Internet leftists are calling for a boycott of the cult favorite In-N-Out Burger chain over a donation made to the California Republican Party — ignoring large donations it has made to Democrats.
California writer Gabe Schneider tweeted out a snapshot of an In-N-Out late contribution report Wednesday, showing a donation to the California Republican Party designated toward the 2018 general election.
— Gabe Schneider (@gabemschneider) August 29, 2018
The tweet spawned calls of “boycott” along with “#boycottinnout.” Others called the donation unsurprising; some and even voiced a greater willingness to eat there upon learning of the Republican donation.
California Democratic Party Chairman Eric Bauman unsurprisingly objected to the burger chain’s donation to a political party other than his own, and trumpeted the boycott cry:
Et tu In-N-Out? Tens of thousands of dollars donated to the California Republican Party… it’s time to #BoycottInNOut – let Trump and his cronies support these creeps… perhaps animal style!https://t.co/9zkdFaG5CJ
— EricBauman (@EricBauman) August 30, 2018
Several reactions to Schneider’s tweet noted the company’s practice of printing of Bible verses on parts of its product packaging. Some suggested this made its donation to the California GOPunsurprising.
Actor and California Republican candidate for Congress Antonio Sabato, Jr., who is running in the 26th congressional district against incumbent Rep. Julia Brownley (D-CA), wrote, “More of a reason to go and eat a great Burger!! Two please”.
— Antonio Sabáto Jr 🇺🇸 (@AntonioSabatoJr) August 30, 2018
The boycotters made no mention of the burger chain’s larger donations to a “moderate” consulting group headed in part by one of Gov. Jerry Brown’s 2010 campaign strategists. David Townsend’s Californians for Jobs and a Strong Economy PAC received the same amount from In-N-Out, $30,000, on the same day in 2017 as the California Republican Party, according to campaign finance filings. The burger joint then gave the Democrat-aligned PAC another $50,000 in April of this year.
“Since 2009, Townsend’s Californians for Jobs and a Strong Economy PAC has spent $5.7 million, campaign finance filings show,” the Sacramento Bee reported in 2014. “Roughly a quarter of that has gone toward fundraising events at golf resorts and fine restaurants, where corporate donors and their lobbyists mingle with a handful of Democratic legislators.”
In-N-Out donated $3,300 to Democrat Charles Calderon‘s successful 2006 run for the State Assembly 58th district seat. As of Thursday, it appeared to be the only state political campaign the chain has directly donated to over the past 20 years.
The burger chain has also donated several times over the years to the California Restaurant Association Issues PAC.
California’s legislature is dominated by Democrats, who have enjoyed supermajorities at times in the recent past. Businesses are known to give to individuals and groups from both political parties, commonly related to addressing effects of state legislative effects on business.
Corporations cannot make federal campaign contributions but may make state campaign contributions, within limits, under California law.