Here’s a shocker — the music industry is liberal and left-leaning. After analyzing hundreds of political donations from some of the industry’s top promoters and agents, Amplify can report that the bulk of political giving during the 2015/2016 election cycle has gone to Hillary Clinton and democratic candidates.
We analyzed the Federal Election Commission’s contributor database, and in almost every instance (with one huge exception from Republican funder Phil Anschutz), giving was down from the 2011-2012 political cycle, but consistently Democratic. Below, Amplify breaks down the big ticket donors for this year’s election.
The GOP Bankroller — Phil Anschutz
The reclusive billionaire owner of AEG spent nearly $1.8 million on Republican-related causes in the 2015-2016 election cycle, mostly for Senate and House races around the country. While no donations to the Trump-Pence campaign have been registered, Anschutz gave a $500,000 donation to the GOP-led Senate Leadership fund in March and has made a number of six-figure donations to the Republican National Committee’s other senatorial reelection committees, hoping to preserve the GOP’s tight grasp on the Senate.
That includes over $500,000 donated directly to the RNC and over $200,000 to the National Republican Senatorial Committee. He’s also directly backed Republican U.S. Senate candidates like Colorado state representative Jon Keyser, Ohio Senator Rob Portman, Wyoming’s Elizabeth Cheney and Georgia Senator David Perdue.
The Reliable Donor — Irving Azoff
The music manager mogul has donated about $68,000 in the 2015-2016 cycle, mostly to Democrats. His only donation to the Hillary campaign was in November of last year for $2,700, but he’s also supported a number of big time Democratic politicians including former DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Shultz, California Congressmen Xavier Becerra and Brad Sherman. In California’s high-profile Senate race, he’s thrown $5,400 behind State Attorney General Kamala Harris in her election against fellow Democrat Loretta Sanchez.
Azoff has also been a strong supporter of Minnesota Senator Al Franken and has donated nearly $30,000 to the Midwest Values PAC operated by Franken, who is not up for reelection until 2020. And while Azoff mostly directs his donations to Democrats, he has helped two high-profile Republicans. In March he donated $2,500 to the reelection campaign of House Speaker Paul Ryan and another $2,500 to House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy.
The Pragmatist — Tim Leiweke
The former AEG CEO and founder and chairman of the Oak View Group is a reliable and frequent political contributor, donating both $27,000 to a PAC controlled by Republican House leadership in April and a $20,000 contribution to Hillary Clinton in August.
He’s also made smaller donations to both parties — on April 19 of last of this year he gave $5,000 to a PAC controlled by congressional Democrats and a $6,200 donation to the National Republican Congressional Committee. He’s also made individual contributions to Paul Ryan, Kevin McCarthy and Hillary Clinton.
Barack’s Buddy — Michael Rapino
The Canadian-born CEO of Live Nation has mostly stayed out of the 2016 Democratic race, giving about $5,400 to Hillary for America in April and September of 2015. That’s a major departure from his support of Barack Obama. Between 2008 and 2014, Rapino has spent nearly $290,000 on Democratic campaigns and political action committees, including $80,000 directly to Obama. He’s also hosted the President at his house for a high profile Los Angeles fundraiser.
Strickland’s Sweetheart — Bob Sillerman
The embattled SFX CEO gave $10,800 to Ohio Democratic Senatorial candidate Ted Strickland in 2015 and spent another $250 on a PAC dedicated to overturning Citizens United.
Sillerman didn’t make any contributions in 2016, although he has spent as much as a $1.8 million on mostly Democratic leading causes since 1998. In 2012 and again in 2014, he donated $500,000 to the Democratic House Majority PAC.
Other Notable Donations
Paradigm’s Gregory Bestick donated $5,400 to Hillary in May of 2015.
Live Nation Promoter Ron Delsner gave $2,700 to Hillary Clinton in May of 2015.
WME-IMG Co-CEO Ari Emanuel has donated over $15,000 to California Senate Candidate Kamala Harris and another $5,000 to Senate Democrats.
Live Nation’s Arthur Fogel donated $2,700 to Hillary Clinton in July 2015 and followed it up with a $10,000 donation in February 2016.
WME-IME Head of Music Marc Geiger gave $2,700 to Hillary Clinton in May of 2015.
Paradigm’s Sam Gores gave $5,400 to Hillary Clinton in April 2015.
Latest posts by Dave Brooks (see all)
- Most Underreported Stories of 2017 - December 18, 2017
- Putting Clients First: Why See Tickets Is Betting Big on Service - December 18, 2017
- Live Nation and Michael Swier Form Mercury East Presents - December 18, 2017