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Governors' donors play big in the Barack Obama-John McCain battle

If the past is any indication, Democratic and Republicans governors could be key in several states where Barack Obama and John McCain are locked in close contests.

They act as surrogates for the candidates and deploy their political organizations to help win their states for their party’s nominee.

They also have considerable fundraising abilities, tapping donors that have interest in state and federal affairs, as their latest campaign disclosures show.

As 11 states prepare to elect new governors, the Republican Governors Assn. has raised $21.8 million this year, to the Democratic Governors Assn.’s $18.7 million. Many of the biggest donors are major players in national politics.

Republican donors include Texas homebuilder Bob Perry, at $750,000. Perry gained fame as being the largest backer of....

...Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, the group that attacked John Kerry four years ago over his Vietnam service.

Led by $1.2 million from the American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees, labor is the Democratic Governors’ biggest donor. AFSCME also is a major Obama booster.

Democrats have been critical of Wal-Mart over its opposition to unionizing efforts, but took $136,763 from the Arkansas retailer. Wal-Mart donated $130,000 to the GOP governors. A Wal-Mart executive stirred controversy earlier in the campaign by urging Wal-Mart employees to donate to Republicans.

The National Education Assn., which represents public school teachers and works for Obama’s election, gave $100,500 to Democrats and $35,000 to Republicans.

The National Rifle Assn. is spending millions to defeat Obama. It has given $25,250 to Democratic governors and $75,000 to Republican governors.

Both associations take big bucks from corporate America, much of which has stakes in national and state actions.

Drug maker GlaxoSmithKline gave $500,000 to Democrats and $250,000 to the Republicans this year. Drug companies will have a stake in any national healthcare legislation, and also sell pharmaceuticals to state healthcare systems.

Tobacco companies, which fend off state taxes and federal regulation, also give heavily. Altria, formerly known as Philip Morris, gave $50,000 to Democratic governors this year and $49,421 to Republicans. Reynolds American, another major tobacco company, gave $140,000 to the GOP governors.

Then there is American International Group, the insurance giant that was bailed out last month. It gave $100,275 to the Democratic Governors and $100,000 to Republicans. Its most recent donations of $75,000 to both entities came in July, before the bailout.

-- Dan Morain

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John McCain what in the world were you thinking? I hate the fact that I even know of her. I say we take her off the endangered list and lock her up in a mental ward and let's hope she never takes you off the endangered list Senator McCain - you better watch your back.

I am so sick of the dirty antics the Republican are using that I dont even want to turn the tv on. They are sickening and disgraceful. So McCain loves his supporters think they are wonderful even tho they shout, "Kill him" Terrorist. That is way beyond American. I think maybe we should be investigating McCain and Palin on their Americanism. And another thing voter registration fraud is a joke I would say the Republicans are pushing that so they can make people think that McCain is loosing and they will vote for him. Registration fraud has nothing to do with the actual voting.


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
President Obama
Republican Politics
Democratic Politics



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