Comcast Political Giving Up 61% Since Announcing NBC Deal

Since reaching a deal to buy NBC Universal in Dec. 2009, Comcast has increased its PAC contributions to election campaigns by 61% over the amount it gave in the same period leading up to the 2008 elections.

From BusinessWeek:

From December 2009, when the deal was reached, through August 2010, Comcast’s contributions to federal candidates and political parties rose to $1.1 million from $682,450 in the same period two years earlier, Federal Election Commission records show. The money came from the company-run political action committee that funnels donations from employees….

Comcast’s political action committee became the sixth biggest-spending contributor for 2010 candidates among corporations, up from ninth place in 2008.

The donations come as the FCC and other regulatory bodies go through the process of reviewing the deal amid concern that the country’s largest cable company would be in control of a major broadcast network.

According to the FEC report, Comcast donated funds to 91 of the 99 House members and three of the five senators who wrote the FCC in support of the NBC sale.

A Comcast spokesperson downplays the increased spending, calling it only a “modest uptick… primarily due to the increased number of House and Senate seats that are competitive this cycle.”

While other cable and satellite providers like Dish Network, DirecTV and the American Cable Association, all increased their political giving over the same time periods, the total increase in contributions was only 3% for a total of $382,550.

Comcast Campaign Giving Jumps by Half as U.S. Weighs NBC Deal [BusinessWeek]

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  1. giax says:

    “Comcast donations up 61%” would sound more proper for the title – better than Comcast “giving up”.

    • Dover says:

      Yeah, I read that headline all wrong.

    • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

      They should’ve added an is. “Giving *is* up”

    • bigTrue says:

      I think they generally like to keep the titles very blocked looking, and by adding donations or an is it would have looked unbalanced. Instead it sounds stupid or misleading, like Comcast is “giving up” 61% of something, not that the giving is up.

      I hope they beat the crap out of whatever intern editor was responsible, and put the video on youtube so we can all watch and laugh.

  2. DanRydell says:

    “A Comcast spokesperson downplays the increased spending, calling it only a “modest uptick… primarily due to the increased number of House and Senate seats that are competitive this cycle.””

    That was my guess. The Republicans didn’t have a shot last time around, no reason to donate much to either side. Since then the Democrats have squandered their huge advantage and are not at risk of losing big in the coming election. No surprise that there would be more donations regardless of which side they go to (and since this is a corporation, they’re probably going to both sides)

  3. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    Nope, nothing wrong with our political process at all.

    • TuxthePenguin says:

      Okay, so if you believe something is wrong, what is your solution? Individuals cannot donate to organizations or political candidates?

      (I really assume you’re trying to make some veiled reference to Citizens United, but if you read this is the PAC – already allowed before Citizens United)

      • MustWarnOthers says:

        I can’t tell if you’re just trying extremely hard to get someone to give a proper, constructive answer to a problem you understand exists, or if you’re just a gigantic Devil’s Advocate.

  4. peebozi says:

    i can’t imagine this money is changing any politician’s mind! after all we have the most corrupt, buyable, worthless piece of shit human beings winning elections.

    i mean, of course this money is changing politicians minds…our elected politicians are whores and comcast is a perverted male, mid-40′s who likes S&M, degradation, spanking and golden showers. hey, it may cost a couple extra bucks but the prostitute will accommodate just about any request.

    • DanRydell says:

      I highly doubt it’s changing anyone’s mine. We’re talking about a maximum of $10,000 donated to the campaign of each politician or candidate. Even representatives spend a few million dollars on their campaigns. Comcast’s $10,000 would represent a fraction of 1% of their total campaign cost. If they were going to accept money in exchange for changing their mind on an issue, why wouldn’t they take the money from Comcast’s competitors instead? More companies = more sources of donations = more total donations allowed by law.

      No, campaign contributions of $10,000 are not going to change a politician’s mind on an issue. But it is enough to get a politician to state what’s on his mind. If Comcast hadn’t donated money, maybe those politicians wouldn’t have found the time to have an aide write a letter. That’s all.

  5. BigDave says:

    That picture never gets old

  6. TuxthePenguin says:

    So what would the appropriate change be? Employees (ie, people) cannot give to PACs and candidates?

    • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

      Not in anywhere NEAR the amounts that these organizations can (now without limit and without having to divulge the amounts nor to whom they are donating)

    • ARP says:

      Easy Fixes:

      1) Disclose all members of PAC’s, no Karl Rove PAC’s
      2) Eliminate ability for corporation to give any money to ANY PAC’s or political candidates. Corporations are not people for election purposes (Sorry Mr. Originalism Scalia, where in in the constitution is that provision about corporations being people?)
      3) A person in their individual capacity can give money to a PAC or candidate.

      Real Solutions:

      1) Federal Funding of all elections. No contributions by persons or corporations.
      2) Persons can fund PAC’s, up to prescribed limit.
      3) PAC’s can’t refer to candidates- issue ads only.
      4) PAC’s must disclose funding lists.

  7. kc2idf says:

    I can’t quite put my finger on why, but I have an even more uneasy feeling about this in the context of the Fox/Comcast and Fox/Dish issues that are currently going on . . .

  8. JKxZ says:

    I wonder if Comcast will give Clearwire more money if they keep throttling users so they can’t use alternatives like Netflix and Hulu?

  9. cmdr.sass says:

    Once the election is over, the merger will have to be renegotiated all over again with the new Congress and may grind to a halt. The contributions are a way to grease the wheels and try to get things wrapped up before the new Congress takes over.

  10. oldwiz65 says:

    In other countries this would constitute bribery, in the U.S. it is business as usual. Every large business is trying to buy political candidates. The big difference is that while candidates make campaign promises to voters but they have no intention of carrying through. However, when it’s a bribe from a business they don’t openly promise and they damn well have to do what they promise secretly or risk getting new shoes.

  11. Iron Weasel says:

    Glad to see that Plutocracy is still alive and well in this country.

    /sarcasm

  12. MauriceCallidice says:

    Vertical Integration!

  13. freqhz says:

    where else can a company gouge it’s customers then use the money to allow
    them to do an even better job of gouging even more people. how long before
    we have to pay for the CO2 we exhale?

  14. notgoodenough says:

    American Congress – The best that money can buy.

  15. Puddy Tat says:

    Giving up…… huh? You mean Comcast “Shoring Up” it’s in pocket government puppets?