Which PACS donated Trump

Donations in the US election campaign - Did the German economy support Donald Trump?

Election campaigns are not just clashes over moods and votes, but also always battles over employees and material - that is, over money. Nowhere in the world is this more true than in the United States. Parties and candidates will have spent nearly five billion dollars when the results of the midterm elections are known this Wednesday. By way of comparison: In the German federal election in 2017, all parties in the Bundestag came together to spend well below 100 million euros on campaigning.

According to a report in “Welt”, part of the exorbitant election campaign costs in the USA are being financed by German companies. Election campaign donations of around $ 2.6 million are said to have flowed from the US subsidiaries of large German companies, reports the newspaper, citing figures from the non-partisan Washington non-governmental organization Center for Responsive Politics (CRP). And: the sympathies of German companies are clearly distributed: 59 percent of the funds are said to have flowed to the Republicans of US President Donald Trump, according to Welt. The opposition Democrats were left behind.

Can that actually be true? Does the German economy support Donald Trump in the election campaign, even though their representatives constantly complain about the protectionist economic policy of the US president? The most important questions and answers at a glance.

Which companies are you talking about?

The highest individual donations related to German companies are attributed to BASF. 632,000 dollars are said to have flowed from the environment of the chemical giant. Number two on the list is Deutsche Telekom, which is credited with $ 604,000 in donations. With its mobile communications subsidiary T-Mobile US, the former German state-owned company is a heavyweight on the US telecommunications market. Fresenius Medical Care ($ 296,000), Bayer ($ 264,000) and Siemens ($ 168,000) are also listed as relevant donors. There are a total of 17 German companies on the list.

Why are foreign companies allowed to donate to US parties at all?

They are not allowed to. Even domestic companies are not allowed in the US to support political parties or candidates with money. This is different to Germany, where corporate donations to political parties are generally allowed - but only if the company is also based in Germany.

So are companies breaking the law?

No, they don't. From a formal point of view, the companies do not appear as donors at all. The strict requirements for party financing in the USA are circumvented with the help of so-called Political Action Committees. These associations, commonly known as PACs, exist in almost every company. They are pure donation vehicles that collect money from the workforce and then pass it on to parties and candidates.

So doesn't the money come from the company's coffers?

Not formally speaking. The funds come from employees, often senior executives. It is difficult to prove in individual cases that these parts of their salary only receive in order to pass the money on to the company PAC. There are also reports of gentle pressure to donate, or even repression.

Who decides which party the money goes to.

Officially, the PACs make this decision independently. However, the donation vehicles are closely linked to the respective companies. They bear the company name, and senior executives often set the tone in the Pacs. In the US, therefore, PAC donations are usually attributed to companies.

What do the companies concerned say?

Not much. They refer to the independence of their US daughters, or the independence of the PACs. But of course the political maintenance of the landscape is by no means inconvenient for them. It is not for nothing that the industries that are particularly keen to donate are dependent on the goodwill of the administration or special access. A rogue who thinks bad.

By Andreas Niesmann / RND