Cindy Hyde-Smith Has Not Refunded Campaign Contributions to Several Companies
Mississippi Sen. Cindy-Hyde Smith has not refunded some corporations’ campaign contributions, according to Federal Election Commission filings released Thursday.
Companies such as Pfizer, Facebook, Walgreens, Walmart, Union Pacific, Boston Scientific, Leidos, AT&T and Ernst & Young still have not received their donations back.
Her campaign filings show she returned contributions to the San Francisco Giants’ principal owner Charles Johnson and his wife, Ann, who each donated $2,700. The couple are major GOP donors.
She also returned $5,000 to Peter Zieve after a Popular.info showed he was a possible racist.
Hyde-Smith also returned campaign contributions to the National Cattlemen’s Association political action committee.
Her campaign lost more than $23,000 through refunds and stopped payments in November and December, including stop payments from Amgen and MLB.
While Hyde-Smith is not legally required to return the money, not doing so may make it harder for to raise money for future elections.
1. NEW: FEC filings released today reveal Cindy-Hyde Smith is NOT honoring requests from corporations for refunds of their campaign contributions.
Union Pacific, Boston Scientific, Walmart, Leidos, AT&T, Pfizer, Ernst & Young, Facebook and Walgreens did not get their money back
— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) December 27, 2018
Hyde-Smith and Mike Espy, her Democratic opponent, spent $6.6 million in the final weeks of their Senate race and Hyde-Smith spent more than $1.7 million to beat Espy in last month’s runoff.
Espy, a former Agriculture secretary, drew national attention and spent $4.8 million in his effort to become the Mississippi’s first black senator since Reconstruction.
The hotly contested Senate campaign was marked by a controversy over Hyde-Smith’s comments about attending a “public hanging,” which sparked controversy, given the state’s history of racially-charged lynchings.
Hyde Smith’s comments prompted major corporate donors, from Aetna to Major League Baseball to Facebook, to demand refunds of their political donations.
Aetna’s political action committee had contributed $2,500 and pledged to donate the money to fight racism.
“We’ve requested that Cindy Hyde-Smith refund our contribution to her Senate campaign following recent remarks that are highly offensive and simply unacceptable. We’ll redirect those funds to groups working to fight racism in our country,” according to an Aetna News (@AetnaNews) tweet on November 22, 2018.
T.J. Crawford, a spokesman for Aetna, said that Aetna has “made the request, but the funds have yet to be returned.”