious distinction of earning the lowest score, with 10 out of 100.
- Industry Sector Trends: Nineteen sectors are featured in the project. The lowest average score for a sector is Telecommunication at 16. The highest average score for a sector is Automotive with an 83 (with only one company among the Fortune 100).
- Jan. 6th Statements vs Donations: Of the 100 corporations profiled:
- The top 5 donors to members of the Sedition Caucus (federal lawmakers who supported objections to certifying the 2020 election) since the insurrection are Home Depot, Boeing, UPS, Lockheed Martin, and Raytheon.
- 72 companies made a statement against January 6th.
- In 50 of these 72 statements, companies pledged to pause or suspend contributions — either to federal legislators or election objectors — for a period of time.
- Of the 50 that made pledges to pause or suspend, 33 of them later contributed to Sedition Caucus members.
- Federal $: Total Fortune 100 PAC Donations to Federal Lawmakers Who Opposed Voting Rights Legislation: $20.3M. Total Fortune 100 PAC Donations to Federal Lawmakers Who Opposed a Congressional January 6th Investigatory Body: $19.3 Million.
- State $: Total Fortune 100 PAC Donations to State Officials Who Voted for Anti-Voter Legislation: $6.2M. Total Corporate PAC Donations to State Officials Who Supported 2020 Election Audits: $988,000.
See All National Trends Identified in the ‘American Democracy Scorecard’ HERE.
POLLING: As the public continues to learn stunning details from the January 6th Committee on how Trump and many of his congressional allies directly incited the capitol riot, a June 2022 survey from Data for Progress found, “Fifty-seven percent of voters oppose corporations making campaign contributions to members of Congress who voted to overturn the election, including … 56 percent of Independents.” And a May 2022 Morning Consult survey found “64%+ of consumers say that a business with a public commitment to democracy shows the business cares about its customers, their employees, and has the right values.”