Ce Os No Longer Have One Party WalletsRichard S. Dunham
Highly paid executives are normally a Republican bunch. But some are getting bipartisan--at least in their campaign donations. Of Corporate America's 30 best-paid executives, as listed in BUSINESS WEEK's annual pay survey, only six have given exclusively or primarily to the Grand Old Party so far in the 1994 election cycle. Federal records show that's a sharp drop from two years ago. The number of top execs giving to both parties has doubled (table). Example: Frank Cahouet, CEO of Pittsburgh-based Mellon Bank, has given to both Senator Harris Wofford (D-Pa.) and GOP challenger Rick Santorum.
Why the bipartisan spirit among these big earners? Pragmatism. Bill Clinton's current fortunes may be wobbly, but Democrats still control the White House (unlike in 1992) and Congress.
Which pol is the execs' favorite? At $5,500, it's Bernadine Healy, ex-chief of the National Institutes of Health, who lost Ohio's GOP Senate primary last spring. Representative Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.), another Senate hopeful, is the top Democrat, at $4,300. The biggest giver is also the best-paid exec: Disney's Michael Eisner, whose $20,000 has largely gone to Dems.