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American Crystal Sugar among top donors to lawmakers who voted to deny 2020 presidential election results

American Crystal Sugar gave $530,000 to GOP members of Congress who refused to certify Donald Trump's loss in the 2020 election, the second-highest total, according to a report.

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The American Crystal Sugar Plant is located at 2500 11th Street North in Moorhead.
David Samson/The Forum
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MOORHEAD — American Crystal Sugar ranks near the top among companies and industry groups making campaign donations to members of Congress who voted to dispute the Electoral College vote in the 2020 presidential election, according to a report.

The nonpartisan watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington compiled a report of donations from companies and industry groups to 147 Republican members of Congress who did not vote in support of Joe Biden’s victory over then-President Donald Trump.

Since the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection, Moorhead-based American Crystal Sugar gave $530,000 to election deniers in Congress, whom the report called the “Sedition Caucus,” behind the $626,500 contributed by Koch Industries. Home Depot gave $525,000, followed by Boeing’s $488,000 and $479,500 from UPS, according to the report.

Altogether, more than 1,200 corporations and industry groups donated $44 million to members of Congress who voted to dispute the presidential election results on Jan. 6, 2021 — the day a mob stormed the Capitol, delaying the ceremonial congressional votes to certify the election outcome.

The 147 members of Congress "fanned the flames" of the insurrectionist mob that overran the Capitol on Jan. 6 "by refusing to certify Trump's loss," the report said.

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Kevin Price, American Crystal Sugar’s vice president of governmental policy, said on Wednesday, Oct. 5, that the political action committee for the sugar-growing and processing cooperative is nonpartisan in making contributions to candidates.

“We make decisions of support relative to American Crystal Sugar based on their having similar views toward sugar policy and agricultural policy,” supporting candidates whose positions align with its interests, Price said.

American Crystal Sugar’s political action committee did not alter its campaign giving practices following the Jan. 6 vote. Many corporations did so — although Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington found that not all of the corporations followed through on their announced intentions to withhold funding.

“But since the Jan. 6 insurrection, more than two-thirds have abandoned their commitment,” the Sept. 29 CREW report said.

Citing a news report from Agweek in January 2021 , Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington said American Crystal Sugar was committed to its campaign contribution approach regardless of the Jan. 6 vote.

“American Crystal Sugar said explicitly that they would support the Sedition Caucus to protect their interests ‘if and when we have needs,’” the CREW report said.

The top corporate donors to Republican members of Congress who denied the outcome of the 2020 presidential election, which Trump falsely claimed was stolen from him, spread out their money broadly.

Koch Industries, the top donor on the list, gave to 78 members, while American Crystal Sugar gave to 77.

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American Crystal Sugar’s profile in Open Secrets , which compiles campaign contribution and spending reports, indicates that the sugar cooperative has given similar amounts to congressional candidates from both major political parties in the 2022 election cycle.

American Crystal gave $1,129,765 to Democratic candidates, or 52%, and $1,032,770, or 48%, to Republican candidates, according to Open Secrets. It overwhelmingly supported incumbents of both parties.

Over 99% of those contributions, $2,159,00, came from American Crystal’s political action committees, with $3,535, or 0.16%, from individuals, according to Open Secrets.

Rep. Michelle Fischbach, R-Minn., who represents Minnesota’s Seventh District, was among the candidates American Crystal Sugar supported in the 2022 cycle, with a contribution of $10,000 from its political action committee, according to Open Secrets.

Patrick Springer first joined The Forum in 1985. He covers a wide range of subjects including health care, energy and population trends. Email address: pspringer@forumcomm.com
Phone: 701-367-5294
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