MassMutual is adamant that they do not support the Senate campaign of Roy Moore, the Alabama Republican accused of preying on teenage girls.
However, the $15,000 contribution made to the Republican National Committee by the Springfield-based life insurance company’s political action committee last March makes that claim a bit complicated.
The RNC, which had pulled its support for Moore’s campaign last month amid accumulating accounts of the former judge sexually pursuing girls as young as 14, reportedly reversed course Monday and renewed its financial backing for the candidate. According to The New York Times, President Donald Trump’s endorsement of Moore prompted RNC officials to restore get-out-the-vote funds to their party’s candidate.
What may have been good news for the Moore campaign was bad news for MassMutual.
The company’s donation was highlighted in an article Tuesday by the liberal advocacy website ThinkProgess. Titled “These corporations are helping elect an alleged child sex abuser to the U.S. Senate,” the article listed 15 companies that had donated at least $15,000 to the RNC during the 2017-18 campaign cycle and resulted in a wave of backlash against MassMutual, including from many people who said they were customers.
In a statement Tuesday afternoon, MassMutual responded that its “contribution to the RNC in no way, shape or form condones Mr. Moore’s alleged actions or his bigoted statements.”
— MassMutual (@massmutual) December 5, 2017
“MassMutual does not support – nor will we ever support – Mr. Moore’s campaign,” the company added in their statement Tuesday.
The 156-year-old financial firm, which recently became the largest writer of life insurance policies in the country, emphasized Wednesday that its March 22 donation to the RNC occurred before Moore had even announced his Senate candidacy in April.
“MassMutual provides financial support to national party committees and other organizations on both sides of the political aisle that are fully consistent with our company’s business priorities and civic responsibilities,” the company said.
According to OpenSecrets, MassMutual’s PAC has donated $662,802 so far in the 2018 election cycle, according to its most recent federal filing, and has leaned Republican for the past two decades. Its political donations to federal candidates, groups, and parties this cycle favor Republicans over Democrats by more than a 2-to-1 margin.
But in a statement Wednesday to Boston.com, MassMutual said that going forward it plans to “review future contributions to the RNC in part based on their reported decision in recent days to reengage in the Alabama Senate race.”
The company accused ThinkProgress of “falsely” asserting that the money its PAC contributed to the RNC was being used to support Moore’s campaign, even though it did not present any evidence demonstrating otherwise. Asked whether the company had received assurances from the RNC that no portion of its donations were being used in the Alabama race or whether its donations to the RNC had been effectively siloed or designated toward a particular cause, a MassMutual spokesman said their statement “speaks for itself.”
The RNC did not respond to repeated requests for comment Wednesday afternoon.
In a string of tweets Tuesday night, ThinkProgress editor-in-chief Judd Legum chronicled the other companies that had made major donations to the RNC and pushed back on MassMutual’s statement.
“@massmutual claims their money isn’t supporting Roy Moore,” Legum tweeted. “It is.”