Hallmark asks Josh Hawley to return donations after canned book deal, Internet asks if there’s ‘sympathy card’

The company's political action committee, HALLPAC, sent notices to Hawley and Senator Roger Marshall requesting the return of $7,000 and $5,000 in donations

Hallmark asks Josh Hawley to return donations after canned book deal, Internet asks if there’s ‘sympathy card’
Sen. Josh Hawley asks questions during a hearing to discuss election security and 2020 election process on December 16, 2020, in Washington (Getty Images)
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Hallmark Cards Inc., as per news reports on Monday, January 11, has requested that senators Josh Hawley and Roger Marshall return political donations the company had given them. The reason for this request is reportedly their support of President Donald’s Trump unfounded allegations of election fraud, and the storming of the U.S. Capitol by armed extremists it caused last Wednesday.

The company's political action committee, HALLPAC, sent notices to Hawley and Marshall, requesting the return of $7,000 and $5,000 in donations made to the two senators respectively during their most recent runs for office. “Hallmark believes the peaceful transition of power is part of the bedrock of our democratic system, and we abhor violence of any kind,” Hallmark spokesperson JiaoJiao Shen told The Kansas City Star. “The recent actions of Senators Josh Hawley and Roger Marshall do not reflect our company’s values. As a result, HALLPAC requested Sens. Hawley and Marshall to return all HALLPAC campaign contributions.”

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Another spokesperson for Hallmark told Forbes that the company has initiated a review of its political donations to make sure it is supporting candidates “who share our values and meet our contribution guidelines.” 

A woman shops for Valentines Day cards at a Hallmark store on the Upper West Side February 10, 2005 in New York City. According to retail projections, people will spend an average of $77 this year up from $64 in 2004. (Getty Images)

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In the deadly insurrection that took place last week -- many including Republican party members have called it a coup attempt -- a Capitol Police officer who was struck in the head with a fire extinguisher died. Among the dead was also a rioter who was shot by a police officer as she tried to push her way into the heavily protected Speaker’s Lobby, just outside the House chamber. Three others died as a result of “medical emergencies” on the Capitol grounds, according to the authorities.

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The two senators in question have supported conspiracy theories about the results of the 2020 presidential election results in which Donald Trump lost to President-elect Biden. Hawley announced a week before Congress was to meet that he’d be challenging the results. He argued that Pennsylvania wasn’t following “its own election laws,” despite the fact that the GOP legislature and Democratic governor agreed to change them. 

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Fourteen senators before the invasion had signaled that they’d support challenges. Afterward, as per a Washington Post report, a half-dozen of those changed their minds. Hawley was not one of them. Taking to the Senate floor that Wednesday night, he remained unapologetic about questioning election results, saying: “I hope that this body will not miss the opportunity to take affirmative action to address the concerns of so many millions of Americans.”

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Thousands of Donald Trump supporters storm the United States Capitol building following a "Stop the Steal" rally on January 06, 2021 in Washington, DC. The protesters stormed the historic building, breaking windows and clashing with police. Trump supporters had gathered in the nation's capital today to protest the ratification of President-elect Joe Biden's Electoral College victory over President Trump in the 2020 election. (Getty Images)

This is not the first major backlash Hawley has faced. The day after the insurrection, on Thursday afternoon, Hawley was denounced by one of his top donors and heavily criticized by several Missouri Republicans. The publishing house Simon & Schuster on Thursday said it had canceled a book deal with Hawley. “We take seriously our larger public responsibility as citizens, and cannot support Senator Hawley after his role in what became a dangerous threat to our democracy and freedom,” a statement from the publishing house said.

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More than 7,300 law school alumni and students, a report said, have signed a petition calling for the disbarment of Hawley and Senator Ted Cruz over their “efforts to undermine the peaceful transition of power after a free and fair election.”

On Twitter, Hallmark began trending, with many finding the request for returning the donation hilarious. “Should we get them a Hallmark sympathy card?” asked the official Twitter account for VoteVets, a political action committee that primarily focuses on nonpartisan education and advocacy on behalf of veterans and their families. “Wonder if Hallmark has a sympathy card for insurrectionist Senators who've been asked to return campaign contributions?” wrote another Twitter user. Eric Deggans of NPR wrote, “So the big question: Is Hallmark going to make a card for this?”

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