Honeywell Boosts Campaign Donations, Becomes Top Company Giver

Honeywell International Inc. boosted its political action committee giving by almost two-thirds to become the most generous corporate campaign contributor for the 2010 elections, new Federal Election Commission records show.

Honeywell’s PAC was ranked second in giving behind AT&T Inc. during the 2008 election, and the companies swapped positions in 2010. The PAC of United Parcel Service Inc., which made more in campaign contributions between 1993 and 2006 than any other company, was fifth in 2010.

Honeywell’s PAC gave $5.2 million between Jan. 1, 2009, and Nov. 22, 2010, a 65 percent boost over the $3.1 million it donated during the same period two years ago.

“Honeywell’s political action committee supports those who support the policies that are most important to our company,” Rob Ferris, a spokesman, said in an e-mail.

Honeywell’s sales to the U.S. Defense Department amounted to $3.5 billion in 2009, representing about 11 percent of total revenue, according to a regulatory filing. The defense unit makes products that include engines for the Chinook helicopter, navigation systems for missiles and flight control components for fighter jets.

The Morris Township, New Jersey-based company also makes upgraded flight management and navigation systems that aircraft will use to operate within the Federal Aviation Administration’s NextGen program that aims to transform the air traffic control network to one that is based on satellite instead of radar.

Comcast Donations

AT&T Inc., the largest U.S. phone company, gave $4.5 million through its PAC. Two years earlier, Dallas-based AT&T contributed $4.4 million, more than any other corporate PAC. Claudia Jones, a spokeswoman, declined comment.

Philadelphia-based Comcast Corp., seeking federal approval to take control of General Electric Co.’s NBC Universal, made $2.9 million in PAC donations, up 47 percent over the $2 million for the same period two years ago. Comcast was the fourth biggest corporate PAC giver during the 2010 elections.

Ninety-four of the 104 federal lawmakers who urged the Federal Communications Commission to back the $28 billion merger received Comcast donations for their 2010 re-election campaigns.

Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News, has opposed the Comcast-NBC merger.

Sena Fitzmaurice, a Comcast spokeswoman, didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

UPS had been the top corporate PAC giver in every election between 1994 and 2006. For the 2010 elections, Atlanta-based UPS contributed $2.9 million through Nov. 22, behind Honeywell; AT&T; Bethesda, Maryland-based Lockheed Martin Corp.; and Comcast. In 2008, UPS trailed just AT&T and Honeywell among corporate PAC givers.

The PAC “has never been engaged in a race to be the largest,” Norman Black, a company spokesman, said in an e-mail. “Rather, the PAC exists to ensure that UPS’s voice is heard in Washington on issues that directly affect the future of the company and its 400,000 employees.”