Corporate America helped raise nearly $62 million for Biden’s inauguration

  The Inaugural Committee of President Joe Biden was able to raise $61.8 million for his inauguration on Jan. 20, 2021, and other inauguration events. Most of this money came from corporations, labor unions and wealthy individuals that made substantial donations.

This information comes from financial disclosures from the Biden Inaugural Committee, which has refused to release a detailed account of its spending.

But it did note that, due to the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and the threat of spreading the virus during the inauguration, Biden did away with the traditionally packed evening balls and other mass events in favor of a televised program and a large public fireworks display, among other festivities.  

This raises the question of why the Inaugural Committee needed such a substantial amount of money for its events when many of these events were conducted online or did not require spending on in-person activities. The committee has noticeably refused to note how it will handle any money left over.

The funds raised by the committee are also separate from the funds provided for the presidential swearing-in on Capitol grounds, which is paid for by taxpayer dollars allocated by Congress.

It should also be noted that, despite the strong support of corporations and wealthy Americans, Biden’s inaugural haul is substantially lower than the record $106 million raised by former President Donald Trump’s own inaugural committee during his 2017 inauguration. But it is higher than the $53 million raised by former President Barack Obama for his 2009 inaugural celebration.

In a statement made following criticism of the donations, the Inaugural Committee claimed that no credential or donation was needed for participation in inaugural events.

“We engaged with millions of Americans, regardless of political party, and brought to life a civic ritual that took on unique importance in 2021,” said the committee.

Big Pharma, military-industrial complex among Inaugural Committee’s top donors

Ten donors were notable for contributing $1 million each – the maximum donation the committee allowed for corporate donors.

These 10 big donors include Pfizer, the maker of the most prevalent COVID-19 vaccine in the U.S. and one of the most common in the world, and defense companies Lockheed Martin and Boeing.

Several other major corporate donors include AT&T, the Bank of America, Comcast, film production company Levantine Entertainment, medical technology company Masimo, Qualcomm and Uber Technologies.

Of the above-listed major corporations, AT&T, Boeing, Pfizer and Qualcomm also gave $1 million each to Trump’s inaugural committee in 2017.

Many other major corporations were also listed in the financial disclosure, including Microsoft, Amazon, Google, the Ford Motor Company, General Motors, Walmart and the National Football League. These companies either donated less than the $1 million cap or made in-kind contributions such as providing equipment or services free of charge.

Many smaller businesses also contributed, including law firms, car dealerships and even a record label – Oh Boy Records, an independent record label.

Labor unions also contributed greatly to the inauguration, led by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, which donated $1 million. The union was followed by the American Federation of Teachers, the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union and the United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry of the United States and Canada. These three major unions each contributed $250,000.

The Sherwood Foundation, a social justice nonprofit chaired by the daughter of billionaire Warren Buffett, also gave the maximum of $1 million.

All of the above-listed donations made up around a third of the money the Inaugural Committee received. Half of all contributions came from wealthy individuals, many of whom gave the maximum $500,000 individual donation the committee allowed.

Among the top individual donors include billionaire media investor Haim Saban, hedge fund manager Donald Sussman and venture capitalists Chris and Crystal Sacca, who each gave $500,000.

The remaining 20 percent of the money the Inaugural Committee received – about $12 million – came from individuals who contributed $200 or less.

Top corporate and individual donors were offered perks, including virtual events with Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, First Lady Dr. Jill Biden and Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff, as well as virtual sessions with top Biden advisers.

Corporate America helped raise nearly $62 million for Biden’s inauguration Corporate America helped raise nearly $62 million for Biden’s inauguration Reviewed by Your Destination on April 27, 2023 Rating: 5

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