Rush Limbaugh Would Fit Right in With NFL Owners

NFL: Not For Liberals.

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By Robert Schlesinger, Thomas Jefferson Street blog

Rush Limbaugh's bid to buy the NFL's St. Louis Rams has raised some concerns about such a high-profile and outspoken conservative joining the league. As Peter noted earlier, the head of the NFL Players' Association is trying to galvanize his members in opposition to El Rushbo. But judging by the way NFL owners, executives, and players give money already, the conservative yakker would fit right in in the league. The indispensable Center for Responsive Politics crunched the campaign finance contribution data for the league and found that in terms of political contributions, "NFL" could well stand for "Not For Liberals."

The center combed through contributions to federal candidates and political committees from 1989 through 2009, and tallied all contributions from NFL team owners, executives, players, coaches, and so forth (the teams themselves are of course legally forbidden from making contributions). According to the center's figures, NFLers contributed $6.9 million during that 20-year span, of which 78 percent ($5.45 million) went to Republicans and 21 percent to Democrats ($1.48 million).

A couple of things jump out from the team-by-team breakdown: The San Diego Chargers are the biggest political players, kicking $2.45 million to political coffers (98 percent of it to the GOP). No surprise there: Owner Alex Spanos is a longtime GOP funder. And while the teams trend Republican, the NFL home office sent 70 percent of its $322,373 in contributions to Democrats.

And which team was the biggest contributor to Democrats? Why, the St. Louis Rams, whose employees and officials sent $230,050 to Democrats and only $4,750 to Republicans. No wonder Rush wants to buy the team.

You can see the full team-by-team breakdown here:

Team Total Democrats Republicans Dem % Repub %
San Diego Chargers
$2,455,200
$40,773
$2,414,427
2%
98%
Houston Texans
$623,456
$4,000
$615,256
1%
99%
Arizona Cardinals
$337,096
$85,950
$251,146
25%
75%
Washington Redskins
$323,000
$8,550
$314,450
3%
97%
National Football League
$322,373
$224,798
$97,075
70%
30%
New York Jets
$261,403
$26,011
$235,392
10%
90%
New Orleans Saints
$257,913
$18,150
$239,763
7%
93%
St Louis Rams
$234,800
$230,050
$4,750
98%
2%
Pittsburgh Steelers
$229,307
$128,892
$100,415
56%
44%
Jacksonville Jaguars
$201,066
$36,564
$164,502
18%
82%
Philadelphia Eagles
$183,500
$156,400
$27,100
85%
15%
Dallas Cowboys
$164,467
$29,600
$134,867
18%
82%
Minnesota Vikings
$131,175
$14,600
$116,575
11%
89%
Kansas City Chiefs
$130,300
$20,950
$109,350
16%
84%
Cincinnati Bengals
$126,200
$1,750
$124,450
1%
99%
Cleveland Browns
$125,526
$41,126
$84,400
33%
67%
New England Patriots
$122,400
$88,200
$24,200
72%
20%
Indianapolis Colts
$117,150
$56,150
$61,000
48%
52%
San Francisco 49ers
$111,121
$93,015
$18,106
84%
16%
Denver Broncos
$110,413
$36,850
$73,563
33%
67%
Miami Dolphins
$108,001
$92,000
$15,751
85%
15%
Baltimore Ravens
$92,471
$34,871
$57,600
38%
62%
Carolina Panthers
$89,018
$34,500
$54,518
39%
61%
Atlanta Falcons
$77,350
$25,950
$51,400
34%
66%
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
$71,883
$34,600
$36,583
48%
51%
Los Angeles Rams
$52,250
$47,250
$5,000
90%
10%
United Football League
$41,100
$41,100
$0
100%
0%
Buffalo Bills
$38,506
$25,006
$13,500
65%
35%
Tennessee Titans
$36,050
$4,450
$31,600
12%
88%
Detroit Lions
$32,751
$20,750
$12,001
63%
37%
New York Giants
$31,000
$8,700
$22,300
28%
72%
Chicago Bears
$28,100
$13,050
$15,050
46%
54%
Seattle Seahawks
$24,402
$13,000
$11,402
53%
47%
Green Bay Packers
$8,750
$2,550
$6,200
29%
71%
Oakland Raiders
$6,800
$4,050
$2,750
60%
40%
Pro Football Hall of Fame
$6,400
$2,650
$3,750
41%
59%
NFL Network
$6,000
$1,900
$4,100
32%
68%
NFL Properties
$3,000
$3,000
$0
100%
0%
Arena Football League
$3,000
$1,000
$2,000
33%
67%
Pro Arena Football
$2,300
$2,300
$0
100%
0%
Los Angeles Raiders
$2,000
$2,000
$0
100%
0%
Detroit Super Bowl XL Host Cmte
$250
$250
$0
100%
0%

(Chart courtesy of The Center for Responsive Politics)

I added the individual team figures up myself to get the league totals. Exit question: Does your team's contribution pattern match your ideology? And do you really care?