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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 09-21-2007, 09:31 PM Thread Starter
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CEOs, Bush Rangers Rebuff Republicans on War, Widening Deficit

I found this article very interesting.


Michael Janofsky Fri Sep 21, 12:16 AM ET

Sept. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Dozens of corporate executives who backed President George W. Bush for re-election in 2004, including some of his top fund-raisers, are now helping Democrats running for president.

John Mack, chief executive officer of Morgan Stanley, Rupert Murdoch, chairman of News Corp., and Terry Semel, chairman of Yahoo! Inc., are among some 60 executives writing checks to Democrats such as Senators Hillary Clinton of New York and Barack Obama of Illinois, a review of U.S. Federal Election Commission records shows.

While the vast majority of business leaders still back Republicans for 2008, the stature of some of those donating to Democrats suggests that support may be eroding, seven years into the Bush presidency. Some executives expressed concern over Republican positions on issues ranging from the war in Iraq and stem-cell research to global warming and the fiscal deficit.

The shift in political-spending patterns is ``very unusual,'' says Fred Wertheimer, president of Democracy 21, a Washington-based group that advocates campaign-finance reform.

``Normally, if you have dissatisfaction with the administration, you figure out who in your own party you'll support in the next election,'' he says. ``You don't look at other parties.''

The Democratic victory in last November's congressional elections may have also sparked greater interest in the party. ``Money tends to follow people who have power,'' Wertheimer says.

`Strong Asset'

Bush sounded unconcerned yesterday that he might adversely affect Republican chances next year. Asked at a White House news conference if he were ``an asset or liability'' to members of his party seeking election, he replied, ``Strong asset.''

Nonetheless, some of his strongest supporters are wavering -- or at least hedging their bets.

Sig Rogich, president of Rogich Communications Group in Las Vegas, raised at least $200,000 for Bush in 2004, earning the campaign's designation of ``Ranger.'' This year, Rogich gave $2,300 to Governor Bill Richardson of New Mexico, a Democrat, and $4,600 to Senator John McCain of Arizona, a Republican, according to the most recent election records, which go through June 30.

``Conservatives have two hard-core beliefs,'' says Rogich. ``They favor lower taxes and lower spending.'' Federal spending is ``the highest in the history of the nation,'' he says.

Morgan Stanley's Mack, another of Bush's Rangers, held a fund-raiser for Clinton, a New York senator, in July.

`Beyond Party Labels'

``When it comes to supporting a political candidate, I have always looked beyond party labels to the person I felt was best for the job and most able to lead the country forward,'' Mack wrote to executives of the New York-based company in June, explaining his choice. ``I personally believe that person is Hillary Clinton.''

Murdoch, who donated $25,000 to the Republican National Committee in 2004, has given Clinton $2,300. Semel of Sunnyvale, California-based Yahoo!, who gave $2,000 to Bush in 2004 and $50,000 to the Republican National Committee, has given the maximum, $4,600, to Clinton and $2,300 to Obama.

The Republican National Committee says executives will continue to overwhelmingly back the party, citing its candidates' stances on issues such as cutting taxes and curbing lawsuits.

``We fully expect our nominee to have the resources to run a successful campaign,'' says Dan Ronayne, a spokesman for the RNC.

Outdoing Republicans

Through the latest FEC reporting period, the three leading Democrats -- Clinton, Obama and former North Carolina Senator John Edwards -- out-raised the three leading Republicans -- former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and McCain, $145.2 million to $103.3 million.

Spokesmen for Romney and the latest Republican to enter the field, former Senator Fred Thompson of Tennessee, say they're also confident of their corporate backing.

``We're very happy with the level of giving from individuals in the private sector,'' says Romney spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom. Among executives who have donated to Romney are Richard Farmer, chairman of Cintas Corp. of Cincinnati, the largest U.S. uniform supplier, and Ray Irani, chairman of Los Angeles-based Occidental Petroleum Corp., the fourth-largest U.S. oil company.

Spokesmen for Giuliani and McCain didn't return calls seeking comment.

Personal Choices

Mack, Murdoch and Semel declined to discuss their political choices. Tom Nides, chief administrative officer for Morgan Stanley, agreed to read aloud parts of Mack's letter.

Most of the executives declined requests to comment through spokesmen, saying the donations reflect personal choices.

Jeffrey Volk, a managing director at Citigroup in New York, was an exception. He says he grew disenchanted with Republicans after the federal government failed to provide more help to the Gulf region after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. He says he remains a Republican, although he's supporting Clinton.

``It was absolutely inconceivable to me that after 9/11 another catastrophe could hit a major American city, and the United States government was not prepared,'' he says.

John Canning, a deputy board chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank in Chicago and CEO of Madison Dearborn Partners LLC, expressed similar misgivings.

A Bush Pioneer in 2004 who has given Obama $2,300, he described the Republican Party in an April interview as ``neanderthal'' for its positions on stem-cell research and global warming. He says he liked Obama's opposition to the war in Iraq and his approach to reducing greenhouse gases.

Not On `Same Page'

``I no longer find myself on the same page,'' he says of Republicans.

The Bush administration opposes more federal spending on human embryonic stem-cell research. On global warming, the administration has been criticized by scientists for a slow response to evidence of climate change.

Elaine Wynn, who has donated to Republicans in previous cycles along with her husband, Steve Wynn, chairman and CEO of Wynn Resorts Ltd. in Las Vegas, is serving as a member of the Obama campaign ``steering committee'' in Nevada.

Wynn, whose husband is a trustee of former President George H.W. Bush's presidential library, says she grew weary of two decades of leadership under two President Bushes and President Bill Clinton, with the possibility of another Clinton ahead.

`Two Families'

``That's a big chunk of my life overseen by two families,'' she says. ``I'd like to think this is a broad country with more people to weigh in.''

She says she remains a Republican yet was attracted to Obama more by seeing young adults drawn to him, rather than any disenchantment with the current president.

``I jumped on their bandwagon,'' she says.

Gerald Keim, associate dean of MBA programs at Arizona State University who has written extensively on corporate political activity, says executives would have little to gain by discussing their political preferences because shareholders and customers might not hold the same views.

``Most of this is very pragmatic,'' Keim says. ``This is about having relationships so an executive can have a voice heard on issues that affect the current or future operations of their companies.''

Number Will Grow

Keim says the number of Republican business leaders supporting Democrats will ``absolutely grow as it becomes clear who the Democrat nominee is.''

Among others who have already given are Richard Kelly of Xcel Energy Inc. of Minneapolis, who donated $1,000 to Bush last time and has given $2,000 to Richardson. Raymond Mason of Legg Mason Inc. in Baltimore gave Bush $2,000 in the last cycle and Christopher Dodd of Connecticut, a Democrat and chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, $2,300 this cycle.

Other former Rangers and Pioneers helping Democrats are Lance Weaver, vice chairman of FIA Card Services, who gave $4,600 to Senator Joseph Biden of Delaware, and Robert Congel, senior managing director of Pyramid Cos., who gave Clinton $4,600. Neither responded to requests for an interview.

Richard Notebaert, who recently retired as CEO of Denver- based Qwest Communications International Inc., contributed $25,000 to the Republican National Committee in 2004 and thousands more to candidates in both parties. This cycle, he has given Richardson and McCain $2,300 each.

He called Richardson ``a good man'' and McCain ``an outstanding individual'' but says it was still too early to choose sides.
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 09-22-2007, 01:37 PM
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I don't get the Murdoch thing. He must figure he will sell more shit media when he has a Clinton to smear again.

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

-President Barack Obama, 1st Inaugural address
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 09-22-2007, 02:27 PM
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The corporate money will go to where the power is, to support their own agenda by simply buying influence. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world with out end, Amen.

I hope all the money dries up for those Swifboat motherf**kers.

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