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A Guide To Consumer Brands Helping Bankroll Right-Wing Attack Ads

By Scott Keyes and Adam Peck  

"A Guide To Consumer Brands Helping Bankroll Right-Wing Attack Ads"

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Have you eaten at White Castle recently? Or caught a movie at Regal Cinemas?

If so, you may be unwittingly helping finance right-wing attack ads.

That’s because many of the country’s most common brands are run by rich conservatives who are using their personal wealth to bankroll outside spending groups that are running attack ads smearing progressives. From Marriott Hotels to Brawny paper towels, and from the Los Angeles Lakers to the Coachella music festival, corporate executives at these organizations have given millions of dollars to groups like Mitt Romney’s Super PAC Restore Our Future.

Some corporations, like Waffle House, give direct donations to conservative attack ad groups like Karl Rove’s American Crossroads.

The following list of consumer brands either have leaders who wrote checks to outside right-wing attack ad groups or gave money directly from the corporation. Only entities that gave $25,000 or more were included in this guide.

Hotels

Marriott Hotels is a subsidiary of Marriott International, whose chairman J.W. “Bill” Marriott, Jr. has contributed $1,000,000 to Mitt Romney’s Super PAC Restore Our Future. [Source]

Omni Hotels is a subsidiary of TRT Holdings, a private corporation whose co-founder Robert Rowling has given more than $1,000,000 in total to American Crossroads and Mitt Romney’s Super PAC Restore Our Future. [Source]

Palazzo Hotel in Las Vegas is owned by Sheldon Adelson, who along with his wife have pledged $71 million to right-wing attack groups, including Newt Gingrich’s Super PAC Winning Our Future, Mitt Romney’s Super PAC Restore Our Future, Crossroads GPS, a group set up by former Eric Cantor aides named the Young Guns Network, and a group tied to John Boehner named the Congressional Leadership Fund. [Source]

Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company is a subsidiary of Marriott International, whose chairman J.W. “Bill” Marriott, Jr. has contributed $1,000,000 to Mitt Romney’s Super PAC Restore Our Future. [Source]

Venetian Resort Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas is owned by Sheldon Adelson, who along with his wife have pledged $71 million to right-wing attack groups, including Newt Gingrich’s Super PAC Winning Our Future, Mitt Romney’s Super PAC Restore Our Future, Crossroads GPS, a group set up by former Eric Cantor aides named the Young Guns Network, and a group tied to John Boehner named the Congressional Leadership Fund. [Source]

Household items

Angel Soft toilet paper is a subsidiary of Koch Industries, headed by Charles and David Koch who are planning to funnel approximately $400 million to groups like the National Rifle Association, Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform, the National Right to Life Committee, Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition, the 60 Plus Association and the American Future Fund. [Source]

Brawny paper towels is a subsidiary of Koch Industries, headed by Charles and David Koch who are planning to funnel approximately $400 million to groups like the National Rifle Association, Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform, the National Right to Life Committee, Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition, the 60 Plus Association and the American Future Fund. [Source]

Dixie cups is a subsidiary of Koch Industries, headed by Charles and David Koch who are planning to funnel approximately $400 million to groups like the National Rifle Association, Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform, the National Right to Life Committee, Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition, the 60 Plus Association and the American Future Fund. [Source]

Georgia Pacific is a subsidiary of Koch Industries, headed by Charles and David Koch who are planning to funnel approximately $400 million to groups like the National Rifle Association, Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform, the National Right to Life Committee, Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition, the 60 Plus Association and the American Future Fund. [Source]

Entertainment

Coachella Music & Arts Festival is an affiliate of AEG, whose parent company Anschutz Corporation is run by Philip Anschutz. He has made many political donations, including a $50,000 to the Boehner-linked Congressional Leadership Fund Super PAC. [Source]

Regal Cinemas is an affiliate of AEG, whose parent company Anschutz Corporation is run by Philip Anschutz. He has made many political donations, including a $50,000 to the Boehner-linked Congressional Leadership Fund Super PAC. [Source]

Food

Blue Bell Creameries, the ice cream manufacturer, gave $40,000 to the Boehner-linked Congressional Leadership Fund Super PAC. [Source]

Waffle House, the 24-hour breakfast food restaurant, gave Karl Rove’s group American Crossroads $100,000 from its corporate fund. [Source]

White Castle, the Ohio-based burger chain, gave $25,000 to the Boehner-linked Congressional Leadership Fund Super PAC. [Source]

Athletics

New Balance, the shoe company, is headed by Jim Davis who has donated $1,000,000 to Mitt Romney’s Super PAC Restore Our Future. [Source]

Gold’s Gym is a subsidiary of TRT Hodlings, a private corporation whose co-founder Robert Rowling has given more than $1,000,000 in total to American Crossroads and Mitt Romney’s Super PAC Restore Our Future. [Source]

Sports franchises

Houston Dynamo, the MLS team, is an affiliate of AEG, whose parent company Anschutz Corporation is run by Philip Anschutz. He has made many political donations, including a $50,000 to the Boehner-linked Congressional Leadership Fund Super PAC. [Source]

Los Angeles Galaxy the MLS team, is an affiliate of AEG, whose parent company Anschutz Corporation is run by Philip Anschutz. He has made many political donations, including a $50,000 to the Boehner-linked Congressional Leadership Fund Super PAC. [Source]

Los Angeles Kings, the NHL team, is an affiliate of AEG, whose parent company Anschutz Corporation is run by Philip Anschutz. He has made many political donations, including a $50,000 to the Boehner-linked Congressional Leadership Fund Super PAC. [Source]

Los Angeles Lakers the NBA team, is an affiliate of AEG, whose parent company Anschutz Corporation is run by Philip Anschutz. He has made many political donations, including a $50,000 to the Boehner-linked Congressional Leadership Fund Super PAC. [Source]

Orlando Magic, the NBA team, is owned by Richard DeVos, a Michigan billionaire who has given more than $1,000,000 to the Koch Brothers’ 2012 anti-Obama efforts. [Source]

Miscellaneous

Charles Schwab Corporation, an investment company founded and run by Charles Schwab, who along with his wife has given $250,000 to Mitt Romney’s Super PAC Restore Our Future. [Source]

Menards, the Midwestern home improvement chain, whose founder and owner John Menard pledged more than $1,000,000 to the Koch Brothers’ 2012 anti-Obama efforts. [Source]

Nina Liss-Schultz and Christina Lewis contributed to this report.

Update

An earlier version of this post inadvertantly listed Wendy’s instead of White Castle.

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