One of my many ultra liberal friends was yammering on about presidential campaign contributions last night and I, being the skeptical libertarian I am, decided to dig a little deeper into the numbers to prove that be it Republican or Democrat, you're still getting pretty much the same thing. It's sort of like picking a Big 4 firm to do your audit - does it really matter if you pick PwC over Deloitte? Surely grunts for each firm would have their arguments for and against here but at the end of the day, we all know it's still pretty much exactly the same.
Speaking of PwC, did you know they were John McCain's 11th highest contributor in 2008? Remember, when we say contributions, we mean the money came from an organization's PAC or its employees and employees' immediately family, not that Bob Moritz handed McCain a comically oversized check for $169,400.
While Obama didn't have a single accounting firm make his Top 20 contributor list in 2008, this year our friends at Deloitte are Obama's 7th highest supporters, throwing $283,606 his way. Presumably just to be fair, Deloitte has also kicked $286,110 down to Mitt Romney. That's really nothing compared to the $1,450,000 they've spent lobbying this year so far and the $3,080,000 they spent last year.
Ernst & Young, much like PwC, leaves no doubt as to which candidate they're putting their money into, giving $158,925 to Mitt Romney this year and just $38,350 to Obama. To put that into perspective, EY actually gave more money to failed GOP candidate Rick Perry ($48,300).
Last and always least, KPMG has given $67,250 to Mitt Romney and $24,498 to Obama.
To see how the individual firm CEOs made it rain on politicians, the FEC has your back. Playing with the search function reveals that Jim Turley gave $2000 to get George W Bush elected in 1999 and seems to have a real hard on for Chuck Schumer. Interestingly, it also reveals that the Salzberg Steak gave to the 2008 Chris Dodd presidential campaign that never even got off the ground, turned around and gave some cash to McCain and this year, has given $2500 each to Obama for America and the Obama Victory Fund. Talk about a flip flop. KPMG's John Veihmeyer, meanwhile, is all in on Romney this year, throwing $2500 at Romney for President.
What does all this mean? Nothing, really. I mean, can we deduce from these numbers that maybe - just maybe - the Big 4 are just a tad Republican, generally speaking? Sure, let's run with that one. Whatever this means, I wish this election would hurry up and be over with so we can all go back to caring more about what Jenny Stein is doing and hazing interns.