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Kroger Stopping Some Political Contributions In Wake Of U.S. Capitol Attack

Al Behrman

Cincinnati-based Kroger is temporarily stopping contributions to political action committees (PACs) and will review what people and causes it gives to in the wake of last week's attack on the U.S. Capitol.

"We are against violence in all its forms, including the riots last week in Washington, D.C.," says Matt Perin, head of government relations, in a statement. "We are pausing PAC donations while we review our PAC-giving philosophy, and we plan to resume contributions once this assessment is completed."

Kroger is one of the nation's largest grocery chains, with more than 2,700 locations nationwide under brands including Harris Teeter, Fred Meyer, Dillions, City Market, King Soopers and Smith's.

The move comes as other national companies are similarly evaluating their political giving standards. Microsoft, Coca-Cola, JP Morgan and more say their either halting contributions or pausing them for review.

Kroger's PAC spent $137,500 during the 2019-2020 reporting period, according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics. The majority of Kroger's giving to federal candidates, $75,500, went to Republicans and $36,500 to Democrats.

"Kroger takes great care to ensure a bipartisan approach to supporting candidates and committees," says Perin in his statement. "Our giving strategy generally evolves over time as the political landscape changes."

While spending in this cycle was down from 2017-2018 ($368,911), the Center for Responsive Politics shows it is the second highest amount since 1990, which is as far back as its data goes.

Procter & Gamble

WVXU reached out to P&G about its political giving. The company issued the following statement:

"Free and fair elections are the foundation of our democracy and must be protected and respected. We will take into account any failure to do so when determining future support. Our previous decisions on contributions do not dictate choices going forward."

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Tana Weingartner earned a bachelor's degree in communication from the University of Cincinnati and a master's degree in mass communication from Miami University. Most recently, she served as news and public affairs producer with WMUB-FM. Ms. Weingartner has earned numerous awards for her reporting, including several Best Reporter awards from the Associated Press and the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists, and a regional Murrow Award. She served on the Ohio Associated Press Broadcasters Board of Directors from 2007 - 2009.