If you’re old like me (or have an interest in old radio programs, you’ll recognize the tag line above as being associated with a right wing radio pioneer named Paul Harvey, who was on the radio for over 70 years and who from 1976 until his death in 2009 had a daily radio show, telling moralistic and uplifting stories (some of them were actually true) about things you thought you knew but really didn’t. And the punch line was always the same: “Now you know the rest of the story. . . . This is Paul Harvey. Good day.”
Let’s be Paul Harvey and see what we can see with respect to a recent claim in the CD8 race.
Over the past few days, as I wrote on Tuesday, there’s been a discussion of Kathleen Matthews’ role in running the Marriott PAC. She did. David Lublin wrote that during the period from 2008-2014, the Marriott PAC directed “nearly $700,000” in federal contributions to Republicans. That’s true, too.
But what about the rest of the story? Did the PAC give any money to Democrats? And how, if at all, did the pattern of contributions change after Matthews arrived at Marriott in 2006? Those seem to be pretty relevant questions to me. So I went and looked – at precisely the same source Lublin identifies.
The actual amount of GOP contributions in the 2008-14 period were $681,400. The total of the Democratic contributions during the same time period was $587,100. 53.7% GOP contributions to 46.3% Democratic. And if you leave out the first cycle (2008), it’s 50.6% Democratic donations in the three cycles from 2010-2014. Not bad for a company with a reputation of being strongly tilted to the right. In 2008, the contributions were about 2:1 in favor of Republicans.
Then I thought, “hmmm, how do these patterns compare to the donations made by Marriott before Matthews got there?” That too would be relevant – did she make an impact? Did she change anything?
Spoiler: yes, she did.
From 2000-2006 (available on the same site), the Marriott contributions looked like this: $369,400 to Republican candidates, $76,500 to Democrats. About 5:1 tilted to the GOP.
One more thing: even that first Matthews cycle in 2008, her first with the company, represented an enormous improvement, moving from 5:1 to 2:1. Thereafter, there was 1:1 parity.
So when she says she changed the political culture at Marriott, these numbers, at least, back her up. And when David Lublin gave you a list of $700,000 in GOP contributions without even mentioning the Democratic ones, he was only telling you part of the story.