Honda Will Not Make Political Contributions

Honda-LogoHonda Motor Co. said this week it will not make contributions to support or oppose any U.S. political candidate at any level.
The Japanese automaker said that Honda corporate resources — money, employee time while at work, or property — “will not be used to support or oppose any candidate for public office at the local, state, or federal level, even where authorized by law. The policy also clarifies that dues paid to trade associations cannot be earmarked for supporting or opposing political candidates.”
Honda said it may support or oppose ballot initiatives on a case-by-case basis, “taking into account six factors that range from consistency with Honda core values to the possible impact on Honda’s relationship with political leaders.”
Honda may also support federal or state political party conventions. If Honda decides to participate in one convention, the company will participate in the conventions of both major political parties.
Other automakers are boosting donations to candidates. Most do through political action committees largely funded through voluntary donations from company executives.
General Motors Co. has already raised 10 percent more during this election cycle than the 2012 cycle. The Detroit automaker has been shifting more of its contributions through its political action committee to Republicans in recent years.
In the 2008 and 2010 cycles, GM’s donations were about evenly divided between Republicans and Democrats. In this cycle, GM donated $10,000 to House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, its biggest single donation to U.S. House candidates. Its largest donation to a Senate candidate was $10,000 to Rep. Gary Peters, D-Bloomfield Township.
During the 2014 cycle, GM has donated $265,000 through its political action committee — with 59 percent going to Republicans and 41 percent to Democrats — more in line with the company’s pre-bankruptcy political donations favoring the GOP, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. The GM political action committee has spent about $833,000 this election cycle, compared with $797,000 for the entire 2012 cycle.
Ford Motor Co. last year donated nearly $593,000 to political candidates, with 48 percent going to Democrats and 52 percent to Republicans. For the entire 2012 cycle Ford donated $1.5 million through its political action committee, and this cycle it has donated $839,000.
Toyota Motor Corp. has raised $181,000 for its new political action committee, but hasn’t made any donations yet, according to a recent disclosure statement. In an interview last year, Stephen Ciccone, Toyota Motor North America’s group vice president of government affairs, said the automaker wants to support candidates that back policies it favors as the Japanese automaker takes a larger role in reaching out to U.S. policymakers.
After GM and Chrysler received government bailouts, they both halted political donations. Chrysler Group LLC opted not to resume political donations, but GM resumed donations about 18 months later in 2010.


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