Accountancy donors rally behind Bush campaign

Link: Big firms favour Bush in US presidential race

Total donations from accountants in the US topped $1.7m (nearly £1m), a huge increase on the June figure of $1m when Accountancy Age last reported the numbers.

Compiled by the Washington-based Center for Responsive Politics (CRP), the final tally also reveals that employees at PricewaterhouseCoopers have given a little more than half a million dollars to help the Republicans stay in power, making them the third largest group of corporate donors.

PwC workers donated $505,800, a sum only topped by those from Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch, the investment banks, which gave $591,000 and $564,000 respectively.

Workers at Ernst & Young and Deloitte have also dug deep to help Bush, taking positions 11 and 12 in the list of top 20 donors to Bush.

‘Bankers and accountants regularly send about two thirds of their contributions to Republicans and one third to Democrats,’ said Steven Weiss, of the CRP. ‘Bush has raised far more money from financial interests than Kerry for the November election, a reflection of the financial sector’s support for Bush’s tax cuts and his efforts to encourage investment.’

No accountancy firms appear among the largest 20 donors to John Kerry’s campaign for the election on 2 November. Nor does accountancy as a whole appear among the top 20 sectors supporting Kerry.

In total, Bush managed to raise $360m for his re-election campaign, and Kerry $311m. The profession ranked eighteenth among the 20 most generous sectors in the US economy for Bush. Retired donors topped the chart, but lawyers came in second, handing over more than $11m.

Political donations in the US are a sensitive subject. Companies are not permitted to make donations, but individuals have to reveal where they work when they give.

PwC refused to comment, though a spokesman was keen to emphasise that donations came from individuals.

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