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German firms donate $1.7 million to US election campaign

The Local · 22 Oct 2010, 08:56

Published: 22 Oct 2010 08:56 GMT+02:00

Citing figures from the US Federal Election Commission (FEC) and the independent Center for Responsive Politics, daily Die Welt reported that German companies had used their US-based subsidiaries to make the congressional campaign donations.

Big pharmaceutical company Bayer gave the most, handing over $341,000, according to FEC figures on October 3, the paper reported.

Meanwhile German telecommunications giant Deutsche Telekom’s subsidiaries gave $310,650 to US politicians and engineering conglomerate Siemens donated $227,000.

A total of 16 US subsidiaries of German companies made campaign donations, the paper said.

UK companies made the most donations from Europe, with $3.4 million, followed by Swiss businesses with $2.9 million. The German subsidiaries took third place.

Though the amount of foreign donations is still small when compared to the $3.7-billion campaign, “as the employers of millions of Americans their donations will have weight in the current political decisions,” Die Welt said.

Germany’s 50 biggest firms employ some 300,000 Americans, according to the German American Chambers of Commerce.

None of the German companies made donations to the right-wing Tea Party candidates, the paper said.

Story continues below…

On November 2 the US public will elect it to the polls to elect the House of Representatives, in addition to 37 seats in the Senate, 38 state governorships and state legislatures.


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

11:00 October 22, 2010 by bestman
Why is this news?
12:28 October 22, 2010 by MissCalifornia
Bestman: Seriously? Corporate influence over elections (domestic and foreign) is not news? The USA is a plutocracy that will soon be as economically and socially stratified as many third world nations, probably with even more corruption. What happens then? Bloody revolution? Or? Yeah, you're right. That's no cause for concern...

I would like to know which candidates these companies contributed to--not that I support it in any case. But it could be interesting...

The US Supreme Court threw what is left of democracy in the US under the bus when they decided that corporations are "citizens" and can buy elections.
16:11 October 22, 2010 by bestman
But corporations are owned by real people but perhaps not entirely by US citizens and they have a right to contribute to whomever they want . If you think corporate political funding in politics is something new then you've been on Mars for a very long time. The way to counter organized pressure groups is to form one of your own.
20:18 October 22, 2010 by ngwanem
@CincyInDE: amen!!!! corporatocracy :)

@bestman: ...or fight corruption with corruption - nice way of thinking...
21:55 October 22, 2010 by Struwel
Not only German companies donate cash to US election campaign -

"Top donors in this election cycle include PACs tied to British drugmakers GlaxoSmithKline and AstraZeneca, which together account for about $1 million; Belgium's Anheuser-Busch InBev, at nearly $650,000; and Credit Suisse Securities, at over $350,000. "

23:46 October 22, 2010 by Yontrop
Exactly. and @ ngwanem Exactly!
09:48 October 23, 2010 by catjones
*Money doesn't talk, it swears*
22:42 October 23, 2010 by Deutschguy
You can find the chart here:


Actually, it looks pretty evenly split between Democrats and Republicans. The exception is the banks, who made most of theirs to Republicans.
00:56 October 24, 2010 by Prufrock2010
This is the direct result of the US Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission which effectively handed over the American electoral process to corporations. When Obama warned of the prospect of foreign corporations financing American election campaigns and advertising during his State of the Union address, Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito visibly mouthed the words "Not true." Well, it is true. And it is still illegal for foreign citizens or corporations to contribute money to American elections. They now skirt the law by using the American corporate subsidiaries to launder the money, and they are abetted by the US Chamber of Commerce whose stated agenda is to outsource as many American jobs as possible, while at the same time running attack ads against the Democrats because of the high rate of unemployment in the country. The right wing Roberts Supreme Court has now succeeded in turning the US into a corporate plutocracy. It is the death knell of democracy in the United States. Anybody who thinks that anyone but the Republicans and their corporate masters are benefiting from this is out of his or her mind.
03:15 October 24, 2010 by SilverBattleAxe
Scandalous! Corporations are running the US Government via the contributions that are given to politicians. The politicians in the US are bought and paid for by corporations and do what¦#39;s in the best financial interest of the corporations.
10:00 October 24, 2010 by Prufrock2010
There's nothing new about that. What's new is that corporations can now spend unlimited amounts of money to influence (read: buy) elections and do not have to disclose the sources of their money, including foreign nationals. The Disclose Act, proposed by Democrats to prevent such abuses, was killed by the Republicans in the Senate. So it's not just corporations running the US government, it's Chinese, European, Russian, Middle Eastern and Saudi corporations running the US government.
17:53 October 24, 2010 by derExDeutsche
Only, Corporations don't vote. People choose their representation. Unless you are in a Union, then you would vote for whomever your Teamster Leaders say. If you are a teenager, a Movie or Music Celebrity fills this role.

And say, we don't like what you are doing? Kinda like we don't like what Obama is doing?

We vote ya out. Simple. Watch.
20:59 October 24, 2010 by Prufrock2010
Corporations don't vote. They buy candidates and finance massive propaganda campaigns. But you make an interesting point. If corporations can't vote, how can the US Supreme Court rule that corporations have the same First Amendment rights as a natural person? Kind of an interesting conundrum, isn't it?

The suggestion that every union member votes as he or she is told by the union leaders is as ludicrous as suggesting that the Teamsters is the only union. Of course, there aren't many unions left. Reagan saw to that.

Some of us -- a lot of us, in fact -- don't like what the Republicans are doing, any more than those of us who are not suffering from amnesia don't like what the Republicans did when they ran things. That's why we voted them out, and will continue to do so. They might make some inroads in this election, just enough to finish the job of destroying the country that they began. Then we'll vote them out again, assuming their putsch fails. Maybe you should watch.
22:40 October 24, 2010 by derExDeutsche
conservatives destroying the country? how again? there aren't any unions left?

who is seiu? What was the movie 'Labor Day' all about? Who did they elect again?

hmm. your argument seems extraordinarily vapid today.

Regan? you mean the guy who Gorbachev said did the most to bring down the Berlin Wall?

Your policies are playing themselves out in Places like Greece, France, Venezuela. But here's the rub. Failure has never stopped you, or ANY other Liberal from demanding the same....

Show me a Labor Union, and I will show you an industry, that is either, a. Out of business in 15 years, or b. quality of services goes way way down. Just look at the Auto Industry, UAW. Look at the teachers unions. All a joke, similar to you Prufrock.
00:32 October 25, 2010 by Prufrock2010
I guess the joke is on me. But I understand your frustration, living as you claim to live in a banana republic, expatriated from civilization, where plutocracy rules and abject poverty for most is a given. I know that you can't wait for that to happen to the US, but fear not. The Republicans you so admire, and their constituency of investment bankers, hedge fund managers, big energy and insurance companies, are coming to the rescue to make that dream a reality. It would be too much to ask that you read up on the history of labor unions and the middle class that they created -- a middle class that is an endangered species thanks to the union-busting of Reagan and the redistribution of wealth to the top 1% of the economic food chain under Bush -- so I won't even suggest it. I know you have difficulty comprehending what this article is about; i.e., the illegal campaign funding of American elections by foreign interests, so I can understand your frustration in trying in vain to cut and paste the links I provided, let alone being able to read and comprehend the material that they contain.

If you don't understand the legal issues involved, or the political implications, how could you be expected to offer anything but another anti-democratic screed? It's a shame that education passed you by, but that's a kind of social darwinism at work.

The Reagan reference was the best, however. Reagan single-handedly caused the fall of the Soviet Union because of some speech delivered in Berlin? Or was it his Star Wars program that never got funded that scared Gorbachev into submission? The Soviet ass-kicking in Afghanistan had nothing to do with it?

There's nothing like revisionist history coupled with ideological fervor and a complete lack of social consciousness to create an angry and frustrated ignoramus like you. Fortunately, if you are able to vote in the US, my vote cancels yours.
02:11 October 25, 2010 by derExDeutsche
Campaign contributions from Europe? I can assure you that the VAST majority of these donors are giving to the Democrat Party.

Hence, 'None of the German companies made donations to the right-wing Tea Party candidates, the paper said.'

so in any event, it is/was Oba-meaeaea supporters sending in foreign contributions.

So what is your argument again? Its sounds to me that you are the Pot calling the Kettle black. When it is in fact political cronies, businesses and celebrities supporting Oba-meaeaeaea. Unions, 'Green Technology Lobbyist, Drug Companies and the like.

just ask Geroge Soros. He will tell you what you are too dumb to fathom, 'Soros: I Can't Stop a Republican "Avalanche" - NYTimes.com'

2 years of a joke Presidency and the subsequent near death of the Democratic party!!! you consider that success? Its a joke, and anybody with half a wit knows it.

that explains you, I guess...
02:57 October 25, 2010 by Prufrock2010
It is a joke, as the Republicans blocked virtually every bill that went before the Senate since they voted for the stimulus that was necessitated by the global financial meltdown that they created.

"I can assure you that the VAST majority of these donors are giving to the Democrat Party."

Really? I guess you don't get the news in your part of the universe about the foreign campaign contributions pouring into the US Chamber of Commerce, all going to Republican agendas to outsource American jobs while blaming Democrats in campaign ads for the high unemployment rate. Or maybe you do, but your reading deficiencies prevent you from understanding the import or the irony of that news.

"Its a joke, and anybody with half a wit knows it."

Well, as a halfwit, I suppose you should get the joke. But you don't. You don't even get that the joke's on you.

You and I will never agree, and because you are incapable of a civil discussion or of rational reasoning, I suggest that we just agree to disagree and ignore one another in the future. I will not respond to you in the future, as I have no time to suffer fools. You can't even recognize the inherent contradictions in your own posts. Anyway, there is money to be made and work to be done. You should try it sometime. Good luck with your anger and your failed agenda. Via con Dios.
15:20 October 25, 2010 by derExDeutsche
1. Get your story straight.

Are the Republicans/Conservatives the ones who started the Fed? Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac? Was the Mortgage crisis started by Conservatives? Well, Idiot? How?

And if they did, why are Conservatives saying the exact opposite now, and Liberal Progressives want MORE of the failed policies?

What about France, Greece? Was it all the Conservative policies, there, that are caused the problems, idiot?

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