8:50 am August 22, 2012, by David Markiewicz
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).
Get inside Atlanta's and national business news and how it affects you.
Vacation stops, manage subscriptions and more