Koch Foods, PECO Funded ‘Chicken’ PAC, Gave Thousands to Hyde-Smith, Pols

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Business executives who federal filings say "willfully and unlawfully" employed undocumented immigrants have donated thousands to high-level politicians in and outside of Mississippi, including through a special "Chicken" political action committee. Even after last week's workplace raids in which federal agents arrested nearly 700 workers at poultry plants, the government has not brought charges against the corporate leaders who knowingly hired them.

Executives at PECO Foods and Koch Foods, have donated at least $170,000 to the National Chicken Council Political Action Committee, or NCCC, which in turn gives money mostly to Republican politicians. In 2018, the NCCC gave $190,000 to U.S. House Republicans, and just $23,000 to House Democrats.

ICE agents raided PECO plants in Canton, Bay Springs and Sebastopol, and Koch Foods' two plants in Morton. It was part of the largest one-state, worksite ICE raid in U.S. history, as U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst touted last week at a Pearl, Miss., press conference.

PECO executives Mark Hicman, John Denny Hickman and Dayna Hickman have given more than $100,000 to the NCCC.

Joseph Grendys, the CEO of Koch Foods, has donated $23,000 to the NCCC in recent years.

PAC Money to All Mississippi GOP Lawmakers in Congress

U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith of Mississippi, who served as the state's agriculture commissioner until her promotion to Washington last year, is among the top recipients of those funds. The NCCC donated $10,000 to her campaign to fill Sen. Thad Cochran's vacated seat last year. Since January, the PAC has donated an additional $15,000 to her 2020 re-election campaign.

Other recipients from Mississippi include U.S. Reps. Michael Guest, Steven Palazzo and Trent Kelly, also Republicans. Kelly received $5,000 from the PAC, while Guest and Palazzo each took in $2,500.

The PAC also donated $2,000 to U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker, a Republican.

U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson, the sole Democrat from Mississippi in Congress, last

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