UPDATE: Loews Hotels announced less than a day after this story was published that the fundraiser has been canceled. Our original story is included below.
A week after he voted to block certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s election victory, Missouri Republican Sen. Josh Hawley sent out an invite to a February fundraiser, promising “a fun-filled-family-friendly Orlando weekend event.”
The location: the Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando.
Josh Hawley’s leadership PAC just sent out a multi-font invite for a “fun-filled-family-friendly” fundraising event in Orlando next month amid the pandemic, featuring comic sans and three states pic.twitter.com/Bx4SrlPrmo
— Roger Sollenberger (@SollenbergerRC) January 15, 2021
The invitation came from Fighting for Missouri, a political action committee supporting Hawley.
The Senator was the first to publicly state he would vote against the certification of Biden’s win over President Donald Trump. Hawley’s reasoning was based on false claims about widespread voter fraud that had been rejected by multiple courts ahead of the Jan. 6 vote
That vote was interrupted when a violent mob of pro-Trump supporters attacked the Capitol, with five people dying in the melee, including a Capitol police officer. Hawley has since been accused of encouraging the attack, a charge which he has denied.
From our Francis Chung, Sen. Josh Hawley greeting protesters in the east side of the Capitol before riots began. pic.twitter.com/I8DjBCDuoP
— Manuel Quinones (@ManuelQ) January 6, 2021
The editorial boards of Missouri’s two biggest newspapers have called on him to resign, with the Kansas City Star writing that Hawley “has bloods on his hands in Capitol coup attempt.”
Universal Orlando and Loews Hotels did not return a request for comment on Hawley’s Portofino Bay event.
It’s not unusual for Universal and other Central Florida theme parks to host political fundraisers. However, these invitations were sent out just days after Universal’s parent company Comcast said it was cutting off financial support to Hawley and other Republicans in the House and Senate who voted against accepting the election results.
“Our focus needs to be on working together for the good of the entire nation,” the company said in a statement released Monday. “Consistent with that view, we will suspend all of our political contributions to those elected officials who voted against certification of the Electoral College votes, which will give us the opportunity to review our political giving policies and practices.”
According to a Theme Park Tribune review of federal election records, Comcast has donated $15,000 to Hawley’s PAC in the last two election cycles. It also donated $20,000 to Hawley’s 2018 opponent, Democrat Claire McCaskill.
Overall, Comcast has donated more to Republican candidates and committees in federal elections ($4.9 million) than Democrats ($3.4 million) in the last two election cycles.
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