It's no surprise that Comcast donates money to members of Congress. Political connections come in handy for a company seeking government approval of mergers, like Comcast's 2011 purchase of NBCUniversal and its proposed acquisition of Time Warner Cable (TWC).
But just how many politicians have accepted money from Comcast's political arm?
In the case of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which held the first congressional hearing on the Comcast/TWC merger yesterday, the answer is all of them.
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) led the way with $35,000 from the Comcast federal political action committee (PAC) between 2009 and 2014, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) received $32,500, and Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) received $30,000. These figures are the combined contributions from Comcast to the senators' campaign and leadership committees. (Schumer has recused himself from the merger hearings because his brother, a lawyer, worked on the deal.)
Out of 18 committee members, 10 Democrats and eight Republicans, 17 got money from Comcast's federal PAC, according to the database at OpenSecrets.org.
Anti-Comcast Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) isn't listed as having received anything from Comcast's PAC, but that's apparently because the database didn't take into account money collected by Franken's recount fund from when he needed a vote recount to get elected to the Senate.
Franken and Comcast spokespeople confirmed to Ars that a Comcast PAC did give $5,000 to Franken's recount fund in 2009. A Los Angeles Times story from 2010 also mentions the donation.
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