Every powerful organization needs powerful friends and the NFL is no exception. Each election cycle, the National Football League PAC (Gridiron PAC) takes monies (donated by mainly team owners) and dishes it to politicians all across our nation.
Thanks to the folks at OpenSecrets.org, we now have a look at which candidates the NFL supported in 2016. As one would expect, a big organization like the NFL played things pretty evenly down the middle, tilting less toward a particular party and more toward picking winners. Nearly every candidate on the list won their election.
Below you can scroll through the list of donations candidates received in 2016. In total, the PAC gave $629,250 to federal candidates with 45 percent going to Democrats and 55 percent to the Republicans.
There are a couple of candidates of note on here.
Mark Sanford. Yes, that Mark Sanford. The guy whose name is four letters away from being Mark Sanchez, butt fumbled his marriage and ultimately the governorship by disappearing with his mistress in the woods for three days. The NFL gave him campaign money.
Jim McDermott made the list. He’s the unfortunate soul that had his tongue threatened to be cut out by a Bernie Sanders supporter that didn’t appreciate McDermott backing Hillary Clinton.
Texas has a ton of politicians represented, one of whom is Representative Pete Sessions. Sessions has a Wikipedia section titled “Controversies” that is seven subsections long. Most recently, Sessions supported President Donald Trump‘s 2017 executive order to temporarily halt immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries.
Debbie Wasserman Schultz not only received contributions from the NFL, but she went on to win her seat. This comes on the heels of a controversial new cycle of her jockeying to have Hillary Clinton win the democratic nomination in the 2016 Presidential Election while serving as the party chairperson.
John Shimkus is an interesting one. He’s listed as a recipient of $0. However, his campaign organization, Volunteers for Shimkus, is listed as a NFL PAC vendor for -$1,000, which leads me to believe that Shimkus actually owes the NFL PAC money, not the other way around. Shimkus has been accused of spending his campaign money pretty liberally before. TSL is looking into this more.