Charles Johnson, the principal owner of the San Francisco Giants, released a statement Friday following reports of his donation to the campaign of Congresswoman Lauren Boebert, R-Colo.
In the statement, Johnson called for the perpetrators of the riot at the U.S. Capitol to be “held accountable,” distanced the Giants from his long history of donations to Republican and “some Democratic” candidates and claimed to not be aware of contributing to any candidates associated with the QAnon conspiracy theory.
The statement does not mention Boebert by name.
— Matt Kawahara (@matthewkawahara) January 16, 2021
The key paragraph of Johnson’s statement:
“It is often difficult to predict the future behavior of candidates and I would never have imagined that any legitimate candidate would participate in undermining the core values of our great country. Nor was I aware that any candidate to whom I contributed was associated with QAnon.”
Boebert has garnered widespread criticism for her actions related to the Capitol riot, which included tweeting “Today is 1776” on the day of, tweeting updates about the location of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and objecting to Electoral College results. A known supporter of QAnon, Boebert recently made headlines by refusing to use metal detectors to enter the House floor after past vows to carry a handgun into Congress.
Arizona Diamondbacks owner Ken Kendrick and his wife were also reported to have donated to Boebert’s campaign. Johnson only owns about 25 percent of the Giants, but is the controlling owner among a group of more than 30 co-owners.
Giants owner should have known Lauren Boebert was pro-QAnon
If Johnson was unaware of Boebert’s QAnon support when he contributed to her campaign, he completely failed to do due diligence — or even a quick Google search — before cutting the check.
As far back as May, months before her primary win over then-incumbent Scott Tipton, the Associated Press reports Boebert was publicly saying stuff like this about the unhinged conspiracy theory:
“Everything that I’ve heard of Q, I hope that this is real because it only means that America is getting stronger and better, and people are returning to conservative values,” she said.
Per the report from SF Gate, Johnson’s earliest donation to Boebert was listed on Sept. 23, months after she came to prominence as the QAnon candidate who won a GOP nomination in a Congressional race.
Charles Johnson donated to much more than Boebert
In addition to max contributions to Boebert’s campaign, SF Gate reported Friday that Johnson had contributed to a number of other far right candidates, many of whom who baselessly denied and worked to reverse President-elect Joe Biden’s electoral win.
The list, per SF Gate:
Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala.; Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark.; Sen. Kelly Loeffler, R-Ga. (Johnson also gave $125,000 to the Georgia United Victory PAC); Rep. Madison Cawthorn, R-N.C.; Rep. Dan Bishop, R-N.C.; Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio; Rep. Bob Good, R-Va.; Rep. Andy Harris, R-Md.; as well as congressional candidates Laura Loomer, Jeanne Ives, Claudia Tenney and Ted Howze.
Not the first political controversy for Giants
If this all seems familiar, it’s because we’re on our third instance of Johnson trying to walk back an ill-advised donation to a GOP campaign.
First, there were the shockingly racist ads in 2018 in support of Arkansas Rep. French Hill and Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley, which were funded by a super PAC to which Johnson had contributed. Johnson later condemned the ad, and his statement might sound familiar:
“I had absolutely no knowledge that this donation would be used in this manner and I, like the Giants organization, strongly condemn any form of racism and in no way condone the advertisement that was created by this entity.”
Then there was the time in later in 2018 Johnson requested the return of a donation made to Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Miss., after she said she would “be on the front row” if invited to a public hanging during a close Senate race. The donation was made following her comment. Here’s how he defended himself then:
“I was not aware of the controversy surrounding Hyde-Smith when I made the donation. I strongly condemn any form of racism and I have asked for my contribution to be returned. My political donations are my own personal donations, which have no affiliation with the Giants or any company.”
Per SF Gate, Johnson’s attorney defended Johnson following those 2018 controversies by saying the billionaire had been blindly writing checks to Republicans and should have paid more attention to where his money was being funneled.
And yet this keeps happening.
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