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January 15, 2021
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ESA suspends political contributions after assault on U.S. Capitol

ESA suspends political contributions after assault on U.S. Capitol

January 12, 2021 | By Bryant Francis




The Entertainment Software Association has announced it is suspending all political contributions from its political action committee after a number of Congressional Republicans supported by the PAC voted to overturn November's presidential election in which president-elect Joe Biden was the victor.

In a statement to GamesIndustry.biz, a spokesperson stated that "given the events and actions that led to the violence at the U.S. Capitol, we are pausing contributions from the ESA PAC as we reflect on the tragedy and our path forward."

The ESA's actions come after a number of congressional Republicans voted to overturn the results of November's U.S. presidential election, a cause that drove an angry, violent mob to storm Capitol Hill itself. GI.biz identified five Republicans whose campaigns received contributions from the ESA that voted to overturn the election.

Those representatives include House minority leader Kevin McCarthy, Earl "Buddy" Carter, Jay Obernolte, Jackie Walorski, and Bill Johnson. McCarthy received the largest contribution of $2,500.

Suspending contributions to political campaigns has become a popular affair for some large corporate donors, from Marriott Hotels to American Express, Dow Chemical, and more.

Some donors have only yanked contributions to politicians who supported the effort to overturn the election results. Others, like the ESA, have halted contributions to both Democrats and Republicans.

The ESA has teeter-tottered wildly in the last few years over its attempts to remain politically neutral in the face of an increasingly charged political atmosphere. On the one hand, it's condemned several of President Trump's racist comments and immigration policies.

On the other, it's voiced enthusiastic support for his corporate tax policies.

As Variety noted in a 2019 report, former ESA chief Michael Gallagher was apparently a huge fan of the President, who has been accused of inciting last week's riot and is now facing impeachment.

In the last few years of his tenure, Gallagher apparently started pushing for the organization to "publicly support Trump-backed policies when possible, a shift in behavior compared to his arms-length approach to the Obama administration."



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