Republican Senator Kelly Loeffler has maintained a firm anti-illegal immigration stance during his tenure, and has raised tens of thousands of dollars from donors related to a family business for the Georgia Senate campaign . Disclosure records show that more than 95 million US dollars have been fined for illegal immigration and suspected employment discrimination.
According to a new campaign financial report submitted to the Federal Election Commission, from late November to early December, Loeffler’s campaign received more than $28,000 in donations from at least 11 members of the Asplundh family. The Asplundh family owns and operates the large privately owned Asplundh Tree Expert Company, which has already done work for the US Department of Energy.
Family members’ donations to Loeffler did not correctly list their affiliation with the company in accordance with FEC’s requirements. On the contrary, Loeffler’s campaign wrote under the employer and career section: “Best effort message.”
Loeffler is competing with Democrat Raphael Warnock in one of two runoff elections for the Georgia Senate on January 5.
Although it is not uncommon for the campaign to be unable to obtain the employer or occupation of its donors, all Asplundh family members who donated to Loeffler have previously disclosed their contributions to other campaigns and groups and their employers and occupations. According to other disclosure reports, at least three of these family members (including Christopher Asprond Jr.) are current or former executives of the company, while several others are shareholders of the company.
Asplundh Tree Expert Company did not immediately respond to ABC News’ email request for comment. Christopher Asplundh Jr., Gregg Asplundh and Brent Asplundh were also contacted via e-mail, but there was no reply at the time of publication. As of 2017, these three men have all topped the list on the company’s website.
When announcing the fine, Asplundh said in a statement that company officials “take responsibility for the listed expenses and we apologize to customers, employees and all other stakeholders for everything that happened.”
ABC News sent a detailed email to two staff members of Loeffler’s campaign, outlining the company’s past settlements regarding illegal immigration practices and payments due to alleged discrimination. wage. In addition to asking for general comments on donations and the company’s past, ABC News also asked whether the campaign knew that members of the Asplundh family had donated money and intended to exclude their occupations and employers; if the campaign-taking into account the senator’s position on immigration The company’s violations in Georgia-do you want their support and donations; if the campaign does not want their support or donations, whether they will return them.
In response, Stephen Lawson, Loeffler’s deputy campaign manager, replied:[W]eMark your email as spam. Please do not send us emails again. “
A few minutes later, in a follow-up email, Caitlin O’Dea, Loffler’s press secretary, wrote: “Merry Christmas!”
According to ICE’s press release and citing court documents, a six-year investigation of the company’s immigration practices was finally concluded in September 2017, and it was found that “the highest-level Asplundh managers still deliberately turned a blind eye to the “plan”. The personnel hired and re-employed workers who they knew were using fraudulent identification documents.
ICE’s acting director at the time, Thomas Homan (Thomas Homan) said: “The judgment sent a strong and clear message to employers planning to hire and retain illegal immigrant labor: We will find you and hold you accountable.”
Although immigration was not one of the most concerned issues during the Senate campaign, Loveler still expressed her conservative stance on immigration.
She said on the Senate website: “Tolerating illegal immigration will only break the law and threaten our national security.”
She also introduced a bill with R-Ark Senator Tom Cotton in August that would allow judges to treat undocumented immigrants if they do not attend the immigration hearing and grant the judge to issue arrest warrants. Ability.
Loeffler posted an article on the bill on Twitter and said on Twitter: “I will always put American citizens first and be responsible for illegal immigrants.”
The assessment conducted by the Office of the Federal Contract Compliance Program of the U.S. Department of Labor in January 2019 “has discovered suspected systematic employment discrimination in the Macon plant of Asplundh Tree Expert Company.” According to a press release from the U.S. Department of Labor, beginning in 2015, Asplundh “discriminated 124 African-American applicants in the hiring and selection process for ground personnel, tree trimmer and equipment operation positions.”
Records indicate that this is the first time the Asplundh family has donated money to Loeffler’s federal campaign. But for many years, the Asplundh family and Asplundh Tree Expert have been active political donors to various Republican campaigns and groups. In 2016, the company donated US$50,000 to Future54, one of the major super PACs supporting President Donald Trump’s first presidential campaign. In September 2020, the company’s Political Action Committee donated $15,000 to the Republican National Committee.
The Loeffler and Warnock campaign has won national attention because it, together with the other Senate elections in Georgia, will determine control of the upper house of Congress. The latest campaign financial documents show that the senator’s Democratic challenger has greatly surpassed incumbents.
From mid-October to mid-December, Warnock’s campaign raised $104 million, and in the final three weeks of reaching the finals, it raised $23 million, while Loeffler’s campaign raised $66 million and entered the final three weeks of the final. , Raised 21 million US dollars. bank. In the past few months, Loeffler has contributed nearly $24 million in her campaign donations, and she has outperformed Warnock.