American Airlines Will Donate To January 6th Objectors In Congress Again

After the January 6th protests and insurrection at the Capitol, where politicians tried to stop the process of counting presidential electors and some citizens stormed the halls to throw sand in the gears by force, many companies declared they would no longer donate to politicians that had been a part of the anti-democratic shenanigans.

American Airlines paused its political giving, but the airline’s PAC went “off of pause” in May, according to Nate Gatten, the airline’s Senior Vice President of government affairs at an internal employee event following the carrier’s earnings call on Thursday (a recording of which was reviewed by View From The Wing).

He revealed that in June the airline made a contribution through its PAC to an objector to the certification of the election: Sam Graves from Missouri. However he defended this saying that he may have gone along with stopping the democratic process and calling into question the election – but he supports government subsidies for American Airlines.

On the spectrum the person we contributed to is very…he’s a great partner of American Airlines, he was hugely supportive of PSP…We’re trying to do our very best to manage it, not to contribute to anyone who would embarrass us.

We need to have a dialogue with our elected representatives and we can’t do that if we just say ok there’s a huge group of people that we’re not gonna work with at all. That’s our stance right now. There probably will be some companies that don’t give at all to objectors. They have different circumstance than we do. I think you’ll see most companies aren’t going to have these litmus tests one way or another.

Doug Parker Testifying Before Congress In Favor Of Airline Subsidies In 2001

The American Airlines position seems to be that in an industry highly regulated and subsidized by government, they can’t afford to take principled stands that disadvantage them before Congress – at least on an issue, no matter how important, where so many of their important political constituents are on the other side. And that they can’t “have a dialogue with..elected representatives” if they don’t pay-to-play.

That is, of course, a logical position to take for an airline’s CEO who has made his career on the back of government subsidies.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. […] Like Mel Brooks said as Louis XVI in History Of The World: Part I, “It’s good to be king.” The federal mask mandate, for instance, doesn’t apply to Chip Roy or to John Kerry. And even airlines which took a stand on voting rights after January 6th are back donating to legislators who refused to recognize the results of the 2020 election. […]


  1. Might I suggest reading the Constitution and the Federalist Papers before you go spouting off about the so called Democratic process when anyone who understands our form of government it is based upon the consent of the governed, state’s rights and balance of power among many other things. The process that was underway on 1/6/21 is part of how a healthy Republic solves its problems and airs its grievances….but no, people who have no clue listen to deceptive media outlets that would frame critical parts of our Constitution that they just as soon get rid of as somehow against Democracy. The process that was underway is one of the ways our system deals with disputes and this wasn’t the first time it happened. Demonizing, punishing or persecuting political opposition rather than going through the well though out processes outlined in our Constitution serves to only prolong whatever dispute there may be. For those who are convinced there was no problem with the electoral decisions of those states and wanted to prove so….the best remedy would have been to let that process continue. It would have been a whopping embarrassment for the side trying to prove fraud and would have put an end to it. Now, the prescribed alternative processes proceed at the county and state levels ….as far as government subsidies go well find me an airline that doesn’t get help from the government and we can talk.

  2. True about subsidies, and money has corrupted much of our government, Mark. But the issue of State’s Rights (aka “slavery”) was raised in 1861 and settled in 1865. Also, healthy republics don’t solve their problems with armed mobs storming their government buildings. (Though on the other hand, healthy republics usually don’t elect psychotic incompetents either. The peaceful transition of power has been a hallmark of the U.S. Until now.)

  3. Supporting insurrection is apparently the AAmerican way. For a company that pretends to be woke that comes across as greedy or inept.

  4. News flash: All transportation in the U.S. is subsidized in one form or another. And people and companies have a legal right to tell the government what they think.

    Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution specifically grants Congress the power “To establish Post Offices and post Roads;” I hate to break it to you, but “Post roads” are basically transportation infrastructure. I doubt the founders anticipated that there would be widespread rail, air, truck, and automobile traffic in 1787, That’s why airports, railroads, interstate highways, etc. aren’t mentioned. Airports are largely built by the federal government. Air traffic control is also a function of the federal government. What do you think ticket taxes pay for?

    Let’s be practical. What’s the alternative? Would each airline have to build its own airports, fund its own air traffic control system, etc? Pooling resources via the federal government (since most airlines operate between or among several states and outside the country) is the most effective and efficient way to provide air transportation infrastructure. And the taxes that pay for the facilities and support services are paid by those who benefit from the service, i.e., air carriers, passengers, shippers, etc.

    Another well-known example is the Union Pacific Railroad. The federal government gave, not sold, the Union Pacific alternating sections (a section is a square mile) of land along the proposed right of way. If free land isn’t a form of subsidy, what is? Question: How much was that land worth before the railroad provided easy access to it? It was a win-win for both sides. The federal government retained ownership of the other sections along the right of way and has benefitted handsomely from the increase in the value of its holdings, not to mention the enterprise and taxes that have been generated by the activity the railroad has helped generate over the approximately 150 years of its existence. Airports provide the same economic stimulus as railroads and other transportation infrastructure.

    Then, of course, there’s the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution which reads in part, “Congress shall make NO (emphasis, mine) law … abridging the freedom of speech, … or the right of the people … to ***petition the Government for a redress of grievances***. The First Amendment doesn’t limit the rights to free speech and petition only to certain entities, or to ideas and initiatives we agree with.

  5. @Mark Rascio,

    A small quibble, which may seem off-topic at first, but is germane to the issue of airline regulation. States don’t have rights. States have powers. The people have rights.

    The Star Trek moniker “The Federation” was a euphemism for the United States. All the fuss about democracies versus republics obscures the fact that the U.S. is a federation. In a federal system, including ours, the individual states have sovereign powers (not rights) within their borders. That’s why there are different state laws and regulations about voter qualifications, voting methods, education, speed limits on roads, airlines that only operate within one state (i.e., PSA, AirCal, and Southwest when they started), public health, safety, the definitions of murder, etc.

    The federal government is limited by Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution to “… regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and ***among the several states***, and with the Indian Tribes;” That line can often be blurred, which can be the main bone of contention about many of the issues we face.

  6. Crazy how we’ve maneuvered in these comments between chopping off willies and the intricacies of the U.S. Constitution.

  7. Gary, a student of history such as yourself must surely know that congressional objections were also raised at the electoral count certifications of the 2000, 2004, and 2016 elections.
    It’s part of the process outlined in the constitution. Sure, there was no illegal walking tour of the Capitol building in those cases, but Pelosi was crying foul well before that started.

  8. @Franklin Souze

    Na they are showing courage.

    @P Ness
    you part of the fifth column you are.


    Jan 6th was a mostly peaceful protest. Much more peaceful than your typical blm riot.

  9. Some of the politicians casting doubt akin to January 6th were extortion victims. If they said anything against Trump, he would come down on them like a ton of bricks. Pelosi does that, too, but it is less obvious and less in the news. So American Airlines resuming donations is just realistic and knowing that they should not punish victims who had no choice when Trump held a gun to their head. Even now, if they do, Trump will run a candidate against them in the primaries.

  10. They also probably donate to politicians who support murdering unborn babies but we don’t hear many news stories about that, do we?

  11. Democracy is just slavery of the minority by the majority. Conservatives would be wise to call out democracy as evil and forcefully advocate for freedom. If democracy doesn’t work in the interest, freedom for, and future of conservatives, it’s illogical to support it or enforce it. Conservatives have majorities in 80% of the counties and 20-25 states. If they replaced all levels of law enforcement with conservative loyalists and said no to leftist rule, it would go a long way compared to saying voting on a national level is the only path to success when we know it is doomed. It’s insane for our leaders to pretend something that hasn’t worked for us in 80 years is the only path.

    Patriots on January 6 protested a fraudulent election where big black dem cities put in hundreds of thousands of fake votes in multiple states and counted them at 4AM without Republican legal observers. Pence proved to be a traitor. Trump proved to be a coward as he had 100 million waiting for orders and deputization. Instead he folded like a cheap Trump Macy’s suit and pardoned rappers instead of patriots. Trump betrayed his people and deserves our condemnation. He pardoned rappers over patriots. That shows you his mind is scrambled with cognitive impairment just like Biden.

  12. You know, those of us that watched our legislative branch being sacked on Jan 6th were shocked that any American would do such a heinous act, abandoning 250 years of this democratic republic.
    @Snowe says these were peaceful patriots… which means that our own eyes watching the beatings of the police and smashing of windows and doors, with felony breaking and entering, calling for the murder of VP Pense and Congresswoman Pelosi were… imagined?
    That is something, that is.
    And you would have to say. How did we get here…
    And then up steps @Jackson Waterson, who tells us that in his beliefs, democracy should be abandoned entirely.
    I am here, first Gen American, having lost all claims to my family’s generational land and citizenship as a result of Fascism.
    So, go ahead, rise up, all you armchair revolutionaries, go ahead. Because this time, there will be jail sentences for the mob sent by Trump in an attempt to overthrow the election.
    Next time. There will be a wall and a blindfold.
    Those of us that value the constitution and democracy will be very glad to help you leave these United States, posthaste.

  13. drrichard seems to have grown donkey ears and forgot about the Democrat and Democrat Sympathizer’s assassination of Lincoln 42 days into his second term. Of course CNN reported it as a “mostly peaceful assassination” trying to assure that Democrats and Democrat Sympathizers would escape accountability.

  14. @AlohaDaveKennedy:
    1) @DrRichards comment stands, unless you believe the civil war was an example of a “healthy republic”
    2) Booth was a member of the “know nothing” party, and then he joined the confederacy. It’s disingenuous to paint him as a Democrat, as that would ignore the ideological party shifts from 1950-1980. If anything, Booth would be a Trumpist/Fascist if alive today, waving his “Sic semper tyrannis” flag at one of the sore loser rallies.
    3) And yes, due to Lincoln’s assassination, the South did escape accountability, for the most part. It took another 100 years for the descendants of slaves to peacefully protest for their 14th amendment rights.
    4) The Republican party, founded in Jackson Mi as an anti-slavery party would be appalled today to find that the GOP is still fighting the Civil War. There is your lost cause.

  15. @Zebraitis

    I’m going to be the definition of “peaceful protest” that the BLM and Antifa apologists used for when their rioters killed, beat and burned down buildings for 6 months. Remember no jan 6th protestor killed anyone.

  16. So how many have been charged with insurrection from Jan 6th?

    @ Drrichard ” Also, healthy republics don’t solve their problems with armed mobs storming their government buildings. ” Are you referring to all the Antifa/BurnLootMurder mobs burning federal buildings around the country?

  17. Why should corporations be making “principled” stands? Corporations exist to make money for shareholders. Anything else is a breach of fiduciary duty.

  18. @Zebratis

    You’re right. The Republican Party is nothing like when it was founded to destroy western civilization by being foolish. That’s a good thing. Unfortunately, many puppets and shills for the left who pretend to be conservative (most Republican elected leaders) keep talking up Lincoln and keep touting law and order when nearly all those laws and orders are leftist and we are marching ourselves into the ground.

    Conservatives should be honest that the current system doesn’t work for us and we should all stop supporting it, upholding it, or enforcing it. The Party of Lincoln condemned us to enslavement by leftists and having our cities filled with dangerous groups that hold us back and make our lives miserable. Continuing to abide by the principles of the old GOP isn’t getting us anywhere. Everything the old GOP supports (illegal immigration for cheap labor, low wages, the war on drugs, support of a military that does nothing for freedom at home, bans on abortions, and support for police who enforce laws of our enemies) is backwards.

  19. @Zebratis

    According to exit polls in 2020, 87% of black voters voted for leftists. The GOP pandering to 11% (2% voted third party) of black voters isn’t getting us anywhere nor is the shucking and jiving Trump did. The GOP would be wise to focus on issues affecting the white working class and small business owners who make up 80% of the party and ignore people who hate us and will never support us. If AOC can speak for the latinx community, the GOP needs to be speaking up for the white/Christian community.

    Actual conservative leaders should point out that any system that allows leftists and non whites to tell whites and conservatives how to live is an existential threat and one we should not support. Democracy is a new form of slavery.

  20. The record is clear………..very minor and isolated instances of voting irregularities. Barr indicated the same, and the 60+ lawsuits that delusional Rudy and others advanced were swiftly squashed in the court system.

    The Big Lie was perpetrated by Trump as a way to stay relevant, and to seek additional funding. The presidency also shields him, considerably, from various forms of legal action.

    Corporations that continue to fund these objectors are displaying their true colors – a love for profit over principle. Toyota came to their senses on this, and so should other corporations that have an ounce of integrity.

    Further, American airlines statement is bogus in that they are suggesting that they can only have a dialogue with elected representatives by donating to them. This is exactly what is screwed up with our political system, which is now heavily predicated on a “pay to play” philosophy.

  21. Gary,
    I must give you some serious Prop’s I have usually disagreed with you on many airline issues.
    But the prop’s that I feel strongly that many that visit and read your site will agree with whatI’m about to say. I don’t know how many comments that have been blocked or censored but my guess is it was for a valid reason by you. I enjoy the dialogue that goes on this site and sometimes opens my eyes to a different point of view and that it what is so valuable that you allow to happen here.
    Just look at Yahoo Google and sone others don’t allow any comments now for about ! 1/2 years.
    People can draw their own conclusions why they block comments but Gary I thank you for allowing
    All the comments you do from both sides of the fence I believe that is healthy for our country.

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