Sinema Doesn’t Talk to Her Voters. But Corporate Money Talks to Her.


AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

By Connor Van Ligten

December 3, 2021

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema has raised an inordinate amount of money this year. 

According to OpenSecrets, she’s received around $1.9 million in 2021, despite the fact that she is not up for re-election until 2024. Mark Kelly, Arizona’s other senator, is up for re-election in 2022 and has raised $6.7 million. 

While they represent the same state, Kelly’s top five donors are drastically different from Sinema’s. Most of Sinema’s money comes from corporate donors outside Arizona, some of which have a history of donating largely to Republicans. Kelly’s top campaign contributions, on the other hand, come mainly from the donation platform Democracy Engine, Arizona State University, Disney, Microsoft, and a Chicago-based law firm.

How has this money potentially influenced her stances? In 2021, Sinema voted down the $15 minimum wage increase, opposed tax increases on corporations and the wealthy, and stalled on drug price reform—all policies supported by a majority of Democratic Senators, as well as a majority of Arizonans. 

Here’s a breakdown of Sinema’s top five corporate donors.

Ryan LLC

Ryan LLC. is a Dallas-based tax service and consulting firm whose mission is to “liberate clients from the burden of being overtaxed.” High-ranking members of the firm typically donate exclusively to Republican federal candidates in election cycles. 

From 2016-2020, Ryan LLC donated over  $2 million to Republicans and $64,030 to Democrats. In 2021, executives have contributed $69,000 to Sinema, as well as an additional $10,000 from a company PAC.

Sinema has strongly opposed most forms of wealth and corporate tax in President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better Act. Ryan LLC lobbied against BBB in opposition to the tax reforms included in the bill. As Sinema is one of the only remaining votes the Democratic party needs to pass  Build Back Better, she holds a lot of influence on what gets gutted or cut from the bill. 

Ryan LLC released a statement that they are “proud” to use lobbying to achieve their goal of avoiding “overtaxing.” 

Welsh Carson Anderson and Stowe

A private equity firm based in New York, Welsh Carson focuses on healthcare and technology. In 2019, the company lobbied against banning surprise medical bills amid rising healthcare costs. Welsh Carson has donated $41,100 to Sinema this year. The firm has invested in numerous pharmaceutical research companies. 

Welsh Carson donates significantly more to Republicans than Democrats. According to Open Secrets, Welsh Carson has donated roughly $2.3 million to Republicans compared to just under $350,000 to Democrats between 2016-2020. 

Additionally, Welsh Carson is partnered with Humana, a company that lobbied against healthcare reform in the Build Back Better Act.

Goldman Sachs

The New York-based financial services giant is a major figure in politics. Frequently donating large sums to both sides of the political aisle, Goldman Sachs executives—including firm president John Waldron—have donated nearly $30,000 to Sinema in 2021..

The firm has lobbied against tax reforms in the past and saved millions in taxes thanks to former President Donald J. Trump’s tax cuts in 2017. Goldman Sachs also lobbied against the Stop Wall Street Looting Act, which would have closed tax loopholes for corporations and private equities. 

Sinema, who voted against Trump’s tax cuts as a congresswoman in 2017, stood in opposition to wealth and corporate taxes in 2021.

Apollo Global Management

The private equity firm from New York has donated roughly $30,000 to Sinema in 2021. In the 2020 election cycle, Apollo donated about $1.6 million to Republicans and $1 million to Democrats.

Apollo lobbied against lowering healthcare costs in 2019. Apollo has lobbied against the Build Back Better Sct, specifically raising issues with healthcare pricing reform. 

Additionally, a White House economist claimed lobbying from Private Equities is the reason that the private equity loophole closure was removed from Biden’s tax hike—a removal championed by Sinema.

This loophole allows private equities to keep their tax rates far lower than usual. Apollo would have to pay more taxes as a result of the closure of that private equity loophole. 


Amgen is a multinational pharmaceutical company located in California. Amgen spends tens of millions annually lobbying against reducing drug prices. In 2021 alone, Amgen has lobbied against lowering prescription costs, medicare reimbursement and coverage expansion, corporate taxes, and more.
In 2021, Amgen contributed nearly $22,000 to Sinema. From 2016-2020, Amgen contributed $3.7 million to Republicans and $2.7 million to Democrats. Amgen opposed lowering drug prices in Biden’s spending bill, something that Sinema also opposed.

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