February 5, 2018 - CVS is one of the largest donors to President Donald Trump’s campaign, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal and federal campaign documents. And a deeper dive by GoLocalProv.com finds that CVS has been funneling hundreds of thousands of dollars primarily to Republicans since the 2016 elections.
As the Wall Street Journal’s Julie Bykowicz wrote on Thursday, "The largest donors to Trump’s campaign include political committees for CVS HealthCorp. and LendingTree Inc. loan servicing company, FEC reports show. The largest donors to the America First super PAC were Geoffrey Palmer, a Los Angeles property developer and friend of Trump’s who gave $2 million, and Ohio-based Murray Energy Corp., the largest privately held U.S. coal-mining company, which gave $1 million. The chief executive, Robert Murray, wrote an action plan on coal for the Trump administration and gave it to the Energy Department.”
CVS has lots of reasons to support the GOP. Presently, its $69 billion purchase of insurance company Aetna is being reviewed both by the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice. The $66 billion deal is one of the largest business deals in the world in the past ten years. Combined, the two companies’ sales will make it second only to Walmart in the United States.
“Trump administration regulators are not ready to sign off on CVS Health's $69 billion deal to acquire Aetna. The Department of Justice asked the firms to provide more information on Thursday, just as the 30-day waiting period under Hart Scott Rodino Act expired,” reported CNBC on Thursday.
"CVS Health participates in the political process to help shape public policy and address legislation that has a direct impact on the company. The engagement ensures that the interests of our business, customers, shareholders and employees are fairly represented at all levels of government. As part of this process, our company makes donations to both major political parties," Mike DeAngelis, CVS Health's Senior Director of Corporate Communications wrote in an email to GoLocal.
CVS Financial Backing of the GOP
CVS PAC has donated $35,000 to Trump Victory PAC this cycle. The PAC is funded in part by the top executives at CVS.
Donors to CVS’s PAC include top executives CEO Larry Merlo, CFO David Denton, Executive Vice President Helena Foulkes, Dr. Troyen Brennan Executive VP and Chief Medical officer, and Chief Legal Counsel Thomas Moriarty as well as many others top CVS officials. The CVS PAC has already funneled over $526,000 primarily to Republicans in Congress and the Trump campaign. The last report was filed on December 31, 2017, according to data compiled by Center for Responsive Politics.
Republicans in Congress have received 54 percent of CVS PAC’s donation. Senate Republicans have received $38,000 and Democrats $29,000 and similarly, House Republicans have received $72,000 and House Democrats $59,000.
The CVS PAC’s largest donations (through Dec. 31, 2017)
The biggest recipients from CVS’s PAC are:
Trump Victory $35,000
National Republican Senatorial Committee: $15,000
National Republican Congressional Committee $15,000
Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee $15,000
[Republican]Ryan for Congress (House Speaker) $10,000
[Republican]Friends of John Barrasso $10,000
[Republican] Jeff Flake for U.S. Senate $10,000
CVS Boss Donated to GOP 10 to 1 (through Dec. 31, 2017)
The CEO of CVS Larry Merlo has personally given more than ten times the amount to GOP members of Congress this cycle than to Democrats.
Merlo has donated $5,400 to U.S. Senator John Barrasso of (R-WY) and $5,000 to House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI). The only Democrat Merlo gave to Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) — $1,000.
This election cycle no other member of the executive team at CVS donated to individual candidates. Each of their federal campaign donations was limited to donations to the CVS PAC.