The Washington Times - June 23, 2008, 05:53PM

Interesting article in the Arizona Republic today about how most sports executives out there are supporting Sen. John McCain in the upcoming Presidential election. It obviously makes sense for the team owners in Arizona to throw some money McCain’s way, but the story also suggests that most sports executives would naturally be more suppportive of Republicans.

“If someone from your state is running for president of the United States and wins, you typically do quite well on federal issues. It makes sense for everyone in Arizona to be supportive of him regardless of party affiliation,” said Marc Ganis, president of Sportscorp Ltd., a Chicago-based sports-consulting organization. “And sports-team owners tend to be more supportive of Republicans than Democrats as a general rule.”



A quick examination of the donations made by D.C.-area sports owners, however, shows some strong Democratic leanings, with support of both Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. Hillary Clinton. (Thanks to the Center for Responsive Politics for the info.)

Capitals owner Ted Leonsis gave to largely Democratic causes, donating $2,300 to Barack Obama‘s campaign in March of last year, while also giving $5,000 to the Democratic Virginia Leadership PAC last May. He and his wife, Lynn, have each donated $2,300 to Hillary Clinton‘s campaign. Democrats Mark Warner, Al Franken and Niki Tsongas have also gotten support from the Leonsis’, but Ted has also donated $2,300 to McCain and Republicans Keith Fimian and Frank Wolf.

While running the Nationals, members of the Lerner family have also been strong Democratic supporters. While neither principal owner Ted Lerner or his son Mark have donated to a presidential campaign, Mark Lerner did make a $5,000 donation to the Democratic Senatorial campaign and several Democratic members of Congress. Ted Lerner’s wife, Annette, donated $2,300 in support of Clinton in December of 2007, while the Lerner’s daughter, Debra, gave $4,300 in support of Clinton in three separate donations last year. Debra’s husband, Ed Cohen, gave $2,000 to Obama in March of 2007.

Wizards owner Abe Pollin, meanwhile, made two donations of $2,300 each to Obama, including one this past February. He also made a $5,0000 donation to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and two donations of $5,000 each to the Democratic AmeriPAC.

DC United owner Victor MacFarlane donated $2,300 to Barack Obama last September, while also giving $28,500 to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee on Dec 31 of last year. His wife, Thaderine, also made a $28,500 to the committee that same day. United President Kevin Payne gave $2,000 at the end of last year to Hillary Clinton, and donated $1,000 in January to DNC Services Corp. (AKA the Democratic National Committee.)

Redskins owner Daniel Snyder appears to be the odd one here; the only donation listed is $10,000 to the Republican National Committee.

- Tim Lemke