New York Times
By Jeremy Peters
May 31, 2016
Hewlett Packard Inc. has joined a growing list of major corporations that are declining to help pay for the Republican National Convention, as pressure builds on the business community to repudiate Donald J. Trump.
Before it split into two last year, Hewlett-Packard had been a generous contributor to Republican causes in the past. Meg Whitman, the company’s chief executive before the split and now the leader of Hewlett Packard Enterprise, is a former Republican nominee for governor in California. She has forcefully denounced Mr. Trump in the past, calling him a “dishonest demagogue” and condemning his statements on women, Muslims and others as “repugnant.”
The African-American activist group Color of Change, which has been one of the leaders of the campaign to get companies to cut their donations to the convention, said it had received word from HP last week that it would not be making any cash donations to the Republican or Democratic conventions this year. A company spokeswoman confirmed the decision.
HP Inc. joins Coca-Cola and Microsoft in deciding to either significantly curtail or eliminate its monetary support to the Republican convention.
Coca-Cola has declined to match the $660,000 it gave for the 2012 Republican convention, donating only $75,000 for this year and indicating that it does not plan to provide more.
Microsoft will provide only software and technical assistance to the Republicans’ event, while it plans to give that and monetary support to Democrats.
Political conventions and the cities that host them rely tremendously on corporate donations to fund their expenses, which can exceed $100 million when security costs are included. But companies have been wary of committing to the Republican National Convention this year given Mr. Trump’s provocative and offensive statements on women and minorities.
A Color for Change spokesman, Rashad Robinson, said Tuesday that it planned to keep the pressure on companies that have not yet said whether they would fund the convention, which starts July 18.
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