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Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Corporate Contributions Shift to the Left

Some companies see Democrats having more sway in Washington after upcoming elections
by Brody Mullins

WASHINGTON - Some big companies are boosting their share of campaign contributions to Democrats this year, a sign that executives may be starting to hedge their political bets after a decade of supporting congressional Republicans.

The shift includes backers of the Republican Party in the insurance, pharmaceuticals and tobacco industries, such as American International Group Inc., Wyeth, and Reynolds American Inc., according to PoliticalMoneyLine, a nonpartisan tracker of campaign contributions.

Most companies say they give political donations to candidates who support their businesses, regardless of party affiliation. But corporations also tend to channel funds to politicians they think will hold power. So any shift in corporate campaign giving toward Democrats could signal that businesses believe Democrats will have more sway in Washington after the 2006 midterm elections or the 2008 presidential contest.

"The reality is beginning to set in here," says Greg Casey, the head of the Business-Industry Political Action Committee, an organization of businesses dedicated to electing pro-industry candidates. Even if Republicans maintain control of Congress after the November election, their majorities in both chambers are expected to shrink. "What you couldn't get done in 2006 will be much more difficult in 2007," Mr. Casey says.

Mr. Casey's PAC has given Democrats 41% of its $123,000 in donations since the beginning of the 2005-2006 cycle. That is up from 31% in the 2003-2004 cycle, and the highest share since Democrats controlled the White House and both houses of Congress in 1994.

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read the rest here...Corporate Contributions Shift to the Left

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