SpaceX PAC, the political action committee that lobbies and contributes money to lawmakers on behalf of Elon Musk and other SpaceX employees, split its donations almost equally between Democrats and Republicans during the 2020 campaign cycle. But that does not tell the entire story.
Of the $536,000 that the PAC donated, $290,500 went to Democrats—who had more incumbent candidates—and $246,000 went to Republicans. And as the Center for Media and Democracy first pointed out today, nearly half of the money donated to Republicans by SpaceX PAC went to lawmakers who voted against President Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory.
The PAC gave $119,000 in total to 26 lawmakers who opposed the largely ceremonial certification of the Electoral College even after a right-wing mob attacked the Capitol that day in hopes of murdering members of Congress and stopping the proceedings. President Donald Trump, who worked for months to sow distrust into the political system and rile up his base voters, was impeached for inciting the insurrection later that month. He was acquitted in a Senate trial last weekend, though seven Republicans voted for his conviction, setting a record for lawmakers from the same party as the impeached president.
After the chaotic event, which left five people dead and was regarded as the most significant attack on the Capitol since the War of 1812, Musk eschewed the strong-if-generic condemnation offered by most CEOs. Instead, he blamed Facebook and CEO Mark Zuckerberg for doing little to stop the far-right political actors from spreading misinformation and organizing attacks on the platform.
Musk himself gave $5000 to the company’s PAC, which is in line with his generally low contributions to charity. In 2020, despite seeing his net worth increase by $118.5 billion, Musk did not record a major donation to charity even amid a historic pandemic and recession.