Washington, D.C. — Today government watchdog Accountable.US released a new video calling out pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly’s baffling excuse for resuming political donations to members of Congress that voted against certifying the 2020 election not long after the insurrection on January 6th, 2021, a group that has been dubbed the Sedition Caucus. In the company’s own words: “Contributions from LillyPAC will continue to be in line with Lilly’s purpose to make life better.” The video features footage from the deadly Capitol riot and questions whose lives are “better” as a result and whether Eli Lilly prefers having political influence over a healthy democracy.
The election objectors in Congress tried to finish what the violent insurrectionists started by voting to throw out the election results. But Eli Lilly would have its customers and employees believe these super-spreaders of the Big Lie are somehow making ‘life better’ as they continue to recklessly undermine our democracy. Eli Lilly and other corporations rewarding those who welcomed a deadly coup attempt have no business claiming they are committed to our democracy. It’s obvious what Eli Lilly really values is having political influence they think can be leveraged into higher profits, no matter what dangerous views the politicians they support may hold.”
Kyle Herrig, president of Accountable.US
- In February 2022, Accountable.US sent a letter to Eli Lilly urging the company to weigh in on a matter related to the January 6th, 2021, insurrection given their political support for politicians who played a role in it. In an emailed response on February 10th, a representative from Eli Lilly’s PAC argued that the election objectors had effectively learned their lesson after the company temporarily paused its donations: “[W]e believe that our actions to pause our political contributions [to Republicans in Congress that voted against certifying the 2020 election] were heard—and had an impact.”
- Earlier this month, Accountable.US sent a follow-up letter to Eli Lilly asking how they concluded the Sedition Caucus learned their lesson considering nearly all their donations to this group came after a pivotal vote in the U.S. House on June 30th, 2021 to establish the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol – and every one of the election objectors, including Leader McCarthy, either voted against establishing it or didn’t bother to vote at all. In response, the company further defended their openness to giving to those who undermined our democracy, arguing: “Contributions from LillyPAC will continue to be in line with Lilly’s purpose to make life better.”
- The new video follows Accountable.US’ analysis finding Fortune 500 companies and corporate trade associations donated over $1.6 million in February 2022 alone to the ‘Sedition Caucus’ — bringing the total donations to over $11.5 million since the insurrection. By far the largest contributor to election objectors last month was retail giant Home Depot, having donated $140,000 – a substantial increase from the same month in 2018 and 2020. Like Eli Lilly, Home Depot stands by its behavior. In response to Accountable.US’ findings, a representative for Home Deport defended its exceptional generosity to the election objectors, which suggests that, for both Eli Lilly and Home Depot, political influence comes before a healthy democracy.
- Last August, Accountable.US launched its searchable tracker that allows the public to search Fortune 500 corporations and big corporate trade associations that have contributed to those in Congress that voted against certifying the 2020 election since January of 2021 — including corporations that made pledges to halt or pause donations to the lawmakers that perpetuated the Big Lie. In January, Accountable.US released a major report ‘In Bad Company’ highlighting the hypocrisy of numerous big-name corporations that have not followed through on their words of support for democracy.