Trucking contributes $7.8 million to election, heavily favors GOP

By Jill Dunn on

In Mitt Romney’s losing bid for the presidency, he still remained the top recipient of trucking contributions to political campaigns, with American Trucking Associations President Bill Graves ranked as the Republican nominee’s top trucking-oriented bundler nationwide.

Graves gathered nearly $1.68 million for Romney as a bundler — an individual or group that collects and delivers contributions to a candidate. Trucking as a whole, which includes carriers, truck rental companies and truck and trailer manufacturers, gave an additional $911,820 to the former Massachusetts governor’s campaign.

Story data on contributions to federal candidates was provided through the Center for Responsive Politics and unless otherwise noted, figures refer to the current campaign cycle. Foundation grants and individuals fund the non-partisan, non-profit research group, which does not accept contributions from corporations, trade associations or labor unions.

Of trucking’s more than $7.8 million in political contributions, 85 percent went to Republican federal candidates, the biggest percentage the party has received from the industry in 22 years. Trucking gave the lowest percentage to GOP candidates in 1990, when Republicans received 51 percent of campaign funds.

After Romney, the industry’s second highest recipient this cycle was longtime Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who received $75,000 before dropping out of the Republican presidential primary. Trucking’s third highest recipient was Democrat President Obama at $63,796 .

The industry’s top contributor was ATA’s political action committee, which donated $602,500, 74 percent of which was contributed to GOP candidates. PACS are political committees that raise and spend money to elect or defeat candidates.

In congressional races, three Republican members of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee were the top ATA recipients, receiving $10,000 each. The recipients were Iowa Rep. Tom Latham, an appropriations transportation subcommittee member in his ninth congressional term, Florida Rep. John Mica, chairman of the transportation committee chairman and Pennsylvania Rep. Bill Shuster, chairman of the Railroads Pipelines and Hazardous Materials subcommittee.

The second highest trucking entity contributor was Michigan-based Centra Inc., which gave $426,450, 96 percent of which went to Republicans.

The Owner-Operator Independent Driver Association PAC ranked third. It contributed $298,738, with $163,500 earmarked for Republicans. OOIDA’s highest contribution to a candidate was $10,000 to West Virginia Rep. Nick Rahall, now in his 18th term and a ranking member of the House transportation committee. Center data did not indicate the association had donated to presidential candidates this cycle.

OOIDA’s funding favored Democrats from 1990-1994, but in 1996, it made a sharp shift to Republicans. The association has continued to lean toward supporting Republican candidates, save for 2008, when contributions to Democrats edged out those to Republicans.

Knight Transportation ranked fourth in trucking contributions, with $227,700 going to GOP candidates.

The trucking sector’s top 20 contributors to federal candidates also included 13 other carriers and two OEMS, Knapheide Manufacturing and OskKosh Corp.

The Teamsters Union PAC contributed more than $1.6 million. Democrats Rep. Kathleen Hochul of New York received the most at $15,000, followed by Obama at $12,840 and Rep. John Conyers of Texas with $10,500.

Across all industry sectors, transportation ranks 12th highest in contributions while finance, insurance and real estate entities industries place first. Under the transportation umbrella, 77 percent of monies went to GOP candidates.

At nearly $1.2 million, the National Auto Dealers Association ranked first as a transportation contributor and donates 71 percent of funds to Republicans. Second was United Parcel Service’s $1.2 million, with 65 percent earmarked for GOP candidates.

Additional information is available at www.opensecrets.org

4 comments
EFMcHenry
EFMcHenry

I'm sorry the truth be told. Republicans love big govt as long as it benefits big business, PERIOD! When govt doesn't benefit big corporate profit they cry socialism. Regulations? Haha lol, one good regulations can me millions or even billions in profit or market share. FMCSA? If FMCSA passes regulation, policy, code, or standard that hurt certain industry players (typically the smaller and or one truck/one owner operator), it could drive some of the competition out of the industry and allow those remaining to garner more market share. How do republicans argue for small business while allowing govt agencies to act like a big logistics management company for big business? This is NOT small govt free market conservatism or libertarianism. It's actually corporatism. I have yet to hear republicans as a party demand a downsize to the federal govt agencies that have been taking our freedoms away and centralizing power and control in the market place. Where? Who? Don't bring up Ron Paul, he's a libertarian and a true libertarian. How about democrates. Well, they are guilty of cronyism too. But at least they are willing to let you keep your rightly earned Social Security & Medicare. War? Hah, that's nothing more than nation building, globalization, multi-billion dollar contracts to huge private contractors and pacifying over zealous eschatological end-times soothsayers. Sorry but the best thing we can hope post election is a grid-locked do nothing congress and executive branch...I'm just saying...

mdlind
mdlind

SBOmoe---slow down and read the headline. It does not say that trucking wins big, It suggests that Romney was a larger recipient of funds over Obama. While I respect your sentiments, there is still a need to be accurate (and fair) in what we interpret and what we say.  

SBOmoe
SBOmoe

Trucking wins big? Really? all candidtates were flooded with money and the real make up of the congress didn't change. I'm sorry Jill But if you think an anti fossile fuel pro regulation president and senate dominated by the Chuck Shumers of the world is a "win" for our industry you are naive or in denial. the election was a blow to business owners small and large. The benificiaries are those employed by regulatory agencies and those who choose not to be employed as well as  those who live off the system instead of working. Runaway deficit spending will cripple our economy further and the inevitable raise in taxes and interest rates will be the final nail. Good luck America, your gonna need it.

EFMcHenry
EFMcHenry

 @SBOmoe

 SMOmoe and i'll bet you probablly bought the republican BS that deficit spending is being caused by entitlements. Or, in the words of Paul Ryan "entitlements are the drivers of our debt." But nothing could be further from the truth. Social Security and Medicare are NOT adding to our deficit!! They never have. Social Security and Medicare get their funding from the payroll tax, not the federal income tax. This is very important because it establishes or prioritizes spending accordingly. If you cut federal income tax as the bush tax cuts did, you correspondingly are suppose to cut the things it funds. Not cut or raid from other sources. The republican party wants to cut the Social Security & Medicare by raising the retirement age so those programs pay out less so there is more left over money to fund the general govt to make up for the shortfall from cuts in the federal income tax. So your social security is cut to fund war spending and big govt agencies. That is your Republican agenda. I'm glad Paul Ryan lost!! He is single handedly the biggest hypocrite that entered the halls of congress. If you don't believe this is true that he is nothing more than a  advocate of big corporate govt crony capitalism, just do a search online that compares his voting record to Ron Paul, the true limited govt guy and you will quickly see what a fraud this guy is!!