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Corporations defund Bergman

To the editor:

The first quarterly report of the Federal Election Commission makes clear that many corporations that donated to Bergman’s 2020 campaign have, so far, defunded him for his 2022 campaign. Their decision is no doubt a result of Bergman’s promoting the Big Lie that Donald Trump won the 2020 election and his voting against certification of the election of Joseph Biden on Jan. 6. It is hard to believe that he voted the way he did immediately after the insurrection in the Capitol Building with its link to white supremacy.

The responses of CEOs of two corporations to the Jan. 6 riot are worth noting–the American Bankers Association (ABA) and the Credit Union National Association (CUNA). Each company donated $20,000 to Bergman’s 2020 campaign. On Jan. 6, Rob Nichols of ABA released a statement: “This is a dark day for our democracy. The violence playing out on Capitol Hill and in the streets of Washington is reprehensible and should shock and sadden all of us. Our nation is better than this. At this challenging moment for our country, and for so many Americans, our elected leaders must immediately condemn today’s mob riot and do everything they can to support the peaceful transfer of power.”

It is no wonder Nichols decided to defund Congressman Jack Bergman, who took no such principled stand that day, who is still unwilling to acknowledge that Joseph Biden is the legitimate President of the United States, and who voted against the peaceful transfer of power.

Jim Nussle, CEO of CUNA, issued the following statement on Jan. 6: “As I watch the assault on the U.S. Capitol unfold, I am first reminded of the oath of office that I once took and to my commitment to the Constitution and the principles which underpin our democracy. What we are witnessing is outrageous, without precedent, and runs counter to our values as Americans. Our democracy is facing a crucial test – one that is a culmination of the increasingly polarizing and divisive political environment and one that simultaneously demands we reconcile who we, as Americans, have become with who we should be. I am confident that the foundation of our democracy is strong, having withstood multiple tests to our national character. This moment cannot be lost on us and presents an opportunity for us to do better and be better.”

After the insurrection, Nussle, who had at one time served in the House of Representatives himself, decided to sever ties with the Republican Party. It is no wonder Nussle decided to defund Congressman Bergman, who, though condemning the violence, seems to care little that the events of Jan. 6 were a direct threat to our democracy.

Both Nichols and Nussle had served in the administration of George W. Bush. Both had been committed Republicans. Both nevertheless denounced the events of Jan. 6 and saw it for what it was, a serious threat to the peaceful transfer of power. Jack Bergman, in contrast, is still unwilling to correct his decision on Jan. 6 against certification of Biden, whose election was supported by over 60 court cases including ones that made it to the Supreme Court.

I applaud the decisions of Nichols and Nussle and many others to defund Bergman. In doing so, they dissociate themselves from a congressman whose perspective can only result in the erosion of our democratic institutions.

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