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Discovery of Anna’s House political donations upsets Facebook, Reddit users

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The reputation of a local restaurant chain is getting political after public records of its donations to President Donald Trump surfaced on Reddit.

Anna’s House has eight locations across the state with signs advertising “Voted #1 Best Breakfast in Michigan” but now, hundreds of Facebook and Reddit users are posting they will no longer be eating at Anna’s House after seeing a Federal Election Commission filing detailing its political contributions.

According to the FEC, Anna’s House Corporate, LLC has made two $2,800 donations to Donald J. Trump for President, Inc. One contribution is for the primary election, the other is for the general election. Anna’s House is also listed as giving $15,000 to Trump Victory, a joint fundraising committee. All three contributions are dated on April 2, 2019.

Republican politicians aren’t the only ones benefiting from Michigan businesses. Title Check, LLC contributed $1,000 to Sen. Gary Peters, D-MI, campaign on June 15, 2019.

Some corporations donate to both major parties, like DTE Energy, which has given money to Peters and Rep. Fred Upton, R-Kalamazoo.

Blue Cross and Ford also join DTE Energy on the list of top political donors in Michigan, according to non-profit Michigan Campaign Finance Network.

While politicians have been benefiting from corporate contributions for years, Calvin University professor Doug Koopman said the way people respond to it is new.

“It’s interesting because the information has been out there, really, literally for decades but I think we’re in this wave of trying to expose this information so that, either to embarrass to express pride in who you contribute to,” Koopman said.

Doug Chu, 30, saw a screenshot of Anna’s House partial FEC record on Wednesday and shared it to his personal Facebook page. It’s since been shared hundreds of times, mostly by people upset to learn about the restaurant chain’s support of the president.

“My political beliefs, at their core, come from being a Christian,” Chu said. “More specifically, from studying the Bible and and paying attention to the kind of society God wants people to live in, as well as from working to apprentice myself to Jesus’ teachings on how to treat other people.”

Chu hasn’t made a donation to a political campaign.

Koopman said while it’s unusual for businesses to donate the maximum contribution limit to one candidate so early in the race, it’s perfectly legal.

Thursday night, Anna’s House owner Josh Beckett released a statement on the matter.

“I am proud to live in a country where we are free to have different opinions and to support a candidate of our choice. At Anna’s House, we employ and serve people of all backgrounds and beliefs, without judgement. Our goal is to treat everyone like family – and in families, there are often differences of opinion. Embracing these differences and respecting each other despite them is what makes our country great. If you are looking for an open, supportive, and accepting place to enjoy a great meal and conversation, Anna’s House is here for you.” 

Kent County Republican Party Chair Joel Freeman issued the following statement to FOX 17:

“Treating people with different political viewpoints as enemies to be eliminated is toxic and counterproductive.  Anna’s House is a popular locally-owned business that has found success serving delicious breakfasts that everyone can enjoy.  It’s too bad that some would prefer division and strife over breaking bread, but that just means there’s more waffles for the rest of us.”

Among the list of millions of political donations on the FEC’s website, it can be difficult to completely avoid people and businesses that clash with a individual’s political views. Still, Chu said learning about Anna’s House’s political contributions will help him be more aware of how he spends his own money.

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  • DaMailman

    I hope the boycott of Anna’s is as wildly “successful” as the one the liberals tried on Chick-Fil-A. Never eaten there but now I may have to make a point of stopping by. Why are the people who claim to be the most tolerant the biggest bullies?

    • Kevin Rahe

      If someone could articulate just why they would be opposed to a business establishment making a donation to Trump’s campaign, perhaps even more people would join them.

      • DG

        Trump’s policies both Nationally and internationally are terrible. Also I fully believe he is fanning hate against minorities in an attempt at authoritarianism. If I contribute to Anna’s House then indirectly I contribute to Trump.

        • Kevin Rahe

          Describe “terrible.” And identify one thing he’s done that could be considered racist, such as belittle or criticize someone who hasn’t done or said anything for which they could be legitimately criticized regardless of their race.

          • KD

            Really? How about his recent rally where he was speaking about minorities along the border, someone in the crowd yelled out to “shoot them” and he laughed. How about the time where he said there were “many fine people” when speaking about white supremacists? If you can’t see how racist that man is, you are part of the problem.

          • Kevin Rahe

            Trump’s “many fine people” was in reference to those who marched against the removal of a statue of General Lee. The event happened to attract white supremacist groups, but it wasn’t them who organized or led it. I would have been against slavery always and everywhere, but I don’t think whitewashing our nation’s history does anything for anyone. The Civil War was unfortunate, but even though the outcome was right, not everyone who fought for the Confederacy was bad and not everyone who fought for the Union was good.

            As for Trump’s reaction to the “shoot them” comment, while he probably should have reacted differently, he certainly wasn’t condoning the suggestion, especially as it would have contradicted what he had just finished saying. On the other hand, it’s difficult to know how one SHOULD react in that situation given the bizarre defense of disorder at the border that comes from the political left and the mainstream media.

        • DR-P

          You clearly are nothing more than a mind numbed robot incapable of independent thought spouting nothing but DNC and MSM talking points rather than expressing anything even remotely representative of independent thought.

    • We the people

      And Home depot supports gays, why are we not crying about that. Oh it’s the liberal way of life, mixed up and don’t know what sex they are.

    • DR-P

      Because we now live in a society of absolute intolerance on the part of the liberals who claim to be the tolerant ones. We now live in a society of absolute intolerance when it comes to any expression of opinion or support that contridicts what the mentally ill liberals demand. Liberals is not about independence, freedom, etc. Its about dictatorial mandates and complete power over all. Their ideas, their agenda, their values, their morals, their platform is not one that can successfully be on display in the public square and at the ballot box, it must always be concealed and misrepresented because no one with any form of sanity would support what they put forth without the bullying, the shouting down, the intolerance, the hatred, the violence, the constant display of mental instability of Trump Derangement Syndrome. Conservatives believe in governance. Liberals will settle for nothing less than absolute dictatorship. That’s why its an issue.

  • GOP

    FOX17 is colluding with liberal Democrats to influence the election. Every one should boycot companies that advertise on FOX17

  • Dan

    Liberals (most) only doing business with liberal establishments, is a big part of what’s wrong with liberalism! Among most other things wrong with it. Now I know where I will be eating a lot more.

    • Dab

      P.s. i have many liberal friends and relatives and I eat and do business and go to see entertainers, no matter what their political or other beliefs are.

    • Dan

      P.s. i have many liberal friends and relatives and I eat and do business and go to see entertainers, no matter what their political or other beliefs are.

      • Wowsa

        Trump supporters fight for you to have that choice to exercise… the other side will be dictating and shutting down any and all opposition, zero tolerance, if they get their platform of socialist policies passed.

  • Iamct01

    It’s nice to see conservatives restaurant owners taking a more liberal view on food. Anna’s has less chems in the food, win for any political view.

  • Taylor31swift

    Fox new has really changed. Why is this new worthy. Talk about extreme BIGOTRY. Fox should be sued for defamation of character.

  • We the people

    And Home depot and a lot of others, support gays, why don’t they cry about that? Oh they are liberals and don’t know what sex they are.

  • Mildred

    Hopefully Anna’s house will not serve anybody that works at fox17. Why would anybody care who that donate to?? Is fox trying to bully people into a political view??
    Totally disgusting journalism.

    • We the people

      Fox 17 is the liberal nation with a bunch of millennials thinking they are doing something great.
      Good Job Annas House keep up the great cooking good food and keeping flys away.

  • Matt

    Becuase politically doxxing business on a news site is the responsible thing to do.
    Fox17 and the rest of media are setting up a dangerous situation and shouldn’t be adding fuel to the flame.
    Only a child would choose to be upset about something like this.

  • Philip Bareham

    My family has known of the Becket family for years ! These folks are “community minded” and invest their resources substantially in “the community” too! As well the personal lives of those suffering, abandoned and are who are hurting in ways miles beyond the political ! EVERYONE NEEDS TO SUPPORT ANNA’S HOUSE !

  • DG

    I don’t see Anna’s House as an “enemy” I see them as people that look the other way on issues of racism and terrible national and international policies, in the hopes of getting a tax break.

    • djmichaelangelo

      Sounds like someone has quite the overactive imagination! Are you usually this hysterical & overreactive on such trivial matters? Being petty and telling people how they should think and where they should eat is expected of extreme Lefties though of course. You just don’t see how doing so makes you look like handwringing control-freak Nazis.

  • Cali

    For those of you who are confused about someone wanting to boycott Anna’s House for supporting a president who spews hatred from his mouth at every turn..it is clear to me you are suffering from “white privilege”. And because you probably have no idea what the word privilege means I will spell it out for you…..A right, immunity or benefit enjoyed only by a person beyond the advantages of most. If you still dont understand then I suggest you open your tiny world up and just try to imagine being in others shoes..you are so spoiled by white privilege that you clearly dont get it. I have to be honest here.. I will never eat at this place.

    • djmichaelangelo

      LMAO oh wow….please don’t tell me you actually BELIEVE any of the hysterical SJW nonsense you’re spouting? yikes *lol* typical libtard: loves diversity ….as long as we all think alike :p

    • Kevin Rahe

      You’re right that there are some people who enjoy benefits that others don’t. But it’s not race that divides them. It’s class, which thankfully isn’t official or permanent in our country, even if it does exist for many folks as a practical matter.

    • Karen

      Boycott Fox 17 (and all its advertisers) because they are trying to hurt a local business and ran cover for guy who is pretending to be Christian but actually wants to suppress others First Amendment rights. Imagine being so deranged you want everyone to support who you vote for and if they don’t, you want to ruin them. That is the most unChristian thing I have ever heard. And Fox 17 is like the Pharases in the Temple that whose tables Jesus upended, because they were merchants who sold hate.

  • garden337

    You certainly have the right to donate money and to ascribe to a particular political view. And I have the right not to ever have breakfast or lunch in one of your restaurants again.

  • Dawn Pete

    I’ve eaten at Anna’s House twice before. Went there with a group of good friends this morning for no purpose other than to give them a shot in the arm for the little piss and vinegar storm the TDS sufferers are trying to unleash on them for failure to comply.

  • JC

    I visited Anna’s House once, about a year ago. I didn’t find the meal remarkable. However, after reading the owner’s response to the juvenile attacks by intolerant detractors, I want to give them another chance. I don’t care to whose campaign they contributed. The gentleman’s response was well-considered, rational, and exemplary of how real adults afford themselves.

  • Vanderski

    I will be going to Anna’s a whole lot more than normal. We are going to step up our support of this dining establishment because we like the food and we love President Trump

  • BS

    FACTS never support the liberal viewpoint. Liberals say President Trump is out to destroy the US Constitution. Yet liberals are the ones trying to restrict our freedom of speech (calling conservatives racist, bigots, etc. to shut down any debate, threatening violence against conservative speakers at colleges/universities, trying to destroy companies/people because of what or who they support), prevent us from protecting ourselves by confiscating guns, preventing us from enforcing our laws in an attempt to have open borders and trying to change our laws by making us think we have to PROVE we are innocent.
    Liberals are the single greatest threat to the safety, security and prosperity of the United States and its’ citizens.

  • Day

    Those who tout “tolerance” and such, only mean it concerning themselves, and those who agree with them. To the rest they are bullies. They want to shut anyone down who disagrees with them, and make them into villans and pariahs.

    • Martin

      Anna’s donates to the penultimate symbol of hate and fear and misogyny and racism and xenophobia and….
      Why should I put money in the pockets of people who put money in the pockets of DEPLORABLE Trump?
      I won’t do it.

  • Donald Jones

    Beckett says he treats everyone like family and yet they donate to Trump who puts immigrants in cages. Doesn’t work for me.

  • John G Vavrek

    Fox 17 supports the people trying to close down Anna’s that’s the only reason they would publish such an article.

  • Martin

    My family liked Anna’s House, but upon learning about their gifts to Trump, have written them about how awful it is that they support such an AWFUL person like Trump. Thump’s ruining my dear America; I am sick of him, and those who choose to conveniently ignore his many faults. Anna’s House is CANCELLED for myself and my family.

  • Melanie

    This is not about free speech. This is not about democrat or republican or class. This is about oppression.of women, minorities, and those living in poverty. If you think this president is going to do you any favors your thoughts are distorted. Anyone supporting this type of hatred lives by the law that says “I would cut off my own leg to bring another man down. ” Thank you fox 17 for bringing this to our attention. We will not be eating at Anna’s House…this is so much more than just giving a contribution ….it is promoting hatred and we should all be outraged by this !

  • BS

    The media has been lying to you about President Trump for years. All you ‘Trump Haters’ watch the “Charlottesville Lie”. This is the truth told by a CNN Political Commentator.

  • Margie Fedorchak

    I am lucky to live in a country that allows people to vote freely and contribute to whatever organization they choose whether or not I agree with their choices.

  • Deborah

    Stop posting this nonsense. Everyone has the right to support either party. This destroys a family business. Your post invites more division

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