Remember the final days of the Deeds-McDonnell race, in October and November? The two were neck and neck when, suddenly, McDonnell took in millions of dollars. The money was coming from the Republican State Leadership Committee, a tool of the RNC used to funnel money into state campaigns. In the last few months the campaign they pumped a truly astounding $2,083,500 into the race ($1.5M in October and November), or a third of all of the money that McDonnell raised for his entire campaign. That sum constituted 59% of all of their contributions for the entire year. McDonnell proceeded to win the election, after a recount, by 0.0166% and he is now, of course, Attorney General McDonnell.
The question all along was, of course, who gave McDonnell the money? The RSLC is just a funnel for the money. So what was he hiding? The press universally lambasted McDonnell for hiding his donors, and his ties to the Abramoff/DeLay scandal didn’t help any. But McDonnell refused to talk, and so we just had to sit tight and wait for the RSLC’s January 31, 2006 IRS filing to be made public.
That IRS filing is now available (PDF). I have taken that data and converted it into a CSV file, so that you can play along at home. This is a list of all contributions that the RSLC has taken in. Consequently, every RSLC donor can be assumed to have had some or all of their contribution given to McDonnell; everybody is fair game.
It’s everything you might expect: McDonnell has taken in huge quantities of money from alcohol, big oil, drugs, gambling, and shady loan companies. Here are my immediate observations:
- $500,000 from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce
- $300,300 from the American Tort Reform Association
- $265,150 from the tobacco industry (Altria/Philip Morris and R.J. Reynolds)
- $85,000 from Intuit
- $80,000 from Exxon Mobil
- $85,000 from Pepsi
- $75,000 from Eli Lilly
- $50,000 from Georgia-Pacific
- $150,150 Pharmaceutical Research And Manufacturers Of America
- $100,000 from Harrah’s Casino Hotels
- $75,750 from pawn shops and payday loan companies (Moneytree, Select Management/LoanMax, Cash America, Check into Cash, Rentway)
Here are the questions that I would like answered:
- Who gave to the RSLC this year who has not given in past years?
- Who gave to McDonnell both directly and via the RSLC?
- Why did Intuit contribute so much? Does it have anything to do with wanting to keep the Virginia Department of Taxation from providing free tax software to taxpayers?
- Why did Jonathan Perel donate $35,000, and does it have anything to do with Perel v. Brannan?
- Which corporate donors also gave to Deeds, and what was the difference in their giving?
- What business are these companies in? It takes a little research to find out that Diageo ($25,000) is an alcohol company, that Lorillard ($40,000) is a tobacco company,
- Why did the Mississippi Band Of Choctaw Indians, a tribe embroiled in the Abramoff bribery scandal, give $25,000?
Frankly, I could go on for hours asking questions and pointing out interesting things about this filing. But now it’s your turn — what do you see in this filing? Can you answer any of the questions that I’ve raised here, or raise any of your own?
02/18 Update: Due to a spreadsheet error, I had many of the dollar figures above doubled. They’re high enough in reality — there’s no need to go inflating them. I’ve corrected them now.