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MLB Spreads the Wealth on the Hill

On the same day Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig was being grilled about steroids by a House panel, his office was busy filing the year-end report for baseball's political action committee.

Bud Selig
Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig listens to Former Sen. George Mitchell testify before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Jan. 15, 2008, on Capitol Hill. (AP Photo)

The latest Federal Election Commission filing shows that the Office of the Commissioner of Major League Baseball PAC had a busy 2007, taking in $198,000 and handing out $168,000 in contributions to members of Congress, candidates and other PACs.

The PAC was relatively quiet in the month of December, perhaps because MLB officials were busy dealing with the fallout from the Mitchell Report on steroid use by some players. For the month, the PAC made just four contributions, all to Democrats -- $3,000 to Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), $1,000 to Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.), $1,000 to Rep. John Conyers's (D-Mich.) PAC and $2,500 to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's (D-Nev.) PAC.

Over the course of the year, MLB gave money to the election campaigns of 13 Senate Democrats, 10 Senate Republicans, 15 House Democrats and 10 House Republicans. The list of recipients is heavy on members of the leadership and of the House and Senate Judiciary committees (which protect baseball's valuable antitrust exemption).

Studiously bipartisan on the party level, the PAC gave identical $15,000 contributions on the same day in April to all four major congressional campaign arms -- the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, the National Republican Senatorial Committee, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and the National Republican Congressional Committee.

On the panel that grilled Selig and other officials today, the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, only two members benefitted from baseball's largesse -- Rep. Edolphus Towns (D-N.Y.) and the committee's top Republican, Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.).

Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.)? He struck out.

By Ben Pershing  |  January 15, 2008; 3:55 PM ET
Categories:  Fundraising Circuit , Hearing Watch  
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SO MLB is paying politicians to keep drug abuse hush hush?'s no surprise.

Posted by: Aplus | January 16, 2008 12:21 PM | Report abuse

I would like to see how MLB compares to the NFL, NBA and NHL in what they donate and who they donate to.

I'm guessing most of the money goes towards congressmen who are sponsoring bills relating to cable/TV/Media rights?

Posted by: Would be interesting... | January 16, 2008 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Why is MLB doing contributing to politicos it just doesn't make since?

Posted by: Fred J. | January 16, 2008 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Pershing, did Rep Davis happen to declare this conflict of interest when he ran the committee hearing when Sosa and McGwire testified>

Posted by: baseballdc | January 17, 2008 4:40 PM | Report abuse

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Posted by: HsvsRsvsesv | April 18, 2008 12:41 AM | Report abuse

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