Billionaire Charles Johnson, believed to have the largest ownership stake in the Giants, has kept a remarkably low profile over the years, but he released a statement Friday afternoon regarding political contributions he made last year that have garnered increased attention in the wake of last week's events at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.
Johnson is a longtime contributor to Republican candidates for office, donating nearly $11 million over a five-year span, primarily to Republicans, according to a study published last year by ESPN.com. Per recent FEC filings, Johnson and his wife Ann both donated the maximum $2,800 last year to Republican Lauren Boebert, a House representative from Colorado.
Boebert, a QAnon supporter, has been criticized for tweeting the location of House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi during the riot last week and disagreeing with police over metal detectors installed at the Capitol afterward.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Johnson’s donations were made Sept. 23, between the primary and general election.
"Like most of the country, I watched in dismay as our Capitol was overrun last week," Johnson said in his statement. "I hope that those who engaged in or encouraged violence are held accountable for their behavior. I have a long history of giving political contributions to Republican and some Democratic candidates who share my strong belief in a free market system. My contributions are mine alone and are not associated in any way with the San Francisco Giants.
"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. I strongly believe in our democratic system where our elected representatives can engage in vigorous debate in the halls of government, free from violence and intimidation and in a peaceful and respectful manner. I hope we can return to this tradition that has served our great country so well for so long."
Johnson, 88, is the former mutual fund CEO who has stayed out of the public eye when it comes to the Giants, but the team released a statement in 2018 when it was revealed that Johnson had donated to a super PAC that later made a racist radio ad in Arkansas.
At the time, Johnson said he "had absolutely no knowledge that this donation would be used in this manner." The Giants released their own statement that day noting that Johnson's political donations were "entirely separate from his stake in the Giants ownership group."