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Templeton Gives Va GOP $80,000

Tim Craig

The Republican Party of Virginia received a big check recently from John M Templeton Jr., who has poured hundreds of thousands of dollars into Republican and conservative causes over the years.

The son of the late finance guru Sir John Templeton, John M. Templeton Jr. of Bryn Mawr Pennsylvania gave the Virginia Republican Party $80,000 on July 30, according to the State Board of Elections.

He appears to have made the largest contribution from an individual to the Virgnia Republican Party since 2000, according to information from the Virginia Public Access Project, which tracks money in state politics.

John M. Templeton Jr. is one of the founding members of Freedom's Watch, an organization that seeks to be the conservative version of Moveon.org. Freedom's Watch has aired millions of dollars in television ads in support of the war of Iraq. The group also plans to spend tens of millions of dollars this fall on ads targeting Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) and Democratic congressional candidates.

According to the New York Times, Templeton's father was one of the world's richest men when he died last month. His son, John M. Templeton Jr., the donor to the Virginia GOP and Freedom's Watch, now heads up the John Templeton Foundation. The foundation has a $1.5 billion endowment.

John M. Templeton Jr., a retired surgeon and devout Christian, has been dabbling in Virginia Republican politics for years. In 2005, he contributed $23,000 to former attorney general Jerry W. Kilgore's (R) unsuccessful campaign for governor, according to VPAP.

In 2006, Templeton donated $100,000 to a group called Va4marriage.org, which successfully pushed for a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage and civil unions. Templeton was the second biggest donor to the effort, behind the Richmond-based Family Foundation.

Templeton has apparently developed a relationship with Del. Jeffrey M. Frederick, the new chairman of the Virginia Republican Party. Since 2004, Templeton has given Frederick $23,600 for his House campaigns, according to VPAP.

Templeton's donation to the Virginia GOP indicates that Frederick is following through on his pledge to try restore the state party's finances. On Wednesday, the Norfolk Southern Corporation gave the Virginia Republican Party $25,000. On Friday, the state party picked up $10,000 from the Richmond-based Capitol One credit card company, according to the state board of elections.

By Tim Craig  |  August 17, 2008; 2:43 PM ET
Categories:  Election 2008/Congress , Election 2008/Local , Election 2008/President , Election 2008/U.S. Senate , Election 2009 , Tim Craig  
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Comments

That's interesting. Given the $10K hard money donation cap Templeton and the corporate contributions are soft money.

The RPV can only spend so much soft money on very limited functions in a federal election cycle or reimburse limited hard money expenditures on a very limited percentage.

They still have to raise lots of hard money to enable to them to use any of it unless they want to run afoul of MCCAIN-Feingold.....

Posted by: Anonymous | August 17, 2008 10:13 PM | Report abuse

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