Editor’s note : It is part of a six-part series that shows how professional sports owners in the United States contribute to political campaigns, why they spend millions in space, and what this financial strength means when athletes remain active in their own sports campaigns.
The owner of the NBA will speak out this weekend during the recent meeting with the commissioners about the upcoming presidential elections. It was an early fall, with about a month to go until the election of President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden. The meeting was idyllic: Sun, sea, postal code occupied by the rich.
You see, the owner’s been transferred, I’m so worried about Biden’s rules that I need as much private and confidential funding as possible to get Trump re-elected. I know he’s crazy, and I hope the Democrats will take control of the House of Representatives and the Senate, but then Trump can block everything and protect us from taxes and regulations.
The present source was involved in ownership groups in different leagues and this source made this remark in answer to the question :
Do owners of professional sports teams make private political donations in a way that not only protects their identity, but also protects them against reprisals from their own players, employees and supporters?
The answer was yes – and it happens regularly.
There’s no doubt about it, the source said.
The vast majority of sports team owners are Republicans. And of course they are very concerned about taxes and the regulation of their activities.
To be able to go home, a source, speaking under the condition of anonymity, described his visit to the board meetings of the NBA, where politics has become an increasingly important topic of discussion in recent years.
This is a group of 30 energy brokers with an average net value of about $2 billion. The gross domestic product (GDP) of the United States of America is higher than the annual gross domestic product (GDP) of at least 130 countries. They will be invested in a league with annual basketball revenues, at least for the 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons, in excess of $7 billion a year. But given the coronavirus pandemic, the financial future of the competition is uncertain. (The same applies to the various industries that have contributed to the wealth of these owners). If the sentence about choosing a bag applies to someone, it may apply to those owners more than ever.
How these team owners use these tools has perhaps never been so closely researched, especially when players have demanded action from their team owners to encourage them to reform the system of social justice. Attention for political donations is high, but according to one source of assets, there is an incentive to avoid this and to donate privately and confidentially.
According to the source, these interviews take place on a daily basis.
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Fault! File name is not specified. Rocketeer Tilman Fertitta, on the right, is one of the largest political financiers of the NBA, and warrior owner Joe Lacob has not made any public contributions since 2012. Andrew D. Bernstein/NVAE on Getty Images
NOTES that ESPN has analysed the available data on campaign contributions to the Federal Election Commission. The owners of the professional sports teams of the NBA, NFL, NHL and MLB have contributed nearly $45 million to the federal elections since 2015. This figure includes 144 owners and stewards of 102 teams. According to the FEC, ten owners did not make such donations during this period.
It’s a well-known fact.
But there is another, much more hidden way to make donations: so-called black money donations, which are usually made by non-profit organizations. A donor – for example, the owner of a team – who wishes to remain anonymous can make a donation to a non-profit organisation that makes a donation in its own name instead of in the name of an individual.
It’s a way to attract dignitaries who don’t want to move customers – or in the case of sports, fans and players.
But like a normal citizen, a rich team boss can’t just give what he wants. There are rules.
According to FEC guidelines, a person may not donate more than $2,800 to a federal candidate during an election cycle – a total of $5,600, including primary and parliamentary elections. The money must come from a personal account and the donation must be made public, which means that the name of the donor and the amount of the donation must be made available to the public.
But overall, it’s not so much a question of money, and given the warning story, such gifts are probably not worth revealing.
The donor may use the Super CEP, a political action committee that can make independent expenditures to support that candidate and accept unlimited donations, but this will also be made public.
Make a donation for black money.
People can donate as much money as they want to the 501(c).4 welfare bureau. It is the IRS designation in tax law that gives these groups a non-profit status; and unlike the Candidate Campaign and the Super PAC, they are not required to disclose the names of their donors. It is through these groups (c)4 – the combination of words used by those involved in campaign financing – that most of the dirty money circulates.
How does that help your candidate? Here’s an example:
For example, they give $1 million to America First Policies, 501(c)4, which does not disclose the names of the donors. America First Policies could then allocate a million dollars to America First Action, a super PAC that reveals information about its donors and spends 100% of its money to support Trump. As a result of this agreement, the public knows that America First Policies has given $1 million to America First Action. The original source of the money is never revealed, but the donor was able to help the candidate by proxy.
Another option, according to American Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, a Democrat from Rhode Island who is very critical of secret spending, is to obtain additional funding from donors.
These organizations have no other purpose than to act as intermediaries in the selection process through which the funds flow, Whitehouse wrote in an e-mail to ESPN. The donor makes huge donations, with instructions on how the money should be spent; the money goes to the voting groups who can spend it without having reliable information about where the money comes from.
There are many reasons to remain anonymous.
On the one hand, the donor might just want some privacy. It is possible that the donor wants to avoid being bombarded with calls for donations from other candidates of the same political persuasion. The donor may want the candidate to do him or her a favor, and the donor would rather pretend that the candidate did it out of the goodness of his or her heart than that it is in fact a transaction.
In the current context, the donor may also want to avoid a boycott of clients and employees, and owners of sports facilities should not go far in setting a good example.
After all, this is a time of strong boycott. Nike faced a boycott following the launch of a national advertising campaign involving former San Francisco quarterback Colin Kepernick, 49 years old, who launched a national debate by getting down on his knees to sing the national anthem. Oklahoma state representative Republican Sean Roberts warned Thunder of Oklahoma City that he would reconsider the team’s tax benefits if the players got down on their knees. The coach of San Antonio Spurs, Gregg Popovich, told the New York Times in June that his anti-loss comments after the election prompted some Spurs fans to cancel their season tickets.
They’re not Republicans or Democrats. It’s both. It’s getting uglier and uglier.
Charles Lewis, founder of the Centre for Public Integrity.
On the other hand, Facebook has faced boycotts from advertisers and human rights organisations because of its attitude towards political advertising and its reluctance to remove sites that disseminate false information. Florida shoppers plan to boycott the supermarket chain Publix in 2018 after donating $670,000 to a governor candidate who supported the National Shooting Association. California fast-food chain In-N-Out faces a boycott after donating $25,000 to the California GOP in 2018.
Accepting the donation] for a reason such as family planning, the co-owner of the NBA team told ESPN and spoke only on condition of anonymity. There will be many people in the south who don’t like this organization and many people in the north who do. If you have a team in Oklahoma City, will a donation to that team get you in trouble?
On most political issues in America, the co-owner continued, 50% of the people supported the issue and 50% did not. And you want to move 50% of your fans?
DARK MONEY is a hot trend, but it’s not new at all. Undisclosed political donations began to multiply after the 1976 Buckley v. Valeo case before the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled, among other things, that non-profit organizations may spend unlimited undisclosed money on advocacy, a form of freedom of expression. But 2010 marked a turning point in the groundbreaking case of United Citizens vs. the FEC, which led to the creation of a Super-OPD, which included the decision that political groups that do not coordinate their activities with the candidate’s campaign could raise and spend unlimited amounts of money to influence voters in the run-up to the election – corporations, CEOs and others.
After the damburst, it simply released this huge amount of money into our political system, said Lisa Graves, executive director of True North Investigation and former assistant attorney general in the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Administration.
Professional athletes, for example, contribute to political campaigns, why they spend millions and what this financial strength means.
History of homeowners’ donations – Three types of donations
– Within NFL PAC
– How homeowners hide their expenses
Since that decision was taken in 2010, approximately USD 1 billion of unknown capital has entered the electoral cycle. According to the Center for Responsible Policy and the Wesleyan Media Project of 11. September 2020 The Dark Money Groups spent more than $182 million on political advertising during the 2020 election cycle.
The man who spoke to ESPN, who is close to several homeowner groups, said the homeowners were quietly hoping for the status quo.
They dream about black money and keeping the money in the system, said the ESPN guy. That’s the important thing, and they are: We have to make that appointment.
Until then, the costs will only increase. An expert on the financing of congressional campaigns, who speaks on condition of anonymity, estimated that some $6 billion was spent in the last elections, part of which was not disclosed, and that this amount could almost be doubled in the next elections.
They are neither Republicans nor Democrats, said Charles Lewis, who founded the Center for Public Integrity, a non-profit organization for investigative journalism. It’s both. It’s getting uglier and uglier.
Fault! The file name is not specified. For me, I never wanted to have any influence [on] whether or not to manage the money, the owner of the Mavericks, Mark Kuban, rightly told ESPN. EPA/ERIK S. LESS
MAVERICKS OWER MARK CUBAN has long been an ardent supporter of politics, as eloquent as any NBA owner. He kept a blog about politics and called the idea of throwing money at a potential president in 2016 a nice idea. He tweeted that he might run for the U.S. House of Representatives. At a meeting in Pittsburgh, he officially endorsed Hillary Rodham Clinton’s presidential bid. He expressed his support for Biden at a show on Fox News in May and then again in June. Cubans often tweet with American Senator Ted Cruise, a Texas Republican.
However, when it comes to spending money on politics, Cubans are much more cautious, as the analysis of ESPN data on donations to the FEC campaign shows. In 1996, he made two donations totaling $6,000 in support of Utah’s Republican Senator, Orrin Hutch, and in 2002, he donated $1,000 in support of California Democratic Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren.
Here we go.
Cuba is one of ten owners named in the ESPN FEC analysis – and one of only four in the NBA – who have not made such donations since 2015. The Cuban stated that he had not made any undeclared donations either.
No, never. He e-mailed ESPN. For the same reason, I don’t donate to politicians. There are better places.
I find it really useful to invest in achieving results on things that are important to me, the Cuban wrote in another e-mail. There are many charities and many reasons why I help. Sometimes I let them use my name. In most cases this is not true. There’s more to this life than the NBA. Some things aren’t just business. So I understand why other owners, like me, make decisions that may not be popular today in the hope of achieving the desired goal, such as ending racism or at least reducing racism.
Either my conversations with politicians have value or they have no value. There’s nothing worse than a politician making an effort because I paid him. I don’t want any part of this.
Dallas Mavericks is owned by Mark Cuban.
As Cuba suggests, the question of value ultimately arises: What is the benefit of the donation for the donor? For many experts, it boils down to a degree of influence, proximity to power and the ability to develop relationships with a politician.
You have access to it, said an NBA owner. Someone will take your call. Now they’re gonna do what you tell them? No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no.
There are ways to support candidates and reasons that go beyond money, as the Cubans have done. But historically, according to Lewis, a journalism professor at the American University of Washington, D.C., who has been involved in campaign finance for decades, there is little incentive for candidates like the almighty dollar.
The key, according to Lewis, is to negotiate the money.
For those who have teams, these links can be useful if there are special measures or policies that can influence, for example, the construction of a new arena.
It can also contribute to obtaining a potentially prestigious position. Woody Johnson, owner of the New York Jets, which has a long history of giving to candidates and Republicans, voted for Trump’s candidacy in 2016 and became one of six vice presidents of finance whose job it is to help Trump raise $1 billion. In 2017 Trump appointed Johnson as US Ambassador to the United Kingdom.
But there is a stamp, said Richard Briffo, a professor at Columbia University School of Law, specialising in electoral law. The opportunity to be invited to a dinner with a selected official, photographed with a well-dressed official in a frame on the office wall, to learn about import issues for the donor.
These donations are ultimately a personal decision, as the Cuban said.
Every American citizen has to decide for himself how to participate in the political process, he wrote in an e-mail. For me, money never influenced me. Either my conversations with politicians have value or they have no value. There’s nothing worse than a politician making an effort because I paid him. I don’t want any part of this.
It’s easy for a Cuban. For others, this solution has probably never been as difficult as it is now.
I can’t imagine my name being associated with such a polarising issue in terms of donations, said a member of the NBA owner group. If I want to get my beliefs out of the water, I’ll vote eventually. In my opinion, it ultimately promotes change more than anything else in the world. If I write my name on something, what does that have to do with me?
And how much will it cost if my name appears in the press?
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