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The Cost of Contested Elections: Business Leaders Urge Certification Donors Face Reputational Damage

While the United States is still grappling with the ongoing pandemic and the knock-on effect it has had on the economy, it is also coming to terms with one of its most consequential elections in recent history. It has been more than two months since Americans went to the polls to vote for their new president and despite Joe Biden being declared the winner, the political landscape remains divided.

In this article, we will delve into two major topics that are dominating the headlines: business leaders calling for the certification of the election, and Republican infighting over the election results.

Business Leaders Call For Election Certification

As Joe Biden prepares to take office on January 20th, nearly 200 major business leaders have signed a letter urging Congress to certify the election results. The letter, which was released on January 4th, represents a rare move by business leaders who usually refrain from getting involved in political matters.

It is indicative of the growing concern among some of the country’s most influential individuals regarding the future of democracy in America. The letter states that “the presidential election is over, and the time has come for the country to move forward” and urges Congress to “fulfill their constitutional duty to certify the election and uphold the will of the voters.” It highlights the need for stability and certainty in the country, which is already grappling with the Covid-19 pandemic and the economic fallout it has caused.

While business leaders have been largely supportive of Republican policies in the past, there appears to be a shift in their stance as the party grapples with the fallout from the election and the subsequent disruption that has come with it. The letter shows that business leaders are increasingly concerned about the damage to the economy and the country’s reputation that could arise from political infighting and unwillingness to uphold the democratic process.

Republican Infighting Over Election Results

In the wake of the election, Republican senators have been divided over the outcome. While some have accepted the results and moved on, others have rejected the election count and called for Congress to certify the election, in what has been described as an attempt to “overturn the will of the people.”

The rift within the party has been amplified by Texas Senator Ted Cruz, who has been leading the effort to challenge the electoral results for disputed states.

Cruz has found himself at odds with many of his party colleagues, who believe that his efforts to block the certification process are divisive and damaging to the party as a whole. Senators Lisa Murkowski, Susan Collins, Bill Cassidy, and Mitt Romney have all come out against Cruz’s efforts, highlighting the importance of upholding the Constitution and refusing to set a dangerous precedent by challenging the results of a democratic election.

Furthermore, Liz Cheney issued a memo to her colleagues warning against objections to Electoral College votes, stating that “such objections set an exceptionally dangerous precedent, threatening to steal states’ explicit constitutional responsibility for choosing the President and bestowing it instead on Congress.”

Conclusion

Overall, the political landscape in the United States is still deeply divided following a contentious election that has been further complicated by the pandemic. Business leaders have taken an unprecedented step in urging Congress to certify the election, highlighting the need for certainty and stability in the country.

Meanwhile, Republican infighting over the election results has left the party grappling with the fallout from its internal divisions as it seeks to come to terms with a new administration in the coming weeks. As the United States continues to grapple with the ongoing turmoil following the election, the implications and costs of contested elections are coming to the forefront of public consciousness.

In this article, we will delve into two major topics that are dominating the headlines: the estimated costs of contested elections and the reputational damages for corporate donors.

Estimated Costs of Contested Elections

Contesting an election is a costly affair. The Trump campaign’s legal challenges and recount efforts are estimated to have cost millions of dollars, with little to no success in changing the results of the election.

In Wisconsin alone, the recount effort boosted Joe Biden’s lead by 87 votes, further highlighting the futility of these efforts. With mounting legal fees and the cost of mobilizing teams to different states, contested elections are not only financially draining but also emotionally exhausting for those involved.

But the cost of contested elections extends beyond legal fees and recounts. In a recent article published by the New York Times, corporate donors are facing severe reputational damages for their political funding.

The infighting caused by the contested election has led to an increase in political polarization, with supporters of different candidates turning against each other. This has resulted in many companies facing backlash from both sides of the political spectrum, leading to financial damages to their business.

Mega-corporations like Exxon Mobil and Chevron, who donated to Republican senators involved in the election disputes, are facing reputational damages from younger generations who are turning away from fossil fuels and increasingly supporting renewable energy. Apollo Global Management, one of the largest investment firms in the world, is facing increased scrutiny for its ties to the Trump administration.

In addition to financial damages, many companies are now re-evaluating their political donations and considering how to move forward in a polarized political landscape.

Reputational Damages for Corporate Donors

Following the culmination of the election, as we move into the new year, newer developments come up. One of the most recent developments that have escalated the tumultuous situation has been President Trump’s call to the Georgia Secretary of State.

The call reveals pressure from the President to find more votes to overturn his loss in the state. While such a move by the President is highly unprecedented, it has caused further divisions and brought the national attention, once again, to the fallout from the election.

On the 3rd of January, ten former defense secretaries published a joint statement, urging for the election results to be respected. The defense secretaries emphasized that while the military should remain politically neutral, they must act to ensure that our democracy survives.

The statement further emphasized that the military should play no role in deciding the outcome of an American election. The statement also highlights the importance of the Constitution in democratic processes, stating that elections and their outcomes must be respected in order to maintain the sanctity of the democratic system.

The defense secretaries suggest that government officials should look to the Constitution and statute when making decisions about elections, rather than political motives. Corporate donors may now face potential consequences for their political funding, especially after the results of the election have been certified.

The role played by these donors in funding certain campaigns, including those that supported challenging the results, could earn backlash due to their association with controversial groups and ideologies. Companies like the Lincoln Project and the Jim Crow Caucus are anti-Trump PACs that have raised awareness among the public about the movement to suppress African-American votes.

Liking one’s company with these groups could be perilous for the company’s reputation.

Conclusion

The contested election has far-reaching costs and implications, from the financial burden of legal challenges and recount efforts to the reputational damages of corporate donors. The turmoil continues to escalate, with the President’s call to the Georgia Secretary of State and the joint statement by ten former defense secretaries urging for the acceptance of election results.

As the country moves forward into 2021, companies must be mindful of their political donations and the potential consequences for their reputations. The contested election in the United States has far-reaching effects, from the financial burden of legal challenges to the reputational damage for corporate donors.

Business leaders have called for election certification, and there have been increasing concerns over the party infighting and the fallout for the country’s democracy and reputation. The cost of contested elections and the political polarization it brings have led companies to re-evaluate their political donations.

The recent developments involving President Trump’s call to the Georgia Secretary of State and the joint statement by ten former defense secretaries urging respect for election results have further escalated the turmoil. The country must maintain the sanctity of the democratic system, and government officials should look to the Constitution and statute when making decisions about elections.

It is important that companies remain aware of any repercussions that could come from their political associations or donors.

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