Inaugural Raises $44 Million Thanks to AT&T, MicrosoftJonathan D. Salant
Microsoft Corp., whose employees gave more money to President Barack Obama’s re-election committee than those at any other company, was the second-largest donor to his January inauguration, contributing $2.1 million, according to new Federal Election Commission filings.
Meanwhile, as the two parties gear up to battle for control of Congress in next year’s election, the House and Senate fundraising committees for Democrats brought in more money than their Republican counterparts during 2013’s first three months.
Obama’s inaugural committee raised more than $44 million, much of it from corporations in a reversal of his 2009 policy. The largest contributor to his 2013 swearing-in festivities was AT&T Inc., which gave $4.6 million. Boeing Co. and Chevron Corp. each donated $1 million.
Obama’s first inaugural committee raised more than $54 million from individuals only.
Other corporate donors to this year’s committee included Genentech Inc., which gave $750,000; the Coca-Cola Co., which contributed $430,000; and Bank of America Corp., which donated $300,000. Bank of America also contributed $5 million to help stage the Democratic convention in its home city of Charlotte, North Carolina.
Timothy Gill, the founder of Denver-based Quark Software Inc., was a $500,000 donor. Gill established a foundation to fund efforts to secure equal rights for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.
Some donors who supported Republicans in the elections switched partisan allegiances for the inauguration.
Obama’s committee received $100,000 from Rod Aycox, whose Alpharetta, Georgia-based loan company, Select Management Resources LLC, was one of several auto-title and payday lenders contributing to Restore Our Future, the super-political action committee that supported Republican nominee Mitt Romney. Payday lenders are subject to federal oversight under the Dodd-Frank financial regulation law that Romney during the campaign vowed to repeal.
Aycox and his foundation separately gave $200,000 to the super-PAC. He didn’t return a phone call seeking comment.
Obama’s inaugural committee also received support from organized labor, including the Teamsters, which gave $250,000, and the American Postal Workers Union, which donated $100,000.
Employees of Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft and their families contributed $814,645 to Obama’s 2012 re-election, more than those working at any other company, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a Washington-based research group that tracks campaign contributions.
AT&T’s political action committee contributed $5,000 to Romney’s campaign and its chairman, Randall Stephenson, gave $30,800 to the Republican National Committee. Those donations came after the Obama administration rejected the proposed AT&T-T-Mobile Inc. merger.
Claudia Jones, a spokeswoman for AT&T, and Christina Pearson, a Microsoft spokeswoman, both had no immediate comment.
Chicago-based Boeing received $22.1 billion in federal contracts in fiscal year 2011, second only to Lockheed Martin Corp., according to a Bloomberg Government study. AT&T, based in Dallas, ranked 91st with $744.4 million in government contracts and Chevron, based in San Ramon, California, was 104th with $661.5 million, according to the study.
Memphis, Tennessee-based FedEx Corp., which ranked 40th with $1.6 billion in federal contracts, contributed $500,000 to the inaugural committee.
As attention turns to the 2014 midterm election, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee said it raised $13.7 million, almost double the $6.8 the National Republican Senatorial Committee said it took in. Republicans need to expand their numbers by six to gain the chamber’s majority, and of the 35 Senate races on the ballot next year, Democrats hold all 10 of the seats rated as competitive by Washington-based analyst Charlie Cook.
The DSCC entered April with $8.4 million in the bank, compared with $5.3 million for the Republicans. The Senate Democratic committee was $15 million in debt at the end of February while the Senate Republicans owed $9.5 million at the end of March.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which aids the party’s House candidates, brought in $22.6 million from Jan. 1 to March 31, while its counterpart, the National Republican Congressional Committee, raised $17.5 million, according to filings with the Federal Election Commission.
The Democratic committee entered April with $8.9 million to spend, compared with $8.1 million for the Republicans. The NRCC reported more debt, $8.3 million, to $4.5 million for the Democratic group.
Democrats need a net pickup of 17 seats to take back the majority it lost to the Republicans in 2010.
The Republican National Committee, which owed $21 million at the end of 2010, raised $18.3 million from January to March and reported being debt-free, according to its FEC filing. The party committee had $8.7 million in the bank.
Its Democratic counterpart reported raising $13.9 million, with debts of $22.6 million. The Democratic National Committee entered April with $5.9 million cash on hand.