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Al's Pals: A List of Gore's Top Donors

by Bill MeslerSpecial to CorpWatch
September 8th, 2000


Corporate Friends of Gore

Gore's top donors for the presidential campaign (donation in parenthesis)

  • ERNST & YOUNG ($130,625): One of the nation's largest accounting agencies, Ernst & Young has almost matched the $140,000 it gave to Clinton/Gore in 1996. Its clients are mostly high-tech and the firm has fought Internet taxation. Other clients include R.J. Reynolds and Anheuser-Busch.

  • CITIGROUP ($99,500): Gave $648,547 to democrats in 1990s. Sought and received a relaxation of financial service regulations.

  • VIACOM ($94,675): Sought approval for its merger with CBS. Gave $356,900 in soft money to Democrats in the 1990s.

  • GOLDMAN, SACHS & CO. ($86,750): Pushed hard for normalized trading relations with China. Gave $1.4 million in soft money to Democrats in 1990s.

  • TIME/WARNER ($73,525): Keeping the Internet free of taxation and regulators out of the cable industry are Time/Warner's chief goals. No longer gives soft money.

  • BELLSOUTH ($71,750): Baby bell. When Gore and Reed Hundt drew up idea for a $2.3 billion-a-year tax on phone calls to pay for Internet service in schools, BellSouth successfully lobbied to pass the tax on to consumers. Then made millions providing new telephone lines to schools. Gave $614,379 in soft money to Democrats over the 1990s.

  • PATTON BOGGS ($40,750): One of Washington's most powerful lobbying firms, Patton Boggs led the push for permanent most-favorable trade status for China. Charging clients $9.3 million for their services last year, Patton Boggs is the second largest lobbying firm in Washington.

  • ANHEUSER-BUSCH ($37,000): Alcohol kills 100,000 people every year. Over 12 million Americans are addicted to it. Yet the Administration has done almost nothing to raise awareness of the dangers of alcohol abuse. Maybe that's because alcohol industry PACs are among the biggest spenders in Washington, giving out $2.3 million in 1997-1998 alone, more than the gun lobby.

The Rich and Powerful

Fundraisers and close associates of Gore

  • Tony Cohelo: Second of Gore's three campaign managers. Resigned from Congress in disgrace after a scandal involving an improper deal on a $100,000 junk bond. Currently the subject of four separate federal investigations While in office, Cohelo violated campaign finance laws by accepting the use of a private yacht owned by a savings-and-loan-mogul Donald Dixon. Dixon's S&L bailout later cost taxpayers $1.3 billion.

  • Nathan Landow: Real-estate developer who has long-backed Gore. Landaw made the news in 1996 with his controversial strong-arm-fundraising the Cheyenne-Arapaho Indians who were trying to regain land in Oklahoma that had been seized by the government. First he talked the impoverished tribes into tapping into their welfare fund to pay a $100,000 retainer to Peter Knight (see below). Then Landow tried to get the tribe to give him ten percent of any future revenue earned on the land. Landow describes himself as the victim in the ugly episode. "They brought in innocent people like me. They're a bunch of goddamned uneducated Indians" he told PBS's Frontline.

  • Peter Knight: Former chief of staff to Al Gore. Chair of the Clinton/Gore campaign in 1996. Knight has been with Gore since Gore's election to the House in 1977. Now is a Washington lobbyist with clients whose interests run the gambit from tobacco to oil to timber.

  • Terry McAuliffe: Set an all-time record by raising more than $26 million for Gore and the Democrats in a single night. Has raised $300 million for Clinton over the years. Made tens of millions by doing business with the people he solicits money from. Told Time magazine that once he meets donors as peers, it's easy to exchange stock tips with them and serve on their corporate boards. Protege of Tony Cohelo.

  • Gerald and Elaine Schuster: The anti-labor record of these Boston real estate tycoons has led Massachusetts state AFL-CIO to boycott any fundraiser at which Gerald is present. HUD once cited a South Bronx apartment building owned by the Schusters for "major life-threatening health and safety conditions." and eventually seized the property. The Schusters are also big Hillary Clinton backers.

  • Joel Hyatt: Son-in-law of former Ohio Senator Howard Metzenbaum and successful Internet entrepreneur. Key liaison to silicon valley techies. One of three finance chairs for the Democratic National Committee, responsible for the West Coast. A fundraiser at Hyatt's home recently netted Gore $2.6 million from high-tech moguls.

  • Stan Shuman: Gore fundraiser and Managing Director of New York-based Allen & Co., an investment bank for communications companies. Shuman was one of the infamous donors whose contribution earned him a night in Honest Abe's bedroom in 1996.

  • Mel Levine: corporate lobbyist for Northrop Grumman, among others. Former democratic member of the house from Los Angeles and Gore fundraiser.

  • Robert Barrie: Lobbyist for General Electric. Close personal friend of Gore. Helped push the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade in 1994. Now fundraising for Gore.

  • Thomas Wheeler: President of the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association, powerful lobbying arm of the telecom industry. Gore fundraiser.