Google Asks Hyde-Smith For Campaign Donation Refund, Former Klansman Helps Fill The Void

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Written by Dana Sanchez

All eyes are on pro-Trump Mississippi, where a special election runoff looms on Tuesday between Democrat Mike Espy, the former Agriculture Secretary, and Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, considered by racists to be a racist.

Hyde-Smith and her supporters have been getting national publicity for all the wrong reasons, leading to a handful of campaign donors asking for their refunds.


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Google is one of them, backpedaling from its recent donation to Hyde-Smith’s campaign as backlash mounts over her remarks about attending a public hanging, Clarion-Ledger reported.

Hyde-Smith made a series of divisive and racist slurs recently. She was criticized for joking with a crowd about attending a public hanging in Mississippi, a state with a long history of racism and the highest rate of lynchings of African Americans during the Jim Crow era, according to the Equal Justice Initiative.

Hyde-Smith’s behavior has given Espy momentum in the homestretch, officials from both parties say, according to Politico.

Google says its donation to Hyde-Smith campaign came before the “hanging” comment. Required federal campaign finance filings show the tech giant made the $5,000 contribution on Nov. 13. Hyde-Smith made the comments on Nov. 2, but they didn’t go viral until Nov. 11, according to Judd Legum with nonprofit newsletter Popular Info.

 

Mike Espy
Appointed U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Miss., answers a question during a televised Mississippi U.S. Senate debate with Democrat Mike Espy in Jackson, Miss., Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2018. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, Pool)

 

When that door closed, another opened for Hyde-Smith. A former member of the Ku Klux Klan, George Malvaney, donated $1000 to her on Nov. 20, Popular Info. The contribution was dated nine days after a video emerged of Hyde-Smith saying she would be willing to attend a “public hanging.” Malvaney also donated $2700 to Hyde-Smith in May.

Popular Information reported that Hyde-Smith accepted a $2,700 contribution from notorious Washington State racist  Peter Zieve. After that report, Hyde-Smith’s campaign told NBC News it was returning the money.

Here are some of the large corporations who donated to Hyde-Smith and then asked for a refund, according to Judd Legum with nonprofit newsletter Popular Info:

  • Union Pacific, the multi-billion dollar railroad company, said that it did not condone Hyde-Smith’s “divisive statements” and will “request a refund of our contribution.

  • Boston Scientific, the multi-billion dollar manufacturer, said Hyde-Smith’s comments “are not aligned with our company’s core values” and the company has “requested a refund.”

  • Walmart, the nation’s largest retailer, said Hyde-Smith’s remarks “do not reflect the values of our company and associates” and the company is “withdrawing our support and requesting a refund of all campaign donations.”

  • Leidos announced it would ask for a refund of its $5000 contribution.
  • Three major corporations who donated in the months before Hyde-Smith’s remarks — AT&T, Pfizer, and Amgen — said they would ask for their donations to Hyde-Smith to be returned. “We condemn racism and bigotry in all its forms. We are withdrawing our support and have requested a full refund of our contributions, which were made months in advance of the senator’s comments,” Pfizer said in a statement.