Braves owner top political donor among sports team bosses

Braves fans often gripe about the ball club’s relatively modest payroll, asking why team owner Liberty Media can’t lay out the green for more talent.

Liberty’s president and CEO Gregory Maffei has found a way to spend some of his own cash away from field, however.

He’s giving it to political candidates. One report states that the Braves boss is actually the top political donor among sports franchise owners.

According to a story from WNYC, “The most generous single owner was Gregory Maffei of the Atlanta Braves, who dished $157,500 to Mitt Romney, American Crossroads, Restore Our Future, and the National Republican Congressional Committee.”

The report examined how all the owners of teams in the four major U.S. sports leagues contributed to President Barack Obama, the Republican presidential candidates, Democratic and Republican national committees, U.S. House and Senate campaign committees, and affiliated super PACs in the current election cycle.

The findings: “Owners of teams in the NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL have given $1,992,050 to 2012 national election efforts, and most of that to Republican committees and Mitt Romney. Democrats received just over $750,000, while Republicans got nearly $1.25 million.

“Major League Baseball was the biggest source of these donations, with team owners contributing over $700,000 this cycle. NFL owners cleared the half-million-dollar mark; NBA owners were just shy. The least amount of money came from the NHL, where owners have only given $272,800.

“In each league, donations to Republican efforts outpaced donations to Democrats. That gap was closest among NBA owners, who gave $215,200 to Democrats and $271,550 to Republicans. It was also the only league to give more money to the Obama campaign ($20,000) than to the Romney campaign ($18,500).

135 comments Add your comment

YEAH RIGHT

August 22nd, 2012
9:48 am

GO Braves !! and FIRST !!

Dawgs of Anarchy

August 22nd, 2012
10:04 am

Thank god the Braves dont give money to Obama, I would never be able to attend another game. I dont support communist regimes.

Dawgs of Anarchy

August 22nd, 2012
10:05 am

Chase

August 22nd, 2012
10:07 am

Liberty Media needs to sell the Braves. They are based in Denver and have no reason to invest! I’m not asking to have a payroll like the Yankees, but $100-110 million payroll would go a long way.

Jim S.

August 22nd, 2012
10:10 am

‘Dawgs’; please refrain from tainting the beloved nickname of the sports teams of my alma mater with your idiotic ramblings. By the way, if you’ve lived in this country and in the south for any period of time, you’ve personally benefited from ’socialism’ in a dramatic way for years brother, I hate to break it to your naive rear end.

Support Romney if you like, but give the ‘birther’ bs a rest; and please use the nickname of your own alma mater for these diatribes, whatever that may be.

Thanks.

Ann P.

August 22nd, 2012
10:13 am

I just don’t support any organization that give money to any politician because I think they are all pretty crooked & I think the amount of money being spent on this political election is a SIN. It could be put to a much better use, so not going to drive from TN to see the Braves. Perhaps that money could be better spent on getting better players. Just sayin’!

Dawgs of America

August 22nd, 2012
10:14 am

Dawgs of Anarchy…too bad you are so scared of african americans that you’ll turn your back on America and actually lead to a greater divide than there would naturally be otherwise. You’re part of the problem. It’s a shame you don’t get out of here and leave the rest of us to work together to get the US back on tract. Folks like you do nothing but bring others down. Throw aside political differences and work with everyone else to keep the US on the right track. You’re like a child who pouts and pouts and pouts and actually makes things worse so that you can then complain about how bad things are…even though it’s your own pouting that is actually making things worse. That’s un-American…and that’s you.

Norman Cochran

August 22nd, 2012
10:16 am

If the owner can bring himself to donate money to something like that, at least he could do is donate some of that money back into the Braves team in order to make them more competitive.

Norman Cochran

August 22nd, 2012
10:19 am

Dawgs, why do you have to bring race into this. Someone always wants to make it a racial issue when there really isn’t. I feel like I am not suppose to breath because I am taking some air away from an African American and therefore I must be racist!

Nice Job

August 22nd, 2012
10:20 am

Well, ain’t that nice. Liberty won’t shell it out to get some decent players, or a decent manager, but he gives to politics. Why don’t they just let someone buy the team, that actually enjoys baseball and will care about the Braves.

Norman Cochran

August 22nd, 2012
10:21 am

I also don’t believe any organization or company should be allowed to donate money to a political candidate because then it creates a sense of obligation or appearance there of.

flagger

August 22nd, 2012
10:21 am

Just because you don’t support Obama and Biden does not make you un-american. Its call free speech
dude!!!!

Jeff Garner

August 22nd, 2012
10:25 am

OBAMA, OBAMA, OBAMA…

VIETNAMVIET

August 22nd, 2012
10:25 am

A person can spend his or her money as she or he wishes. The same holds true for fans.
However, if you are in it to win it; one would spend what it takes to put a winning team on the field.
Business before politics.

Nice Job

August 22nd, 2012
10:25 am

Really doesn’t matter what liberty does at this point. After losing two to the Nats, its over anyway. And about the race issue, they just had Civil Rights Day at the ballpark, when do the white people get honored? Not racist, just askin.

Bacchus

August 22nd, 2012
10:26 am

The Braves need to be bought back and be given some kind of fiscal stimulus, by local money. The last 4 games are the beginning of the September Choke of the 2012 season.

Rhett Butler

August 22nd, 2012
10:26 am

Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.

VIETNAMVIET

August 22nd, 2012
10:30 am

NC. If you were an African American, who serived this country in time of war, and had a white american take some air away from you , you would feel differently.

Dawgs of America

August 22nd, 2012
10:31 am

Norman, you are right…”race” should not have been brought into my comment. Take the race statement out of my comment, however, and tell me if you agree with everything else? I think we all need to throw aside our political and ideological differences and pull each other up by the bootstraps and work towards getting things Right rather than subconsciously hoping things go wrong just in order to get a new regime in there. It’s not about Democrats or Republicans or whomever else…it’s about we citizens of the USA working together, fixing our homes, our neighborhoods, our communities…if we all took the time to just get those smaller things back in order, then the country begins to rebound. I think it’s very easy for each of us to complain about someone else or something else…but if we all truly took care of things in our own homes (i.e. our own finances and raising our own children, etc.), and then work with our friends and families and neighbors and towns and communities, we can work to get things on the right track. There is too much of a divide right now over things (gay marriage; abortion; women in military; etc.) that are not really of a concern seeing as how there are so many bigger issues out there. If one party comes in with a solution to our unemployment and what not, why can we all not at least try to stand behind that party and see if their solution will actually work. Until we all unite behind someone’s business theory, we will not see progress. We have to all work together to make a plan work. What’s the harm in doing something that you might not believe in? Maybe Romney’s plan will work…Maybe Obama’s would’ve worked…but we’ll never know until we ALL give it a try.

John

August 22nd, 2012
10:31 am

I could have gone without knowing this,

The Truth

August 22nd, 2012
10:32 am

Top political doner? Are you guys hiring editors? Because the ones you have need spell check. LOL.

MR164

August 22nd, 2012
10:38 am

@Rhett Butler I agree 100%

95 CHAMPS

August 22nd, 2012
10:38 am

SO WHAT!!!!!! GO OBAMA!!!!!!!

Shannon

August 22nd, 2012
10:39 am

Absolutely dripping with bias as usual, “Democrats received just over $750,000, while Republicans got nearly $1.25 million.” So you round down with the Democrats and round up with the GOP and you act like $750K is peanuts compared to 1.25M.

When does Simmons come back

August 22nd, 2012
10:41 am

Who/What owns the Braves, anyway??? Lol. Hey, too bad Arthur Blank won’t come in and buy the team. Anyway, I don’t care where/how Liberty Media spends their money aside from spending it on the Braves. When does Andrelton Simmons return?????? We need him for the Wildcard push!

Btw, solid second post from Dawgs of America!

Sammy

August 22nd, 2012
10:42 am

Ugh! That sounds about right. From now on, as a native Atlantan and as a proud American, I’ll say, “Go Nationals!”

O-Bama

August 22nd, 2012
10:43 am

YES the rule is …..if you don’t like my politics….you are a raceist.
I am democrat hear me roar

Typical

August 22nd, 2012
10:43 am

@David – explain to me how this is relevant business news? I understand the AJC’s model is to publish any story related to politics and Obama because that is what gets you the most hits and comments but just keep in mind that you are not a real journalist.

Jewel

August 22nd, 2012
10:43 am

The 1% always sticks with the 1%…interesting.

DHD

August 22nd, 2012
10:43 am

This is great news. Romney will lower their taxes giving us more money to build the Braves. Obama is killing us. He has to go!! He has taken us from Hope and Change to Nope and Chains.

David Puddy

August 22nd, 2012
10:47 am

“It’s a shame you don’t get out of here and leave the rest of us to work together to get the US back on tract.”

Oh really? Suppose we should start with the Democrat party/administration that has been pitting people against each other for almost 4 years.

Disgusted at Dishonesty

August 22nd, 2012
10:48 am

Dawgs of Anarchy:

from Kenya
_________

Hey birther moron, Obama’s mother was a US Citizen from Kansas. It doesn’t matter who his father was or if he was born on the moon. Obama is a US Citizen because his mother was and the fact he was born in the US state of Hawaii. In contrast John McCain, who was born in Germany, is also a US Citizen.

It is a free country but if companies advertise politics that I don’t agree with, I spend my dollars elsewhere. Which is my right as an American.

Kim Jong Un

August 22nd, 2012
10:51 am

There are places in the world where everyone’s politics are the same.

Like North Korea.

Will Jones - Atlanta Jeffersonian Exegesis

August 22nd, 2012
10:57 am

My enthusiasm for the Braves has just taken a major hit. Either wise up, Mr. Maffei, or sell the team: Romney is scum of the earth.

luangtom

August 22nd, 2012
10:57 am

OMG, so far, no one has said it is Bush’s fault…………..

Zing

August 22nd, 2012
10:57 am

This has made it 2% less likely that I will buy Braves tickets.

Follow up question

August 22nd, 2012
10:59 am

My hunch is that 90+% of the players support the President. I would love to see those numbers comparatively as well. I know former Hawk Joe Johnson and many of the NBA players and their Commissioner held a big NYC fundraiser for the Obama campaign very recently.

Pace53

August 22nd, 2012
10:59 am

Enter your comments here
What do you think LOBBYISTS do ? It’s always about the MONEY-$$$

jerry

August 22nd, 2012
11:05 am

Being rich, he would naturally contribute to the Republicans, who want to extend the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, and not to Obama, who wants to end them.

Bill

August 22nd, 2012
11:09 am

Yet another reason why I miss Ted Turner. Romney is a tool.

Disbott 3000

August 22nd, 2012
11:10 am

It’s cute, how naive most of you are. Major stakeholders in large corporations, and oftentimes the corporations themselves, always donate vast amounts of money to whatever candidate promises to let them keep most of the money they earn or, once in office, provide them with certain favors that are to their benefit. Sometimes they even donate vast sums of money to BOTH candidates, to make sure they have the ear of whomever wins the race. This is not new at all and should not be confused with money that might be used for the Braves payroll. In fact, I believe the story says that he donated that money from his own funds, not from Liberty Media’s resources, which means it was never money that would have gone to the Braves payroll anyway. Just sayin’.

Marie

August 22nd, 2012
11:13 am

GJ

August 22nd, 2012
11:14 am

Had the money been going to Obama, I’d have to relinquish my Braves Fan Club Card.

weetamoe

August 22nd, 2012
11:15 am

McCain was born in the Panama Canal Zone and so if you somehow misread your talking points memo you might blame the public school system rather than a baseball team owner.

GJ

August 22nd, 2012
11:15 am

Hey Bill….your a tool! NOBAMA!

Holier Than Thou

August 22nd, 2012
11:16 am

No surprises here . . . “rich get richer” and millionaires/billionaires support those who oppose asking them to pay another penny in tax, God forbid a small dent be put in their fortunes.

PMC

August 22nd, 2012
11:17 am

I don’t really care how people spend their money, but obviously politicians in this country are bought and paid for.

Voting, is essentially picking the special interest groups that get paid. It’s not about issues.

Seems like an epic waste of money but they’ve got a lot of it so why not?

I find it funny that all of these guys publically profess the greatness of the free market system and then privately do everything they can to subvert it politically.

Ker mitt

August 22nd, 2012
11:18 am

OHNO!!!!!! The Braves are against all women OHNO!!!!

Hetch Hetchy

August 22nd, 2012
11:18 am

Well, that’s one good thing about Liberty Media. It’s not lead by an idiot. The Falcons are a different story.

Disgusted at Dishonesty

August 22nd, 2012
11:34 am

weetamoe, you are right is was Panama Canal. I don’t receive talking point memos since I don’t listen to AM radio.

Still, how does the misstated foreign location change my point? Are you a birther moron as well?