Journalists shower hillary clinton with campaign cash _ center for public integrity office of personnel management data breach letter
New Yorker television critic Emily Nussbaum, a newly minted Pulitzer Prize winner, spent the Republican National Convention pen-pricking presidential nominee Donald Trump as a misogynist shyster running an “ugly and xenophobic campaign.”
On the nation’s left coast, Les Waldron, an Emmy Award-winning assignment editor at television station KFMB, the CBS affiliate in San Diego, swung right in July, shooting $28 to Trump.
And Carole Simpson, a former ABC “World News Tonight” anchor who in 1992 became the first African-American woman to moderate a presidential debate, is not moderate about her personal politics: the current Emerson College distinguished journalist-in-residence and regular TV news guest has given Clinton $2,800.
Conventional journalistic wisdom holds that reporters and editors are referees on politics’ playing field — bastions
of neutrality who mustn’t root for Team Red or Team Blue, either in word or deed.
But during this decidedly unconventional election season, during which “the media” has itself become a prominent storyline, several hundred news professionals have aligned themselves with Clinton or Trump by personally donating money to one or the other.
In all, people identified in federal campaign finance filings as journalists, reporters, news editors or television news anchors — as well as other donors known to be working in journalism — have combined to give more than $396,000 to the presidential campaigns of Clinton and Trump, according to a Center for Public Integrity analysis.
Nearly all of that money — more than 96 percent — has benefited Clinton: About 430 people who work in journalism have, through August, combined to give about $382,000 to the Democratic nominee, the Center for Public Integrity’s analysis indicates.
About 50 identifiable journalists have combined to give about $14,000 to Trump. Oklahoma office of personnel management forms (Talk radio ideologues, paid TV pundits and the like — think former Trump campaign manager-turned-CNN commentator Corey Lewandowski — are not included in the tally.)
Generally, the law obligates federal candidates only to disclose the names of people making contributions of more than $200 during a single election cycle, along with their addresses and employer and occupation. Office of personnel management data breach letter That means it’s likely that many more journalists have given the Clinton or Trump campaigns cash, but in amounts too small to trigger reporting requirements.
Together, these journalist-donors work for news organizations great and small, from The New York Times to sleepy, small-town dailies. Office of personnel management retirement operations contact number While many of them don’t primarily edit or report on political news, some do.
And each news professional offers his or her own unique take on a basic question: Why risk credibility — even one’s livelihood — to help pad a presidential candidate’s campaign account?
Simpson today describes herself as an “academic” and “former journalist.” Therefore, she says she’s “free to do many things I was prohibited from doing as a working journalist,” including giving money to Clinton.
“I have been waiting for the day our country would have a woman president,” Simpson said. Us office of personnel management boyers pa phone number “When Hillary decided to run, I was delighted because I couldn’t think of a more qualified woman to seek the high office.”
Waldron, of KFMB in San Diego, describes himself as a “lower case ‘l’ libertarian,” and believes journalists like him who both vote and make small-dollar political donations are within their rights to do so.
Said The New Yorker’s Nussbaum: “I rarely write about politics, but it’s true that the RNC-on-TV posts verged on punditry, and I can understand the concern about disclosure.”
Ryne Dittmer covers hard news as the county and education editor of the Liberty Tribune of Liberty, Missouri. Office of personnel management retirement services program phone number He’s contributed $625 to Clinton’s presidential committee.
“We support the individual’s right to align themselves in their personal lives with the political ideologies that they choose, just as we support their right to worship — or not — in the way they choose,” Neal said. Us office of personnel management retirement operations “As journalists, we expect accuracy, objectivity and fairness from our staff. Us office of personnel management opm Ryne Dittmer’s work certainly reflects those standards.”
Coverage area is Santa Cruz Sentinel city editor Julie Copeland’s rationale for why contributing nearly $300 to Clinton’s campaign is kosher, but campaigns closer to home are not.
“I supervise local news coverage at a small paper in California,” Copeland said. Office of personnel management retirement services “I do not, and would never, involve myself in any city council, school board or other small municipal race we cover.”
Julie Lane, a reporter at the Shelter Island Reporter on Long Island in New York, has given more than $800 to Clinton’s campaign. Office of personnel management retirement operations boyers pa 16017 Lane says she covers only local political races — nothing presidential — and her “personal ethics would prohibit me from taking an open stand” in any of them.
Then there’s Ellen Ratner, who leads the Talk Media News service and reports on federal government for her company. Office of personnel management boyers pa 16017 She also serves as a Fox News commentator. Us office of personnel management scam Ratner has given nearly $2,800 to Clinton’s campaign, explaining she contributed the money at the request of a man who made a $100,000 contribution to help her charitable efforts in war-ravaged South Sudan.
“I am happy to help him out … It is well known that I am a ‘wacko, liberal Democrat,’” Ratner said, adding this about her journalistic work: “I will put our news product right down the middle as opposed to just about anyone’s news product.”
Longtime television host Larry King, who now hosts a program on Russian-owned TV network RT and has called Trump “a great friend,” is also a Clinton donor, having given her campaign $2,700 in May. Office of personnel management retirement services boyers pa In June, King said he intends vote for Clinton because he disagrees with Trump’s stances on such issues as immigration and abortion.
Several journalists employed by Thomson Reuters, which operates the Reuters news agency, have likewise given Clinton money — and one has given to Trump. United states office of personnel management retirement programs boyers pa That’s fine, said company spokeswoman Abbe Serphos, as “Reuters journalists are permitted to make charitable or political contributions as long as they don’t conflict with their reporting responsibilities.”
Fox Sports spokesman Erik Arneson, responding to questions about three current and former employees who gave Clinton money, said the network “supports employees’ personal involvement in the political process as long as it is compliant with strict federal, state and local laws governing political contributions and interactions with government officials.”
Media executives are also often free from corporate policies restricting political donations, and some prominent news publishers and newsroom leaders routinely make campaign contributions.
Ask MSNBC, which in 2010 suspended Keith Olbermann, who at the time hosted a news show on the network, for making contributions to Democratic political candidates.
Last year, Karen Loberg, a photojournalist at the Ventura County Star north of Los Angeles, made a $1,000 contribution to the Clinton campaign in order to attend a private fundraiser in Provincetown, Massachusetts, where she was visiting a friend. Office of personnel management retirement programs Loberg said she thought the contribution would “go under the radar,” but she nevertheless defended her right to give it.
“It’s my freedom of speech — what I do on my own time is my business,” Loberg said, adding that her friend later reimbursed her for the $1,000 Clinton donation anyway.
Except such a reimbursement is troublesome: Loberg’s name — not that of her friend, who Loberg declined to identify — appears on federal financial disclosures filed by the Clinton campaign. United states office of personnel management scam images Such a transaction is informally known as a “straw donation” and is, on its face, illegal: “No person shall make a contribution in the name of another person,” federal law states.
Michael Toner, a former Republican FEC chairman, and Scott Thomas, a former Democratic FEC chairman, both agreed that Loberg and her friend likely broke the law, although it’s unlikely the FEC or U.S. United states office of personnel management scam letter Department of Justice would pursue the matter because of the contribution’s size and scope.
Loberg said she did not know straw donations are illegal. Office of personnel management She also said she was, at the time she donated to Clinton’s campaign, unaware that the Ventura County Star frowned on its newsroom employees making political contributions.
“I don’t involve myself with political campaigns of any sort, not only because I work at the Times but because I am utterly indifferent to their outcome,” La Ferla wrote in an email. United states office of personnel management “It’s a mystery to me why my name is on that document … It does indeed appear that the Clinton campaign made an error.”
Clinton campaign spokesman Josh Schwerin was equally mystified: “This is the first we are hearing of this discrepancy, and so we are looking into this. Us office of personnel management If we find that an error or anything improper occurred, we will certainly take the appropriate steps to remedy it.”
The Clinton campaign — or any campaign — has several options for contributions it fears are illegal or otherwise doesn’t want: give the money back, donate the money to charity or disgorge it to the U.S. Office of personnel management letter Treasury, which will add it to the federal government’s general fund
About 28 percent of journalists say they affiliate with the Democratic Party, 7 percent the Republican Party and 14 percent an “other” party, according to a 2014 study by Indiana University-Bloomington professors Lars Willnat and David H. United states office of personnel management letter Weaver.
Barbara Hough Roda, executive editor of LNP, the largest news organization based in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, said she wants her reporters to act without favor to any political party and for the public to indeed perceive her newsroom as independent.
But LNP has no formal policy prohibiting journalists from making political contributions, freeing LNP sportswriter Paula Wolf, who did not return a request for comment, to give money to Clinton’s campaign, as she did to the tune of more than $300.
“I believe we will,” Roda said. Office of personnel management retirement operations “My preference would be that we err on the side of caution, so it would probably behoove us to take a look at this again.”