This week we take a look at the top 20 all-time donors and which party their money has gone to. The results may surprise you.
The donations are cumulative back to 1989 and are rounded to the closest million. All information is from the Center for Responsive Politics.
I have sorted them by industry. The number ranking is their overall ranking.
- 15 of the 20 groups gave more to Democrats, 4 gave more to Republicans, and 1 gave equal percentage to both parties.
- 12 are union, 4 are professional groups, 2 are in baking, one is in telecommunications, and ActBlue is in their own category
1. ActBlue - $67 million with 99% going to Democrats and 0% going to Republicans (ActBlue is an organization that serves as a conduit for donations for Democratic candidates)
2. American Federation of State, County, & Municipal Employees - $61 million with 74% going to Democrats and 0% going to Republicans
5. National Education Association - $42 million with 74% going to Democrats and 5% going to Republicans
6. Service Employees International Union - $40 million with 73% going to Democrats and 2% going to Republicans
9. International Brotherhood of Electric Workers - $36 million with 96% going to Democrats and 2% going to Republicans
10. American Federation of Teachers - $34 million with 87% going to Democrats and 0% going to Republicans
11. Teamsters Union - $33 million with 86% going to Democrats and 5% going to Republicans
12. Laborers Union - $33 million with 87% going to Democrats and 7% going to Republicans
13. Carpenters and Joiners Union - $32 million with 85% going to Democrats and 9% going to Republicans
14. Communications Workers of America - $32 million with 92% going to Democrats and 0% going to Republicans
16. United Food & Commercial Workers Union - $29 million with 92% going to Democrats and 0% going to Republicans
18. United Auto Workers - $28 million with 98% going to Democrats and 0% going to Republicans
20. Machinists & Aerospace Workers Union - $28 million with 98% going to Democrats and 1% going to Republicans
4. National Association of Realtors - $44 million with 45% going to Democrats and 47% going to Republicans
8 American Association for Justice - $36 million with 88% going to Democrats and 8% going to Republicans
17. American Medical Association - $28 million with 40% going to Democrats and 59% going to Republicans
19. National Auto Dealers Association - $28 million with 32% going to Democrats and 67% going to Republicans
7. Goldman Sachs - $39 million with 57% going to Democrats and 39% going to Republicans
15. Citigroup - $30 million with 49% going to Democrats and 49% going to Republicans
3. AT&T - $49 million with 43% going to Democrats and 55% going to Republicans
This week we look at the political influence of the 5 main oil companies.
BP America: BP's brands include BP, Castrol, ARCO, and ampm.
Chevron: Chevron's brands include Chevron, Texaco, Town Pantry, Techron, and others.
ConocoPhillips: ConcoPhillip's brands include Conoco, Phillips 66, and Union 76.
ExxonMobil: ExxonMobil's brands include Exxon, Mobil, Esso, and Superior Oil.
Shell Oil Company: Shell is the American subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell. They operate under the Shell brand.
Corporate Equality Index:
BP scored 85 on the Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index and is also a corporate sponsor.
Chevron scored 100 on the Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index.
Conoco scored 55 on the Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index.
Exxon scored -25 on the Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index. Their score is negative because they rescinded domestic partner benefits and removed discrimination based on sexual orientation from the corporate handbook when they merged with Mobil. Prior to the merger, Mobil employees received these benefits and protections.
Shell scored 85 on the Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index and is also a corporate sponsor.
Corporate Political Donations:
BP has donated $6,362,811 with 70% going to Republicans and 29% going to Democrats. This makes them the 138th largest all-time donor.
Chevron has donated $12,094,048 with 75% going to Republicans and 23% going to Democrats. This makes them the 82nd largest all-time donor.
Conoco has donated $2,848,200 with 84% going to Republicans and 16% going to Democrats.
Exxon has donated $12,912,309 with 86% going to Republicans and 13% going to Democrats. This makes them the 73rd largest all-time donor.
Shell has donated $1,089,900 with 73% going to Republicans and 27% going to Democrats.
BP has spent $77,127,984 on political lobbying.
Chevron has spent $93,529,825 on political lobbying.
Conoco has spent $84,705,717 on political lobbying.
Exxon has spent $184,812,472 on political lobbying.
Shell has spent $79,729,589 on political lobbying.
Political Convention Donations
BP donated $100,000 to both the 2008 Democratic and Republican National Conventions
Chevron donated $200,000 to the 2008 Republican National Convention
Conoco donated $375,000 to the 2008 Democratic National Convention
Exxon and Shell did not donate to either.
BP CEO Robert Dudley has donated $4,576 to the BP PAC.
Chevron CEO John Watson has donated $154,600 with $144,600 going to Republicans and $10,000 going to Democrats. His largest donation was $85,800 to the National Republican Senatorial Committee and the only Democratic donation going to the Nevada State Democratic Party.
Conoco CEO James Mulva has donated $51,100 with $48,700 going to Republicans and $2,400 going to Democrats. His largest donation was $15,000 to the NRSC and the only Democratic donation was to Senator Ben Nelson (D-NE).
Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson has donated $184,770 with it all going to Republicans.
Shell CEO Marvin Odum has donated $1,000 to Senator Ted Stevens (R-AK)
The Environment (not an exhaustive list):
BP had leaking wells in Prudhoe Bay, Alaska in 2006-07 with about 5,000 barrels of oil leaked. They also leaked 530,000 pounds of chemicals into the air of Texas City in 2010, including benzene, nitrogen oxides, and carbon monoxide. In 2010, the Deepwater Horizon accident killed 11 people and leaked 4.9 million barrels of oil.
Chevron was accused by Ecuadorian residents of discharging 18 billion gallons of formation water into the rainforest. In a lawsuit, Chevron claimed that agreements with the Ecuadorian government exempted the company from any liabilities. In 2011, an Ecuadorian court fined Chevron $8.6 billion over pollution. Chevron has said they would not pay the fine as they have no international obligation to pay and no assets in Ecuador for the government to seize. Additionally, in 2011 Brazilian authorities said 416,400 liters of oil leaked in 2 weeks near the coast and are demanding $10.6 billion. Brazil has suspended Chevron’s activities in Brazil until it has established the cause of an oil spill of the coast of Rio de Janeiro.
Conoco was responsible for a series of oil spills in China in 2010 for which they were fined $31,000. The media described the spill as six times the size of Singapore. Utah is suing Conoco for $25 million to clean up leaking underground tanks.
Exxon was responsible for the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill, which released 11 million gallons. In 2011 they had an oil spill in Montana and in 2012 in Louisiana. They have been accused of spending more than $8 million to challenge global warming and, as of 2009, was still funding some of these groups.
Shell has been fined by the Environmental Protection Agency, first in Connecticut in 1998 and then in Washington state in 2010. They were also sued in 2008 for violating the Clean Air Act in Texas. The parent company, Royal Dutch Shell, has frequent oil spills in Nigeria and had a large freshwater spill in Argentina.
BP admitted it lobbied the British government to conclude a prisoner-transfer agreement to secure the release of the Lockerbie bomber amid fears that delays would damage its commercial interests and disrupt its offshore drilling operations in the region.
Chevron was found to have evaded $3.25 billion in taxes from 1970 – 2000 through a pricing scheme involving a project in Indonesia.
Conoco challenged a July 2012 tax assessment by East Timor that would result in hundreds of millions of dollars being owed to the country. East Timor was not able to accurately enforce its tax code until recently and has been performing an audit of petroleum production for the past 12-18 months, which has found deficiencies in many of the assessments.
Exxon renamed the tanker subsidiary after the Valdez spill, and, even though it is wholly Exxon-controlled, it has its own corporate charter and board of directors. The tanker, now renamed SeaRiver Mediterranean, is legally owned by a small, stand-alone company, which would have minimal ability to pay out any claims in case of another accident.
Shell, acting under East Resources, donated more than $300,000 to Governor Tom Corbett (R-PA) in 2010. Some believe these donations were a payoff in exchange for no severance tax and the repeal of environmental policies created to protect the environment from natural gas drilling. In June, he also announced $1.7 billion in tax credits for a new natural gas refinery.
A Look at the Political Involvement of the Airlines
Jamestown and Plymouth Rock
Alaska Air: Alaska Airlines has 120 planes and 91 destinations. It was founded in 1932 as McGee Airlines and is based in Seattle, Washington.
American Airlines: American Airlines has 605 planes and 260 destinations. It was founded in 1930 as American Airways and is based in Fort Worth, Texas.
Delta: Delta Air Lines has 714 planes and 247 destinations. It was founded in 1924 as Huff Daland Dusters and is based in Atlanta, Georgia.
JetBlue: JetBlue Airways has 172 planes and 75 destinations. It was founded in 1999 and is based in Long Island City, New York.
Southwest Airlines: Southwest Airlines has 710 planes and 97 destinations. It was founded in 1967 and is based in Dallas, Texas.
United Airlines: United Airlines has 703 planes and 378 destinations. It was founded in 1926 as Varney Air Lines and is based in Chicago, Illinois.
US Airways: US Airways has 338 planes and 204 destinations. It was founded in 1979 as USAir and is based in Tempe, Arizona.
Virgin America: Virgin America has 52 planes and 19 destinations. It was founded in 2004 and is based in Burlingame, California.
San Francisco, Provincetown, and Palm Springs
Alaska received a score of 90 on the Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index
American received a score of 100 on the Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index (and is a Corporate Sponsor)
Delta received a score of 90 on the Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index
JetBlue received a score of 90 on the Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index
Southwest received a score of 90 on the Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index
United received a score of 100 on the Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index
US Airways received a score of 85 on the Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index
Virgin America received a score of 90 on the Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index.
Denver or St. Paul?
Delta donated $60,000 to the 2008 Republican National Convention
Alaska has donated $411,900 with 52% going to Democrats and 48% going to Republicans
American has donated $9,044,045 with 53% going to Republicans and 47% going to Democrats
Delta has donated $3,262,200 with 53% going to Republicans and 47% going to Democrats
JetBlue has donated $25,000 with 58% going to Republicans and 42% going to Democrats
Southwest has donated $625,300 with 55% going to Republicans and 45% going to Democrats
United has donated $1,909,600 with 54% going to Democrats and 46% going to Republicans
US Airways has donated $676,000 with 66% going to Republicans and 34% going to Democrats
Virgin has donated $0
The following graph shows percentage of total political donations by airline
Alaska has spent $4,950,000 on political lobbying
American has spent $57,587,067 on political lobbying
Delta has spent $42,135,689 on political lobbying
JetBlue has spent $2,190,000 on political lobbying
Southwest has spent $7,000,000 on political lobbying
United has spent $55,030,627 on political lobbying
US Airways has spent $16,112,609 on political lobbying
Virgin has spent $0 on political lobbying
The following graph shows percentage of all money spent on lobbying by airline
Alaska CEO Brad Tilden has donated $1,000 to Republicans
American CEO Tom Horton has donated $7,250 to Democrats and $1,500 to Republicans
Delta CEO Richard Anderson has donated $56,400 to Republicans and $21,150 to Democrats
JetBlue CEO David Barger has donated $32,400 to Democrats and $19,650 to Republicans
Southwest CEO Gary Kelly has donated $13,100 to Republicans and $6,000 to Democrats
United CEO Jeffrey Smisek has donated $22,200 to Democrats and $5,000 to Republicans
US Airways CEO Doug Parker has donated $112,575 to Republicans and $11,000 to Democrats
Virgin CEO C. David Cush has donated $51,500 to Democrats and $3,300 to Republicans
The following graph shows percentage of total CEO donations by airline
A New Front in the Soda Wars
- Coca-Cola: Coca-Cola, Diet Coke, Barq’s Root Beer, Capri Sun, Dasani, Fanta, Fresca, Fruitopia, Hi-C, Mello Yello, Minute Maid, Mr. Pibb, Nestea, Odwalla, Powerade, Seagram’s, Sprite, and Tab.
- Dr Pepper Snapple Group: Dr. Pepper, Snapple, 7-Up, A&W Root Beer, Canada Dry, Country Time, Crush, Diet Rite, Hawaiian Punch, Nantucket Nectar, RC Cola, Schweppes, Squirt, Sun Drop, Sunkist, Welch’s, and Yoo-hoo. It was spun off in 2008 from Cadbury Schweppes.
- Pepsi: Pepsi, Gatorade, Tropicana, AMP Energy, Mountain Dew, Sierra Mist, and Aquafina. They also produce everything from Frito-Lay to Aunt Jemima to Funyons to Rice-A-Roni to Cap’n Crunch.
Voter Suppression (aka ALEC)
- Coca-Cola dropped out in April 2012
- Dr. Pepper Snapple Group was never a member
- Pepsi dropped out in January 2012
- Coca-Cola received a score of 100 on the HRC Corporate Equality Index (and is a corporate sponsor to boot!)
- Dr. Pepper Snapple Group received a score of 60 on the HRC Corporate Equality Index.
- Pepsi received a score of 95 on the HRC Corporate Equality Index
We Like To Party!
- Coca-Cola donated $180,000 to the 2008 Republican National Convention and $155,000 to the 2008 Democratic National Convention.
- Dr. Pepper Snapple Group did not participate.
- Pepsi donated $250,000 to the 2008 Republican National Convention and $125,000 to the 2008 Democratic National Convention
Show Me the Money!
- Coca-Cola has donated $2,502,100 with 54% going to Republicans and 46% going to Democrats.
- Dr. Pepper Snapple Group has donated $17,000 with 68% going to Republicans and 32% going to Democrats. In January 2012, they donated $2,000 to the Republican Party of Wisconsin.
- Pepsi has donated $3,254,200 with 69% going to Republicans and 31% going to Democrats.
- Coca-Cola has spent $35,151,775 on political lobbying.
- Dr. Pepper Snapple has not spent any money on political lobbying.
- Pepsi has spent $31,584,754 on political lobbying.
- Coca-Cola has had labor issues with Teamsters including strikes in 2012 in West Virginia and Connecticut at some of the bottling plants.
- Dr. Pepper Snapple Group had a strike by the Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union at a New York plant in 2010.
- Pepsi’s main labor controversy seems to center around Pepsi charging employees who smoke an extra $50 per month if they smoke or have obesity-related medical issues without going through the normal channels. The Teamsters have filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board. The union points out that Pepsi has spent at least $17,000,000 fighting soda taxes while assessing fees on its own employees who are overweight.
- Coca-Cola CEO Muhtar Kent donated $4,600 to McCain Palin and $1,500 to Barack Obama
- Dr. Pepper Snapple CEO Larry Young has donated $20,000 to American Beverage PAC and $5,000 to the Dr. Pepper Snapple Group PAC
- Pepsi CEO Indra Nooyi has donated $5,992 to the Pepsi Concerned Citizens Fund