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Saturday, October 28, 2006

The rats are abandoning ship

It looks like a lot of flacks from corporate America stuck a finger in the air and figured out which way the political winds are blowing this fall. From The New York Times, October 28:
Corporate America is already thinking beyond Election Day, increasing its share of last-minute donations to Democratic candidates and quietly devising strategies for how to work with Democrats if they win control of Congress.

The shift in political giving, for the first 18 days of October, has not been this pronounced in the final stages of a campaign since 1994...
In 1994, of course, the Democrats lost 52 seats in the House. It was the greatest shift in power in that chamber since 1946. The newspaper provided a simple graphic which summarizes the data on corporate PAC giving.

In the last decade, corporate political action committees typically gave 27.2% of their funds in October to Democrats, 72.8% to Republicans. Republicans maintained control of the House throughout all those elections.

This October, these same corporate PACs are dividing the money 43% to 57% in October. Some corporations have already started giving 60 to 70% of their money to Dems. The article mentions PACs from Pfizer and Lockhead Martin, for example. Sprint, UPS and H-P have also increased contributions to Dems by at least 15%.

Finally, the article also notes without irony that the freshmen members of Congress will likely have new corporate "friends" after the election -- many offering, for example, to help retire campaign debt. If a hypothetical Speaker Pelosi hosts events between election day and the beginning of the new Congress, expect them to be crowded and economically productive.

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