With the U.S. presidential election heating up, 24/7 Wall St. has examined public companies’ political contributions in the current election cycle. The donations include monies given to political parties, candidates and political action committees. The figures are staggering and have prompted many to ask whether money can buy a seat in the House, Senate or even the presidency itself.
The Republican presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, the Romney Victory Fund and the Republican National Committee raised more than $76.8 million in May alone. This one month does not include what Romney and his supporters raised for the primaries or the growing amount he will need as the presidential election shifts into high gear. While President Obama has raised more overall, his campaign and the Democratic Party only raised $60 million for his re-election effort in May.
Political contributions, which used to go directly to candidates, now often flow to Super PACs, independent organizations that can raise money to either help or defeat a political candidate. Historically, traditional political action committees have been prohibited from accepting donations from unions and companies. However, following rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals, Super PACs are now allowed to accept unlimited donations from unions and companies, provided the money does not go directly to the campaign. Read