Leadership Institute Reveals Corporations’ Political Leanings
New Study Shows Giving Patterns of Business-Related PACs
ARLINGTON, VA – The Leadership Institute has released its latest study of the largest corporate and business-related Political Action Committee (PAC) contributors. The data show how PACs divided contributions between Republicans and Democrats, incumbents and non-incumbents, and conservatives and liberals, and how much they gave in the last election cycle, 2005–2006.
Morton C. Blackwell, President of the Leadership Institute, said, “This study empowers the consumer to patronize businesses whose giving is consistent with his or her values and beliefs. By shopping more selectively, people can influence giving patterns of major PACs.”
The study will also help candidates running for office to raise money. “Candidates may use this study to identify PACs sympathetic to their values and then ‘go hunting where the ducks are,’” Blackwell added.
The Leadership Institute determined a conservative and liberal ranking for each PAC, according to giving patterns.
Often, direct business competitors present interesting contrasts.
The PACs of both Hershey Company and Nestle USA made contributions of about $30,000 during the study period. In races in which an identifiable liberal ran against an identifiable conservative, Hershey gave 100% to conservative candidates and 0% to liberals. Nestle USA, on the other hand, sent 42% of its PAC money to liberals in those races.
The PAC of shoe manufacturer Nike gave 80% to conservatives and 20% to liberals in liberal versus conservative races during the study period.
The study presents the giving patterns of familiar businesses and associations in a searchable, easy-to-use table.
The report provides donation figures from 1,188 business-related PACs that gave $25,000 or more in the most recent (2005-2006) election cycle. Each election cycle, the Leadership Institute, a non-partisan, educational organization, obtains and organizes data from the Federal Election Commission (FEC).
The study shows that most business PACs contribute mainly to incumbents, rather than to either challengers or candidates for open seats.
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