Here Y' Go, Peter. : LUSENET : Unk's Troll-free Private Saloon : One Thread

I made the comment that Global Crossing gave more than Enron, and mostly to Democrats in another thread; you expressed disbelief.

Many people think that Republicans are automatically the party of Big Business. What you have to remember, though, is that Clinton changed the face of the Democratic party. Drastically.

While Republicans overall still receive more "soft money" donations, the Democrats narrowed that drastically during Clinton's term, so that the current split is about 55%/45% ...

... a fact that Mother Jones, whom I'll quote next, has a bit of problem reconciling, because SHE wants to hate Republicans, too.[g]

So, let's bore the world with some numbers. I don't think anyone could accuse Mother Jones of being part of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy. Dear Mutha lists the top 5 donors in the 1999-2000 period as follows:

1 - S. Daniel Abraham, former chairman of Slim-Fast, 1.5 mil, mostly to Democrats.

2 - Bernard L. Schwartz, CEO of Loral (remember them? Old friends of the Clintons). 1.3 mil, mostly to Democrats.

3 - Davidi Gilo, Chairman of Vyyo, Inc. 1.3 Mil, mostly to Democrats.

4 - Peter Buttenwieser (never heard of him), 1.3 mil, mostly to Democrats.

5 - Haim Saban, CEO of Fox Family Worldwide, 1.25 Mil, mostly to Democrats.

That's right, the top 5 soft-money donors gave to DEMOCRATS. There's factoid number one. In fact, you don't see a signficant Demo/Repub "split" until you get to #6.

Number two: on the specific contention that Global Crossing gave more money than Enron, I again quote Dear Mutha:

So much attention is being paid to Enron, in fact, that Global Crossing's filing for Chapter 11 protection this week passed with relatively little notice -- despite that fact that, at $25.5 billion, it is the fourth-largest in US history.

Like Enron, Global Crossing was a loyal and generous contributor to politicians on both sides of the aisle. In fact, only 28 individuals managed to contribute more to political candidates leading into the 2000 elections than former Global Crossing CEO Leo Hindery Jr. -- and Enron chairman Kenneth Lay wasn't one of them.

Altogether, Global Crossing's employees and the company's political action committee gave $2.8 million leading up to the 2000 elections, nearly $400,000 more than Enron contributed in the same period. The company continued its tradition of largesse through 2001, contributing over $600,000 towards the mid-term elections being held this year. Most of that money is filtered through soft money contributions to the political parties.

Company executives have also extended helping hands to politicians through substantial individual donations. Gary Winnick, Global Crossing's founder, gave over $120,000 in the last two years, and Lodwrick Cook, the company's co-chairman, gave over $230,000 in the same period. Hindery outdistanced them both, contributing nearly $600,000 in the last election cycle.

"If we're going to compete," Cook once told reporters, "we've got to be heard." Apparently, Global Crossing's message came through loud and clear on Capitol Hill.

The fact is, if the Democrats want to play dirty with Enron, the Republicans will simply turn right back around and cram Global Crossing (and the names listed above, for that matter) right back down their throats. Many of these people obviously received favors and political appointments in return for this money, too.

(Mutha goes into quite some detail, if you're interested. She naturally spins it as much against the Republicans and Bush as possible, but the numbers don't lie.)

-- Stephen M. Poole (, February 01, 2002


By the way, I didn't mean to imply that YOU "hate" Republicans. Sorry.

-- Stephen M. Poole (, February 01, 2002.

Don't forget the media's fave Republican, John McCain.

-- (, February 01, 2002.


I mentioned McCain in that other thread, as I recall. Not only did he receive a handsome donation, but according to Mutha, he got the payoff after helping them with a little political matter. So much for principle.

The real lesson here, of course, is that campaign finance reform is not likely unless us common folk *DO* follow Gephardt's advice and contact our Congresscritters when it comes up for a vote in a few months. The Democrats were all for it in 1988, when Bush Sr. won the election primarily on the strength of soft money, which paid for a barrage of negative ads.

Clinton brought a new season to the White House. I wonder how many people here remember that, during the 92 campaign, Clinton openly courted several top business leaders and arranged their endorsements?

The Democrats have learned to love soft money as much as the Republicans, and it's going to take public outcry to pry them away from it.

By the way: I don't think anyone here has put together 2+2 on another factoid. One reason why some of these companies pay their executives huge salaries is so that they *CAN* donate $500,000 to a candidate. Personal contributions fall under a different heading. :)

And thus, the soft money machine grinds on, with Bush, Clinton, Democrats, Republicans and even Libertarians all swilling at the till.

-- Stephen M. Poole (, February 01, 2002.


"even Libertarians all swilling at the till."

My 1st reaction is to say BUUULLLLSHIIIIIT... but if you can back that statement up I'd surely like to see it. As far as I know we don't take those dollars, why do ya think we don't win the big ones?

Being a Libertarian and IMHO a common sense kind of feller anyone who believes there's one bit of difference between a Dem or Rep is a few fries short of a Happy Meal. As long as they can keep the majority fat and happy on the largesse we'll eat eat like a horse till we pop.

-- capnfun (, February 01, 2002.


No, that was an aside, added without thinking -- I was trying to think of another party, because Dems and Repubs aren't only ones who benefit from soft money (although they're certainly the largest). If I'd said "Natural Law," now, I COULD have backed that up. :)

Nope, I was wrong and I abase myself in apology to all good Libertarians, everywhere.

-- Stephen M. Poole (, February 01, 2002.

Stephen, could you back up what you said on the Natural Law Party. I'm just curious, who in their right mind would donate money to them?

-- bogsworth (running@on.8cylinders), February 02, 2002.


I suspect that the Natural Law Party has received a lot of money from Mitch Kapor, founder of Lotus Development Corp. Not that Kapor had favors in mind, I'm pretty sure.

The reason for my statement is that Kapor's money has established Maharishi University, in Iowa, and that John Hagelin (sp?) the Natural Law Party's candidate for President, is on the faculty there.

-- Peter Errington (, February 02, 2002.

Speaking of Maharishi U, they have a project that has been going on for some time, to save the world. By making a breakthrough into mass levitation, they will accomplish a spiritual rebirth that will sweep through the world. So a large group has been bouncing on their buns for a long time. They claim their hang-time is improving.

-- Peter Errington (, February 02, 2002.


Check that first link to Mother Jones. You'll see a few Natural Law donations scattered in there, primarily on the later pages.

-- Stephen M. Poole (, February 02, 2002.

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