Zygi's Politics: the Purple go from red to blue

Categories: General Archive

Last year, USA Today examined the political donations made by the owners of major professional sports franchises. Using public records, the paper found that the 153 lords of big sport--in other words, the owners of NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB and NASCAR teams--pumped approximately $14.6 million into the last federal election cycle.

Given the tax bracket occupied by said folk, it's no great surprise where most of that money went: Approximately 83 percent,  according to USA Today, found its way into the coffers of Republican candidates or causes.

Zygmunt Wilf, the New Jersey shopping mall magnate and new owner of the Minnesota Vikings, appears to be  something of an exception to the trend. Since '98, according to the website opensecrets.org, Wilf made about $35,000 in political donations, mainly to center and left center Democrats. In the 2002 cycle, Wilf gave to just three candidates. Among the donations: $2,000 to the late Paul Wellstone

By contrast, former Viking owner Red McCombs has been both much more prolific and more conservative in his giving habits. Since 1998, McCombs donated about $267,000, almost exclusively to GOP candidates and conservative PACs.

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