Land O'Lakes faces calls for a boycott over the dairy company's financial support for Rep. Steve King, an Iowa Republican who has drawn fire for what critics say are his links to white nationalists.
Among other things, King has stirred controversy by refusing to delete a retweet of a British activist and prominent Nazi sympathizer, Mark Collett, and has displayed a confederate flag on his desk in Washington. King in September also endorsed a candidate for mayor of Toronto who has espoused white supremacist views.
Land O'Lakes, which operates as a member-owned food and agricultural cooperative, in June gave $2,500 to King's campaign, according to Federal Election Commission records.That donation was condemned by liberals including former presidential candidate Howard Dean and TV host Soledad O'Brien, who called the the organization's donations to King "appalling."
"Land O Lakes dairy company sent this guy money. We need to let them know decent people don't appreciate it," said Dean in a tweet last week that drew hundreds of responses advocating a boycott of the butter, cream and milk products sold by the privately held Fortune 500 company.
Dean's and O'Brien's tweets drew hundreds of responses calling for a boycott.
A Land O'Lakes spokesperson did not return requests for comment.
Chip giant Intel confirmed a report that it has withdrawn its support for King, after earlier donating $2,000 to the lawmaker's campaign. A political newsletter, Popular Information, reported on Sunday that Intel stated in an internal email to employees that it would no longer contribute to King's campaigns after reviewing his public statements and determining they conflicted with the company's values.
"We had engaged with Rep. King because of his support for IP theft protections, which is important to Intel's business. However, an Intel employee raised concerns about the donations earlier this month. We looked into the congressman's public statements and determined that they conflict with Intel values. As a result, we are no longer donating to his campaigns," Dawn Jones, Intel's director of policy and external partnerships, wrote in the Oct. 25 email, according to the newsletter.
Intel declined further comment.