Michael Kunzelman, correspondent, College Park, Md., and data journalist Andrew Milligan, New York, reviewed campaign finance records and social media posts, finding that Walmart, Amazon and other corporate giants donated to the reelection campaign of a Tennessee lawmaker who had amplified and promoted the QAnon conspiracy theory.
Milligan helped compile and review Federal Election Commission data for 81 current or former congressional candidates who have expressed support for or interest in QAnon. The AP analysis showed that dozens of QAnon-promoting candidates have run for federal or state offices during this election cycle. Collectively, they have raised nearly $5 million from thousands of donors. Individually, however, most of them have run poorly financed campaigns with little or no corporate or party backing.
Kunzelman’s story showed up in more than 200 news outlets, had 20,000 social interactions and 78,000 page views. Hollywood director Judd Apatow tweeted a link to his 2.4 million followers: