The WSJ reports corporations have given substantially more money to the Democrats for their just-concluded convention than to the Republicans for theirs.
A list of Democratic convention events compiled by the Washington lobbying firm Quinn Gillespie & Associates LLC is three times as long as one it compiled for the Republican convention.
A separate study by the nonpartisan Campaign Finance Institute shows that 141 companies have donated $160 million to the host committee for the Democratic convention, compared with 80 companies and $100 million for the Republican convention.
Precise figures are impossible to produce because companies aren't required to disclose all of their spending at conventions, and host committees may report spending at a later date. But nonpartisan watchdogs have been monitoring spending by special interests in Denver. "There certainly seems to be more parties at the Democratic convention than [planned for] the Republican convention," said Nancy Watzman with the Sunlight Foundation.
The story also notes that this shift mirrors broader trends in corporate support for the two parties.
he attention that businesses are devoting to Democrats at the convention underscores a broader shift in political spending as the Democratic Party increases its power in Washington.
For the first time in at least a decade, corporations are spending more money to elect Democrats this fall than they are on Republicans. Data compiled by the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics show that corporations and their political action committees have contributed $115.9 million to Democratic candidates, the Democratic Party and outside political organizations this election cycle, compared with $111.5 million for Republicans. The data don't include donations from individuals.
That gives Democrats a 51% to 49% advantage over Republicans in corporate money.
One likely explanation is that corporate money follows those that are (or that corporations believe will be) in power. With Democrats in control of Congress, and Senator Obama expected to win in November, corporations are trying to ensure that they have a "place at the table." Another factor is that corporate donations are often influenced by the preferences of their Washington representatives, even if this is not in line with corporate interests. A third factor is that Democratic policies are better for some firms and some industries, particularly those that rely upon or benefit from increased government intervention in the economy. Whatever the ultimate reasons, however, the bottom line is the same: The GOP is not the exclusive party of big business.