Contributor Post Created with Sketch. A Brief Research Bleg, or, the New York Times Could Use a Hand

 

Continuing its usual theme that corporations are wicked, that the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision will undermine democracy, and, well, blah, blah, blah, today the New York Times presents a story on a company that makes all its corporate contributions to Republicans:

The political action committee of Flowers Foods, a Georgia company that produces the pillowy sandwich bread [Wonder Bread], Tastykakes and Nature’s Own baked goods, has given more than 99 percent of its political contributions since 1979 to Republicans. Only three Democratic congressional candidates have gotten money from its PAC since 1984, and not one in the past 20 years.

Question for the Ricochetti: Does anyone have the time just now to peruse the online records of the Federal Election Commission? (I’d do the job myself, but I’m so technically maladept — just ask the Blue Yeti — that it’d take me all week.)

The assignment: Figure out what proportion of political contributions by members of the faculty of major universities went to the Democratic Party. Harvard, Yale — you pick ’em. Then share your findings here.

If university giving proves at all unbalanced, the New York Times would no doubt like to note that in a follow-up story. I feel sure about that. Don’t you?

There are 8 comments.

  1. Guruforhire Member

    since this is the way the game is played now, we on the right should play as well. why don’t we just link that database to the barcode database, and create a smartphone app that will help people ensure that their purchases maximize as much as possible their own political affinities.

    You can choose your politics and scan the barcodes of the things one regularily buy and it will spit out a list of competitive alternatives that minimize your indirect contributions to the other team.

    If the democrats are going to get us in a bearhug and jump off a cliff into the abyss of tribal conflict, we may as well make a buck. We are after all conservatives. Its what we do.

    Now where did I leave my monocle polish? I can’t properly destroy the world with my evil right wing profiteering without a clean monocle; I am not a savage.

    • #1
    • May 8, 2014, at 1:43 PM PST
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  2. James Of England Moderator

    Ricochet should offer “scholarship” upper tier memberships for stuff like this. Excellent, important, time consuming, reporting by people with more time and skill than money (or who are put off the idea of spending it on/ donating it to Ricochet for some reason).

    • #2
    • May 8, 2014, at 4:32 PM PST
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  3. Chris Johnson Inactive

    OK, I’ll play. I searched here and in the top 8 hits, got donations to Obama Victory Fund, Obama For America, and Obama for America. Nothing right, or center right, for the University of Florida, major at least in size:

    http://www.fec.gov/

    • #3
    • May 8, 2014, at 4:34 PM PST
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  4. Steve Manacek Contributor

    Here’s 10 minutes’ worth for you. Contributions 2004-2014 from people listing their employer as Harvard University, last names starting with A or B: Total, approximately $250-270,000. To Republicans: $7,500. To congressional candidates or PACs unknown to me: approximately $10,000. To Democrats or liberal PACs: all the rest. Of donations to identifiable (by me) recipients, 97% Democrat or liberal.

    But who didn’t already know this?

    By the way, the “advanced search” option under “individual search” is helpful — lets you screen for contributors on any of a number of dimensions. But Peter — don’t you have cadres of assistants who can do this sort of stuff for you?

    • #4
    • May 8, 2014, at 5:37 PM PST
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  5. Western Chauvinist Member

    But, you’ve fallen into another trap, Peter. No need to limit the search to universities. For an apples to apples comparison, you want corporate giving v. corporate giving. I think many Occupiers would be shocked, shocked!, to learn just how much Democrats get in the way of campaign donations from Big (evil) Business. Of course, it’s not a problem unless it goes to limited government Republicans for some strange (crony) reason.

    • #5
    • May 8, 2014, at 6:37 PM PST
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  6. Peter Robinson Founder
    Peter Robinson Post author

    Steve Manacek:

    Here’s 10 minutes’ worth for you. Contributions 2004-2014 from people listing their employer as Harvard University, last names starting with A or B: Total, approximately $250-270,000. To Republicans: $7,500. To congressional candidates or PACs unknown to me: approximately $10,000. To Democrats or liberal PACs: all the rest. Of donations to identifiable (by me) recipients, 97% Democrat or liberal.

    But who didn’t already know this?

    By the way, the “advanced search” option under “individual search” is helpful — lets you screen for contributors on any of a number of dimensions. But Peter — don’t you have cadres of assistants who can do this sort of stuff for you?

    I most certainly do not have cadres to do this sort of thing for me, you silly man. (I do have cadres–of children. But somehow they always find a way of making me work for them.)

    Do people already know what you demonstrate here? Well, yes, but only vaguely. Wasn’t it Dr. Johnson who said that it is the virtue of numbers that they make vague things definite? Even to those of us who could have guessed, more or less, the numbers you turned up, those numbers are still worth dwelling upon. They’re not mere talk. They’re proof. Harvard has simply disconnected itself–utterly–from the ordinary jumble of political leanings everywhere else in America. I knew it. But jeepers. Your numbers still just blow me away.

    • #6
    • May 8, 2014, at 9:44 PM PST
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  7. Peter Robinson Founder
    Peter Robinson Post author

    Chris Johnson:

    OK, I’ll play. I searched here and in the top 8 hits, got donations to Obama Victory Fund, Obama For America, and Obama for America. Nothing right, or center right, for the University of Florida, major at least in size:

    http://www.fec.gov/

    The U of Florida is in Gainesville, right? As major American universities go, that one’s in middle America. And it still leans left.

    • #7
    • May 8, 2014, at 9:45 PM PST
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  8. MACHO GRANDE' (aka - Chri… Coolidge

    I did a very quick check of my alma mater for undergrad, the University of Vermont. Just at a quick glance, it looks like less than 5% of contributions went to anything other than Democrat/Liberal/Progressive candidates or causes (it’s less than that, I’m rounding up). The bulk of contributions went through ActBlue, which I have never heard of before, but apparently does a lot of fundraising at local/state/national levels – sort of a fundraising aggregator, maybe.

    Not surprising data in the least.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ActBlue

    ActBlue is a United States political action committee established in June 2004 that enables anyone to raise money on the Internet for the Democratic Party candidates of their choice.

    ActBlue has grown quickly to become a major fundraising tool for Democrats, particularly favored by the netroots and left-leaning bloggers.[1] As of November 2013, ActBlue had raised more than $430 million USD for Democratic candidates at various levels of politics, making it the largest single source of funds in United States politics. The organization is open to all registered Democratic campaigns and candidates. [2]

    • #8
    • May 9, 2014, at 3:10 AM PST
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