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By the Numbers: MLB Execs and Presidential Candidates PDF Print E-mail
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Articles & Opinion
Written by Maury Brown   
Sunday, 27 January 2008 22:55

MLB and Presidential CandidatesIf you haven’t heard, apparently there will be a new president elected in November. In this day and age, you want to run for president? You better be working to gain campaign contributions. How much comes into the coffers of those running for president? The Center for Responsive Politics reported that the 2004 election brought in a staggering $3.9 billion in campaign contributions, up an astonishing $900 million from the 2000 election, a 30 percent increase.

When it comes to sports, owners and executives are looking to support candidates that they may simply see as having best interest in the country at heart. Or, it could be a matter of looking to gain influence, or both.

When it comes to sports, baseball surpasses all comers as largest contributor to presidential campaigns, according to the Federal Election Commission (FEC) by way of a report in the January 14, 2008 edition of the Sports Business Journal.

According to the report, a total of just under $250,000 ($249,025) had arrived into the coffers of presidential campaigns from MLB executives as of the third quarter of 2007 (candidates who had failed to gain significant contributions by the end of the filing period are not accounted for). Of that $249,025, 47 percent went to Democratic hopefuls ($117,200) to 53 percent to Republicans ($131,825). Compare those figures to the totals of other sports industries in the US:

  • MLB: $249,025 (Dems.: $117,200 – Rep.: $131,825)
  • NBA: $225,950 (Dems.: $149,450 – Rep.: $76,500)
  • NFL: $158,000 (Dems.: $65,300 – Rep.: $92,700)
  • NHL: $135,700 (Dems.: $58,850 – Rep.: $76,850)
  • NASCAR: $98,100 (Dems.: $18,100 – Reps.: $80,000)
  • MLS: $19,400 (Dems.: $10,200 – Reps.: $9,200)

Remember, the largest individual contribution that can be made is $4,600 ($2,300 for the primaries and $2,300 for the general election).

Which political candidate received the most from MLB executives? Unsurprisingly, it's Republican Rudy Giuliani. After all, Giuliani paved the way for a huge public outlay by way of New York taxpayers for New Yankee Stadium. Randy Levine, the current president of the Yankees, was Giuliani's deputy mayor when he was mayor of New York. Levine and the Yankees have since hired Giuliani Security & Safety for the Yankees. If Rudy could do what he did for the Yankees as mayor of New York, imagine what he could do for MLB as president?

On the Democrats side of the coin, it's former First Lady, and current Senator from New York, Hillary Clinton at $43,800. In a sign that it is Republicans that still have the pull with MLB executives, Clinton lands in at #3 overall behind Republican Mitt Romney at $49,325.

The second most in contributions for the Democrats goes to Barack Obama at $36,550. With Obama the Senator from Illinois, there are more than a few White Sox executives including Allan Muchin, Judd Malkin, and yes, Jerry Reinsdorf.

(Select Read More to see the rest of this article, including details on who in MLB is contributing and how much)

Here’s a handful of notable individuals in baseball and how they are contributing:

  • Bud Selig (Commissioner) - $4,600 – Chris Dodd
  • Frank and Jamie McCourt (Dodgers) – $2,300 ea. – Hillary Clinton
  • Mark Attanasio (Brewers) – $4,600 – Hillary Clinton
  • Arte Moreno (Angels) – $4,600 – Rudy Giuliani
  • John Scully (Giants) – $4,600 – Mitt Romney
  • Allan Muchin (White Sox) – $4,600 – Barack Obama

In the case of Selig, he considers Dodd “a very good friend” and not only has donated to his presidential campaign, but also made two $2,300 donations to Dodd as part of his congressional connections.

How about at the organization level?

24 clubs have execs that have donated (plus five individuals referenced as “MLB”, including Bud Selig).

Below is a breakdown by club level:

  • Giants – 13
  • Rangers – 11
  • White Sox – 9
  • Red Sox - 7
  • Mariners – 5
  • Yankees – 5
  • Twins – 5
  • Reds – 5
  • Braves – 5
  • Diamondbacks – 5
  • Phillies – 4
  • Athletics – 4
  • Dodgers – 4
  • Cardinals – 3
  • Nationals – 3
  • Padres – 2
  • Brewers – 2
  • Angels – 2
  • Royals – 2
  • Tigers – 2
  • Rockies – 2
  • Orioles – 2
  • Pirates – 1
  • Cubs – 1

Some may wonder if the situation with Barry Bonds has anything to do with the large number of contributors within the Giants organization. That would seem highly speculative. It simply mean that there are more execs in the Giants interested in politics than other organizations. But, it does certainly make for interesting fodder.

Remember, these figures represent just monies flowing to presidential candidates. As we reported in two articles, A Deeper Look at Political Lobbying and MLB  and Money, Politics, and MLB's Political Action Committee, there is even more money flowing into the coffers of those in Congress (for a detailed breakdown of who has donated where through MLBPAC, see the expansive table provided in Money, Politics, and MLB's Political Action Committee).

And, it is the two together that make for an interesting view of Major League Baseball. After all, MLB has been singled out more than any other sport over the issue of performance-enhancing substances. There is also the ever present issue of baseball’s anti-trust exemption, matters such as broadcast agreements, such as we have recently seen with MLB Extra Innings. While Extra Innings continues to be carried on cable and satellite operators, it was very nearly made a monopoly with DirecTV holding the upper hand up until the very late stages of negotiations. By keeping close ties to politicians at all levels of government, MLB will continue to have access.

Consider this... Individual contributions from baseball are nearly split down the middle between the parties at both the presidential and congressional level. This may be due to nothing more than how the political leanings of the owners land at this point in history. But, given how baseball has its share of the aforementioned thorny issues, it seems clear that baseball will continue to work the political lobbying angle to its fullest on Capitol Hill, and the White House.

Complete Breakdown of MLB Execs Making Individual Donations to Presidential Candidates

Democrats
Hillary Clinton

Made Contribution
Club
Amount
 
H.V. Sinclair
Chicago White Sox
$4,600
 
Mark Attanasio
Milwaukee Brewers
$4,600
 
James Pohlad
Minnesota Twins
$4,600
 
William Pohlad
Minnesota Twins
$4,600
 
Debra Cohen
Washington Nationals
$4,300
 
Michael Lufrano
Chicago Cubs
$2,300
 
Linda Alvarado
Colorado Rockies
$2,300
 
Frank McCourt
Los Angeles Dodgers
$2,300
 
Jamie McCourt
Los Angeles Dodgers
$2,300
 
Lawrence Nibbi
San Francisco Giants
$2,300
 
Philip Halperin
San Francisco Giants
$2,300
 
Mark Lerner
Washington Nationals
$2,300
 
Bob Bowman
MLB
$2,000
 
Tonya Winfield
San Diego Padres
$2,000
 
Larry Lucchino
Boston Red Sox
$1,000
 
 
Total
$43,800
Barack Obama

Made Contribution
Club
Amount
 
Allan Muchin
Chicago White Sox
$4,600
 
Judd Malkin
Chicago White Sox
$4,400
 
Thomas Werner
Boston Red Sox
$2,300
 
Jerry Reinsdorf
Chicago White Sox
$2,300
 
James Pohlad
Minnesota Twins
$2,300
 
Robert Pohlad
Minnesota Twins
$2,300
 
David Winfield
San Diego Padres
$2,300
 
David Wolff
San Francisco Giants
$2,300
 
John Scully
San Francisco Giants
$2,300
 
Laurence Baer
San Francisco Giants
$2,300
 
Norman Lyons
Texas Rangers
$2,300
 
Burton Ury
Chicago White Sox
$2,100
 
Edward Cohen
Washington Nationals
$2,000
 
William Pohlad
Minnesota Twins
$1,500
 
Camille Johnston
Los Angeles Dodgers
$1,000
 
Glenn Geffner
Boston Red Sox
$250
 
 
Total
$36,550
Christopher Dodd

Made Contribution
Club
Amount
 
Peter Angelos
Baltimore Orioles
$4,600
 
Tom Werner
Boston Red Sox
$4,600
 
Bud Selig
MLB
$4,600
 
William Bartholomay
Atlanta Braves
$2,300
 
Jamie McCourt
Los Angeles Dodgers
$2,300
 
Kevin McClatchy
Pittsburgh Pirates
$2,300
 
Lewis Wolff
Oakland Athletics
$1,500
 
Larry Lucchino
Boston Red Sox
$1,000
 
Christopher Larson
Seattle Mariners
$1,000
 
Bob DuPuy
MLB
$500
 
John McHale Jr.
MLB
$250
 
 
Total
$24,950
John Edwards

Made Contribution
Club
Amount
 
Tom Werner
Boston Red Sox
$2,300
 
Bob Bowman
MLB
$2,000
 
 
Total
$4,300
Joe Biden

Made Contribution
Club
Amount
 
Tom Werner
Boston Red Sox
$2,000
 
Ted Turner
Atlanta Braves
$1,000
 
Jerry Reinsdorf
Chicago White Sox
$1,000
 
 
Total
$4,000
Bill Richardson

Made Contribution
Club
Amount
 
Ted Turner
Atlanta Braves
$2,100
 
Lee Stern
Chicago White Sox
$1,500
 
 
Total
$3,600
Republicans 
Rudy Giuliani

Made Contribution
Club
Amount
 
Arturo Moreno
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
$4,600
 
Carole Moreno
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
$4,600
 
Ken Kendrick
Arizona Diamondbacks
$4,600
 
George Steinbrenner
New York Yankees
$4,600
 
Tom Hicks
Texas Rangers
$4,600
 
Randy Levine
New York Yankees
$2,500
 
William Bartholomay
Atlanta Braves
$2,300
 
Robert Castellini
Cincinnati Reds
$2,300
 
Christopher Ilitch
Detroit Tigers
$2,300
 
Michael Ilitch
Detroit Tigers
$2,300
 
Brian Cashman
New York Yankees
$2,300
 
Allan Byer
San Francisco Giants
$2,300
 
Peter Magowan
San Francisco Giants
$2,300
 
Casey Shilts
Texas Rangers
$2,300
 
Kellie Fischer
Texas Rangers
$2,300
 
Tom Hicks Jr.
Texas Rangers
$2,300
 
Lillian Richey
Texas Rangers
$2,100
 
Abel Guerra
New York Yankees
$1,000
 
John Fisher
Oakland Athletics
$1,000
 
John Middleton
Philadelphia Phillies
$1,000
 
Rufus Lumry
Seattle Mariners
$1,000
 
Andrew Silverman
Texas Rangers
$1,000
 
Charles Gulledge
Texas Rangers
$1,000
 
Jim Sundberg
Texas Rangers
$1,000
 
Jon Daniels
Texas Rangers
$1,000
 
Richard McLaughlin
Texas Rangers
$1,000
 
Anthony Bruno
New York Yankees
$500
 
 
Total
$60,100
Mitt Romney

Made Contribution
Club
Amount
 
John Scully
San Francisco Giants
$4,600
 
John Stanton
Seattle Mariners
$4,600
 
Jeff Moorad
Arizona Diamondbacks
$2,300
 
Ken Kendrick
Arizona Diamondbacks
$2,300
 
Robert Castellini
Cincinnati Reds
$2,300
 
Thomas Williams
Cincinnati Reds
$2,300
 
Dick Monfort
Colorado Rockies
$2,300
 
Julia Irene Kauffman
Kansas City Royals
$2,300
 
Mark Attanasio
Milwaukee Brewers
$2,300
 
Alexander Buck
Philadelphia Phillies
$2,300
 
Arthur Kern
San Francisco Giants
$2,300
 
David Wolff
San Francisco Giants
$2,300
 
Paul Wythes
San Francisco Giants
$2,300
 
Rufus Lumry
Seattle Mariners
$2,300
 
William Dewitt Jr.
St. Louis Cardinals
$2,300
 
Wayne Perry
Seattle Mariners
$2,275
 
Dale Murphy
Atlanta Braves
$2,100
 
John Fisher
Oakland Athletics
$2,100
 
Brandon Bowman
Cincinnati Reds
$2,000
 
William Dewitt III
St. Louis Cardinals
$1,000
 
William Buck
Philadelphia Phillies
$500
 
Michael Plant
Atlanta Braves
$250
 
 
Total
$49,325
John McCain

Made Contribution
Club
Amount
 
Peter Magowan
San Francisco Giants
$2,300
 
Jeff Moorad
Arizona Diamondbacks
$2,300
 
Ken Kendrick
Arizona Diamondbacks
$2,300
 
Robert Mazer
Chicago White Sox
$2,300
 
Robert Castellini
Cincinnati Reds
$2,300
 
Jerry Reinsdorf
Chicago White Sox
$2,100
 
William Dewitt Jr.
St. Louis Cardinals
$2,000
 
John Fisher
Oakland Athletics
$1,000
 
William Buck
Philadelphia Phillies
$1,000
 
Patrick Gallagher
San Francisco Giants
$500
 
 
Total
$18,100
Duncan Hunter
Made Contribution
Club
Amount
 
Tom Clancy
Baltimore Orioles
$2,300
Sam Brownback

Made Contribution
Club
Amount
 
David Glass
Kansas City Royals
$2,000

Sources: FEC, Sports Business Journal, Center for Responsive Politics


Maury Brown

 

Maury Brown is the founder and president of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is also an author for Baseball Prospectus, Basketball Prospectus and is an available writer for other media outlets.

Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

 
 
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