One more politics post before I leave it behind like Bonds blowing past Willie Mays.
There are a couple of sites that allow you to search FEC records to see who has donated what to whom. This one lets you search for any contributions made to presidential campaigns this election cycle. One entertaining feature is that you can search by ZIP code and see what your neighbors are giving.
This site has, for some reason, the 1997-98 and 2000 election cycles. It seems to be much more comprehensive, too, including contributions to PACs and congressional campaigns.
So what’s this have to do with baseball? You can look up ballplayers! And owners!
Since I spend most of my time worrying about the National League Central, I thought I’d look up the owners of the teams in that division.
Cardinals: I already knew that Bill DeWitt, Jr. of the Cardinals was a Forest Ranger or Space Pirate or whatever Bush called people who raised a certain number of billions for him. But he’s also given thousands in soft money to the Republicans and thousands in direct money to John Ashcroft.
Cubs: Owned by the Tribune Company. If you read the Chicago Tribune’s editorial page any time between, say, the Lincoln administration and today, you already know where their money is going.
Reds: Owner Carl Lindner gives insane amounts of money to both party central committees, but on balance, the GOP takes home more of the money Reds fans (not to mention the residents of Cincinnati who funded that ballpark) cough up. Sadly, for both Lindner and the GOP, attendance at Reds games wasn’t helped quite as much as they hoped it would be by the new park.
Houston: Owner Drayton McLane likes to give to Tom DeLay. And Elizabeth Dole. And Craig Biggio, if you count extending his expensive contract beyond the point when he will be a good player a political contribution.
Pittsburgh: Pirates owner Kevin McClatchy is an oddity among MLB owners. He mostly gives to Democrats, in amounts in the low thousands of dollars. He did, however, write one check to Rick Santorum, for $250. The very smallness of the check in relation to his other donations makes me imagine him wrinkling his face in disgust as he wrote it, considering it a cost of doing big business in Pennsylvania.
Milwaukee: Ah, yes. Have you heard me rant about Selig? Well, despite his union-busting and serial lying, Allan H. Selig is on the same side as me here, with him and his family members giving across the board to the Democrats.
What’s most interesting in this is that nearly all these owners have given–freely, I’m sure–amounts ranging from $1500 to $7500 to the Office of the Commissioner of Baseball Political Action Committee. I guess that committee is one of the ways MLB convinces people like James Sensenrenner to lob softballs at the Commissioner during congressional hearings.
Oh, and ballplayers? Turns out they just don’t give much to anybody, despite having loads of the ready. I suppose that shouldn’t surprise me. Al Leiter, noted Republican and boyishly cute pitcher, did give to Jim Bunning’s senate campaign. From which filing I learned that Al’s full first name is Alois.
And Tony LaRussa gave to a Democratic congressional candidate, which doesn’t surprise me, seeing as he’s a vegetarian and animal-rights activist.
Weirdest of all so far? Steve Garvey, noted conservative first baseman, gave Bill Bradley $1000.
That’s it for politics, unless Jim wants to go through the rosters of all current teams in order to see which players donated to legislators who have supported Amtrak?