FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Political Players

“The money don’t know where it came from.”

– Laurence Fishburne, Deep Cover

This column is usually dedicated to those in the Sportsworld who believe in the power of protest and back their words with deeds. But today, in recognition of this Tuesday,s election-lunacy, we give space to those who back their political ideas with cold, hard, filthy, cash. Thanks to newsmeat.com you can see where your favorite athlete and other assorted glitterati, choose to put their money in the all-important “wealth primary” that determines every election. In 2004, the majority of athletes who pried open their wallets supported the Bush/Cheney ticket. But this year the giving has been far more even.

Here is a sampling along with my unrequested commentary:

Mario Andretti gave $250 to endangered Senator Rick Santorum (R-Pa.). No word if Andretti shares Santorum’s obsession with “man-dog love.”

The Florida Senatorial campaign of Republican Katherine Harris has inspired few people outside the state’s asylums but she has secured the Azinger vote. Golfer Paul Azinger has given her $4,200.

Pittsburgh Steelers Super Bowl hero Jerome Bettis gave $2,500 to Michigan Democratic Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick two years after after giving $2,000 to Bush-Cheney.

Former Denver Broncos Quarterback John Elway has given $6,300 to Rick O’Donnell’s Republican Colorado run for congress this election cycle. In 2005 he also gave $1,000 to notorious anti-immigrant Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-CO). No word if Elway shares Tancredo’s belief that “illegal aliens…need to be found before it is too late. They’re coming here to kill you, and you, and me, and my grandchildren.”

University of Tennessee Football coach Phil Fulmer gave $4,200 to the campaign of former Vols quarterback, 1st round NFL draft bust, Heath Shuler’s (D-NC) run for Congress. For Washington football fans, few thoughts are more frightening than Shuler returning to DC. See stopshuler.com for a football fan’s perspective on this race.

Washington football’s Hall of Fame coach Joe Gibbs gave $1,000 to Republican George Allen’s Virginia Senate run in 2000 but nothing this year for Senator Macacawitz. Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has however given $1,875 to the son of the coaching legend. Daniel Snyder, the Washington football team,s owner, and the man who – I am almost positive – played George Costanza on Seinfeld, has also given thousands of dollars to Allen’s campaign.

Pittsburgh Steelers football icon Franco Harris has paid $2,000 to the senatorial campaign of Bob Casey (D-Pa.). There is no record of Harris giving to his ex-teammate Republican gubernatorial candidate Lynn Swann.

In one of the most closely watched contests in the country, Colts All-World quarterback Peyton Manning gave $2,100 to Tennessee Republican Senatorial candidate Bob Corker during his bitter primary battle where he barely fended off a right-wing challenge. Now Corker is running against Harold Ford who aims to be the first African-American elected to the Senate in the south since reconstruction. Ford is to the right of Ghengis Khan – but still to the left of Corker who seems to be channeling Bull Conner in his handling of the campaign.

George Steinbrenner donated $10,000 to the Republican party of Florida yet also gave $1,000 to Florida Democrat Katherine Castor’s effort to win a seat in the House.

Home run champ Hank Aaron gave $300 to Hillary Clinton’s campaign as well as $2,500 to Civil Rights Pioneer and Georgia Democrat John Lewis.

Recently retired tennis great Andre Agassi has given $2,000 to liberal Democratic Iowa senator Tom Harkin, $4,200 to “Party of One” Joe Lieberman $2,000 to Washington senator Maria Cantwell, and $5,000 to the Nevada Democratic Party.

NBA Commissioner David Stern, has spread his money around for the Democratic party in many key Senate races including $560 each to Casey, Cantwell, Maryland Democratic nominee Benjamin Cardin, Ohio’s Sherrod Brown, and Tennessee’s Harold Ford. Broadcaster Joe Theisman has also given to Ford’s campaign to the tune of $4,200.

In a season of difficult news for the RNC, they did receive $25,000 from Don King.

And lastly, Michael Jordan has given nothing, but in 2004 donated $10,000 to the Senatorial campaign of Barack Obama. Both men have a dream of a world where Republicans buy sneakers too.

DAVE ZIRIN is the author of “‘What’s My name Fool?'”: Sports and Resistance in the united States. He is speaking at the conference Socialism 2006, June 22-25, in New York City, with Etan Thomas and Toni Smith. See www.socialismconference.org. Contact him at dave@edgeofsports.com

 

More articles by:

DAVE ZIRIN is the author of A People’s History of Sports in the United States (The New Press) Contact him at edgeofsports@gmail.com.

June 20, 2018
Henry Giroux
Trump’s War on Children is an act of State Terrorism
Bill Hackwell
Unprecedented Cruelty Against Immigrants and Their Children
Paul Atwood
“What? You Think We’re So Innocent?”
Nicola Perugini
The Palestinian Tipping Point
K.J. Noh
Destiny and Daring: South Korean President Moon Jae-In’s Impossible Journey Towards Peace
Gary Leupp
Jeff Sessions and St. Paul’s Clear and Wise Commands
M. G. Piety
On Speaking Small Truths to Power
Dave Lindorff
Some Straight Talk for Younger People on Social Security (and Medicare too)
George Wuerthner
The Public Value of Forests as Carbon Reserves
CJ Hopkins
Confession of a Putin-Nazi Denialist
David Schultz
Less Than Fundamental:  the Myth of Voting Rights in America
Rohullah Naderi
The West’s Over-Publicized Development Achievements in Afghanistan 
Dan Bacher
California Lacks Real Marine Protection as Offshore Drilling Expands in State Waters
Lori Hanson – Miguel Gomez
The Students of Nicaragua’s April Uprising
Russell Mokhiber
Are Corporations Behind Frivolous Lawsuits Against Corporations?
Michael Welton
Infusing Civil Society With Hope for a Better World
June 19, 2018
Ann Robertson - Bill Leumer
We Can Thank Top Union Officials for Trump
Lawrence Davidson
The Republican Party Falls Apart, the Democrats Get Stuck
Sheldon Richman
Trump, North Korea, and Iran
Richard Rubenstein
Trump the (Shakespearean) Fool: a New Look at the Dynamics of Trumpism
Kevin Zeese - Margaret Flowers
Protect Immigrant Rights; End the Crises That Drive Migration
Gary Leupp
Norway: Just Withdraw From NATO
Kristine Mattis
Nerd Culture, Adultolescence, and the Abdication of Social Priorities
Mike Garrity
The Forest Service Should Not be Above the Law
Colin Todhunter
Pro-GMO Activism And Smears Masquerade As Journalism: From Seralini To Jairam Ramesh, Aruna Rodrigues Puts The Record Straight
Doug Rawlings
Does the Burns/Novick Vietnam Documentary Deserve an Emmy?
Kenneth Surin
2018 Electioneering in Appalachian Virginia
Nino Pagliccia
Chrystia Freeland Fails to See the Emerging Multipolar World
John Forte
Stuart Hall and Us
June 18, 2018
Paul Street
Denuclearize the United States? An Unthinkable Thought
John Pilger
Bring Julian Assange Home
Conn Hallinan
The Spanish Labyrinth
Patrick Cockburn
Attacking Hodeidah is a Deliberate Act of Cruelty by the Trump Administration
Gary Leupp
Trump Gives Bibi Whatever He Wants
Thomas Knapp
Child Abductions: A Conversation It’s Hard to Believe We’re Even Having
Robert Fisk
I Spoke to Palestinians Who Still Hold the Keys to Homes They Fled Decades Ago – Many are Still Determined to Return
Steve Early
Requiem for a Steelworker: Mon Valley Memories of Oil Can Eddie
Jim Scheff
Protect Our National Forests From an Increase in Logging
Adam Parsons
Reclaiming the UN’s Radical Vision of Global Economic Justice
Dean Baker
Manufacturing Production Falls in May and No One Notices
Laura Flanders
Bottom-Up Wins in Virginia’s Primaries
Binoy Kampmark
The Anguish for Lost Buildings: Embers and Death at the Victoria Park Hotel
Weekend Edition
June 15, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Dan Kovalik
The US & Nicaragua: a Case Study in Historical Amnesia & Blindness
Jeremy Kuzmarov
Yellow Journalism and the New Cold War
Charles Pierson
The Day the US Became an Empire
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail