A Sample Of Mormon Donors

March 4, 2008 | 39 comments
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Mormons contributed to Mitt Romney’s campaign over the past year and half in some pretty eye-popping numbers (see, e.g., here and here). As such, I decided to comb through the campaign finance contribution records to see who exactly some prominent Mormons were donating to this past election cycle. Needless to say, there were a few fun finds. To clarify the results, if anyone gave to a particular candidate on several occasions, I combined them all. Federal law limits individual contributions to each candidate to $2,300 for the primary cycle and $2,300 for the general election. If a single person is listed as giving $4,600 to one candidate, they likely contributed to both his or her primary and general election funds. And, finally, only contributions of at least $200 are a matter of public record. Question is, did I miss anyone interesting?

[Note - I've added noteworthy finds mentioned in the comments to this list if the donors gave during this cycle]

Danny and Michelle Ainge (MA) – VP of Operations for the Boston Celtics

  • $4,600 Mitt Romney (R)

Alan and Karen Ashton (UT) – Founders of Wordperfect and Thanksgiving Point

  • $4,200 Mitt Romney (R)

Michael Ballam (UT) - Opera Singer/Music Professor

  • $250 Mitt Romney (R)

Norm Bangerter (UT) - Former Governor of Utah

  • $500 Mitt Romney (R)

Ken Bowler (MD) – Lobbyist for the LDS Church

  • $2,300 Gordon Smith (R)
  • $1,000 Searchlight Leadership Fund (Sen. Harry Reid’s (D) PAC)
  • $3,300 Judith Feder (D)

Patrick Byrne (UT) – CEO of Overstock.com

  • $2,300 Gordon Smith (R)
  • $5,000 Campaign for America’s Future PAC
  • $2,300 Mitt Romney (R)
  • $2,300 Rudy Giuliani (R)

Elder John Carmack (UT) – First Quorum of the Seventy

  • $500 Mitt Romney (R)

David and Deborah Checketts (CT) – Chairman of Sports Capital Partners (Former president and GM Utah Jazz and New York Knicks, and CEO of Madison Square Garden)

  • $4,600 Rudy Giuliani (R)

Aileen H. Clyde (UT) – Former 2nd Counselor in the General Relief Society Presidency

  • $250 Democratic National Committee

Sandra and Stephen Covey (UT) – Author, Motivational Speaker, and Homemaker

  • $9,200 Mitt Romney (R)

Elder Robert K. Dellenbach (UT) – First Quorum of the Seventy

  • $400 Mitt Romney (R)

Ty Detmer (TX) - Retired NFL Quarterback

  • $2,000 Mitt Romney (R)

Sheri Dew (UT) – CEO of Deseret Book (Former Counselor in General Relief Society Presidency)

  • $2,300 Mitt Romney (R)

Jackie Dodd (CT) – Wife of former presidential candidate Sen. Chris Dodd

  • $4,600 Chris Dodd (D)

Rulon Gardner (UT) – Olympic Champion Greco-Roman Wrestler

  • $4,600 Mitt Romney (R)

Tom Holmoe (UT) – BYU Athletic Director (Former Football Coach of the U. of California)

  • $250 Mitt Romney (R)

Jon Huntsman, Sr. (UT) – CEO and Chairman of Huntsman Chemicals

  • $2,300 Max Baucus (D)
  • $2,300 Max Baucus (D)
  • $28,500 National Republican Senatorial Committee
  • $2,300 Mitt Romney (R)

Karen Huntsman (UT) – Huntsman LLC, VP, Homemaker

  • $28,500 National Republican Senatorial Committee
  • $28,500 Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee
  • $2,300 Max Baucus (D)
  • $4,600 John McCain (R)
  • $2,300 Mitt Romney (R)

Jon Huntsman Jr. and Mary Kaye Huntsman (UT) – Governor and First Lady of Utah

  • $4,600 John McCain (R)

Matthew and Dena Kennedy (UT) – CEOs of LDS Living

  • $4,600 Mitt Romney (R)

Norma Matheson (UT) – Wife of former Utah Governor Scott Matheson

  • $4,600 Jim Matheson (D)
  • $500 Hillary Clinton (D)
  • $750 Democratic Committee of Utah

Scott Matheson, Jr. (UT) – U of U Law Professor and former Utah gubernatorial candidate

  • $500 Hillary Clinton (D)

Keith Merrill (CA) – Film Director

  • $700 Mitt Romney (R)

Johnny Miller (UT) – NBC Golf Analyst

  • $2,300 Mitt Romney (R)

Dale Murphy (UT) – Retired Atlanta Braves Baseball Player

  • $2,100 Mitt Romney (R)

David Neeleman (CT) – Founder and former CEO of Jet Blue

  • $5,000 Searchlight Leadership Fund (Sen. Harry Reid’s PAC)
  • $2,000 Robert Menendez (D)
  • $1,000 Dick Durbin (D)
  • $500 James Oberstar (D)
  • $500 John Mica (R)
  • $2,300 Mitt Romney (R)

Norman Newrow (UT) – Well-known Accounting Professor at BYU

  • $2,300 Mitt Romney (R)

Alan Osmond (UT) – Former member of the Osmond Brothers. Entertainment mogul in Utah

  • $2,300 Mitt Romney (R)

Janice Kapp Perry (UT) – Musician and Composer

  • $250 Mitt Romney (R)

Andy and Tammy Reid (PA) – Coach of the Philadelphia Eagles and Homemaker

  • $4,600 Mitt Romney (R)

Kevin Rollins (TX) – Former CEO of Dell Inc.

  • $2,300 Mitt Romney (R)

Blake Roney (UT) – Chairman of Nu Skin

  • $4,600 Mitt Romney (R)
  • $25,000 National Republican Senatorial Committee
  • $2,000 Jason Chaffetz (R)

Elder Richard G. Scott (UT) – Apostle for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

  • $1,100 National Republican Senatorial Committee
  • $2,250 Mitt Romney (R)

Mark Shurtleff (UT) – Attorney General of Utah

  • $2,300 John McCain (R)

James Sorenson (UT) -Late billionaire philanthropist

  • $4,400 Mitt Romney (R)

Laurel Ulrich (MA) – Pulitzer-Prize Winning Professor at Harvard University

  • $500 Katrina Swett (D)

Jennifer Wilson (UT) – SLC Councilwoman/SLC Mayoral candidate

  • $1,000 Hillary Clinton (D)

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39 Responses to A Sample Of Mormon Donors

  1. Marc Bohn on March 4, 2008 at 11:59 pm

    Oh… and (surprise, surprise) former Orem-Utah-ite Jackie Dodd donated $4,600 to her husband Chris Dodd’s presidential campaign.

  2. aloysiusmiller on March 5, 2008 at 12:19 am

    You missed me. I gave!

  3. Marc Bohn on March 5, 2008 at 12:20 am

    All apologies.

  4. Eric Russell on March 5, 2008 at 12:24 am

    Cue jokes about Satan supporting Romney.

  5. matt b on March 5, 2008 at 12:38 am

    Here’s a few more:

    Richard G. Hinckley gave $1,000 to George W. Bush in 1999.

    James E. Faust gave $200 to Ed Firmage’s congressional campaign back in the late 1970s, which is kind of fun.

    Somebody named ‘Neal A. Maxwell’ gave $800 to Mitt Romney in 2007, which would have been quite a feat.

  6. mmiles on March 5, 2008 at 1:54 am

    You missed my $25 to Obama.

  7. paula on March 5, 2008 at 1:55 am

    I like this site:
    http://fundrace.huffingtonpost.com/
    because you can search by zipcode and see who donated over $250 to any candidate. You can find out who in your ward found the primaries to be especially painful. :)

  8. AHLDuke on March 5, 2008 at 2:02 am

    Interesting that Bro. Neeleman (of Jet Blue) gave primarily to Democratic candidates…

  9. Marc Bohn on March 5, 2008 at 2:08 am

    mmiles – Looking up fellow ward members would have been a whole lot more fun if $25 donations showed up.

  10. mmiles on March 5, 2008 at 2:43 am

    Paula,
    Thanks! That was fun! and surprising. I am most surprised about how many people in my town gave money to Ron Paul.

  11. chris j on March 5, 2008 at 3:06 am

    Marc Bohn’s mission president and his wife, Arlen and Derrel Crouch each donated $2100 to Mitt.

  12. Marc Bohn on March 5, 2008 at 9:04 am

    Ha ha. An egregious oversight on my part. Thanks Chris.

  13. jjohnsen on March 5, 2008 at 9:31 am

    This is fascinating. I wonder what ties the Huntsmans have to Montana that would make them donate to a Democratic senator from that state? And I know it shouldn\’t bother me, and it\’s totally within his rights, but I kind of wish Richard G Scott wasn\’t on that list. I\’d feel more comfortable about political neutrality if there wasn\’t money given to either party from anyone in the Twelve or First Presidency.

  14. Last Lemming on March 5, 2008 at 10:18 am

    $3,300 to Judy Feder? What on earth did Frank Wolf do to piss off the church? ( I only live a couple miles outside his district).

  15. East Coast on March 5, 2008 at 10:23 am

    In regards to jjohnson’s comment, I fail to see why a church position on political neutrality would be compromised by the personal actions of any one (or two…or fourteen) church leaders. Unless I missed it somewhere, accepting a church calling does not mean you give up your right to vote, make political contributions, or otherwise exercise your civil liberties. I understand that appearing in advertisements or making public statements would be a problem. Maybe I don’t understand the implications since I don’t live in Utah. Is this one of those “unwritten order” things like never appearing without white shirt/tie? If it is … how weird.

  16. jjohnsen on March 5, 2008 at 10:30 am

    No it isn’t. Like i said it’s his right to donate. But unlike the majority of church leaders, he represents the Church on a global scale, so a donation to a leader that isn’t popular overseas could have a negative effect on how the church is viewed globally. What would you think if one of the donations listed was from Thomas S Monson to David Dukes last campaign?

  17. AaronK on March 5, 2008 at 10:34 am

    This donor list thing is remarkable in two ways: 1. In America we have transparency, more or less, and can see who is giving what to whom. This has to be healthy for our democracy. 2. Mormons who assume everyone votes Republican get to see that some among them actually contribute to Democrats and maybe even vote for them, too. That has to be healthy for the church, considering the efforts the church has made not to be seen as a one-party church. Thanks for bringing this up.

  18. East Coast on March 5, 2008 at 11:24 am

    I should have said “jjohnsen.” Sorry to get your name wrong.

    I looked through the donor records to see where Mormons in my region of the country were donating. As far as I can tell, they are not donating to anyone.

  19. Marc Bohn on March 5, 2008 at 11:41 am

    East Coast – Or at least not donating to anyone in amounts of at least $200 or more. Might just be your area though. I’m out east as well and, interestingly, virtually every Stake President in our surrounding area and his spouse each donated the maximum allowable to Romney’s campaign.

  20. East Coast on March 5, 2008 at 12:16 pm

    Okay. I kept looking and found one for your list. Andy Reid and his wife donated a nice chunk of change to Mitt Romney.

  21. Tony on March 5, 2008 at 1:11 pm

    Re: #4- Ha! My thoughts exactly…

    And for the record, he’s my favorite Satan. So wonderfully oily and smarmy.

  22. JimD on March 5, 2008 at 1:45 pm

    Is Matheson Jr. still LDS? I think Jim is, but my understanding was that Scott had either gone inactive or changed religions entirely.

  23. Marc Bohn on March 5, 2008 at 1:53 pm

    He might be inactive, but I don’t think he has changed religions. At least I’ve never seen anything to that effect. He’s still listed all over the place as Mormon (see, e.g., here).

  24. JimD on March 5, 2008 at 2:20 pm

    Marc, I think that link refers to Matheson Sr., doesn’t it?

  25. Marc Bohn on March 5, 2008 at 2:57 pm

    Indeed it does. I’d google’d Matheson, Jr. and it came up. Didn’t notice the lacking “Jr.” In any event, while there are references out there to his Mormonism. I haven’t been able to find anything that is in any way authoritative. Someone would probably have to ask him to find out.

  26. Marc Bohn on March 5, 2008 at 4:19 pm

    A few more fun finds:

    Elder Robert K. Dellenbach (UT) – First Quorum of the Seventy – $400 Mitt Romney (R)

    Norm Bangerter (UT) – Former Governor of Utah – $500 Mitt Romney (R)

    Blake Roney (UT) – Chairman of Nu Skin – $4,600 Mitt Romney (R); $25,000 National Republican Senatorial Committee; $2,000 Jason Chaffetz (R)

    Patrick Byrne (UT) – CEO of Overstock.com – $2,300 Mitt Romney (R); $2,300 Rudy Giuliani; $5,000 Campaign for America’s Future PAC; $2,300 Gordon Smith (R)

    Jennifer Wilson (UT) – SLC Councilwoman/SLC Mayoral candidate – $1,000 Hillary Clinton (D)

  27. Jon W on March 5, 2008 at 5:26 pm

    Interesting stuff.

    In Canada federally they have report online like this but our Province (=State) they only have to keep a paper record at the Elections office and only give out on request with a price tag.

    Personally I think if you cannot put this stuff on the net you are hiding something or at least trying to.

  28. Swisster on March 5, 2008 at 10:08 pm

    Aileen H. Clyde donated to Jim Matheson, the DNC, Karen Shepherd, even Emily’s List. For the benefit of those who have already forgotten the 1990s, Aileen Clyde and Chieko Okazaki were counselors to Elaine Jack, general RS president.

  29. Marc Bohn on March 6, 2008 at 2:14 am

    Fascinating find.

  30. LukeAir on March 6, 2008 at 7:22 am

    I totally respect Richard G. Scott\’s right to support Romney. I don\’t think that being an Apostle suspends your right to exercise your conscience and agency. I think he has made a mistake in supporting Romney but I support his freedom to make wrong choices. There was never a hope in Hades of Romney winning the Presidency and I think he knew that. His job was to dilute the opposition to the insiders choice and then retire from the race. First choice would have been Guliani with McCain as back up. Guliani is out of the race but I wouldn\’t be surprised if he ends up being McCains running mate.

  31. Christian on March 6, 2008 at 4:19 pm

    Romney had a strong chance until the rags like TNR and Slate blitzed the church and described us like a bunch of sleepers waiting to kill at the command of some future prophet, or a bunch of drooling idiots following a dead con man.

    Huckabee’s entrance into the game cemented the deal.

    With a straightforward race, Romney v. McCain, I think Romney would have taken the nomination. Winning the presidential race OTOH is probably not something the Republicans are going to do anyway.

    I predict that after this thread, General Authorities are going to be limited to campaign contributions of $199.99

  32. East Coast on March 6, 2008 at 4:34 pm

    “I predict that after this thread…”

    You’re assuming that the contents of the LDS blogs would influence church policy. They sure seem to be influencing Deseret News.

  33. Russell Arben Fox on March 6, 2008 at 5:05 pm

    Aileen H. Clyde donated to Jim Matheson, the DNC, Karen Shepherd, even Emily’s List. For the benefit of those who have already forgotten the 1990s, Aileen Clyde and Chieko Okazaki were counselors to Elaine Jack, general RS president.

    Remarkable, but not entirely unexpected, if you happened to have tuned to what in many ways turned out to be a rather unconventional RS presidency back in the 90s. Remind me to tell you all about how Sister Okazaki almost spoke at Sunstone one year.

  34. Mark IV on March 6, 2008 at 6:26 pm

    Russell,

    Tell us all about how Sister Okazaki almost spoke at Sunstone one year.

  35. Swisster on March 6, 2008 at 10:56 pm

    #33 — I would love to hear that story. That presidency really was innovative. What I would do for a published interview with any of the three, or a biography or anything. I just sit and read their old conference talks sometimes; it’s all I have to go on. Aileen Clyde hosted the BYU feminist group “Voice” (fresh out of probationary status) at her house in Springville. She’s spoken at an Exponent II retreat. She gave a positive review of Martha Sontag Bradley’s book about the ERA.

  36. Martin Willey on March 7, 2008 at 3:06 pm

    LOVE THE FUNDRACE SITE!! Although it has destroyed whatever hope of productivity I had for this afternoon. So interesting. My stake president maxed out for Geo W. Bush :-(. Aileen Clyde is a personal hero, although she gave to Mitt (disappointing).

  37. Swisster on March 7, 2008 at 3:14 pm

    #36 — Like you, I’m a little bit too interested in these two sites. But, I don’t see that Aileen gave to Mitt. A “Wilford Clyde” gave to Mitt — probably a relative, but not her husband. Am I missing something?

  38. Martin Willey on March 7, 2008 at 5:24 pm

    #37 – - I was reading quickly on my way out the door to a meeting. I guess I was wrong, for which I am grateful!

  39. post-mormon joe on July 6, 2008 at 11:07 pm

    What about the Marriotts? They\’ve given over 100k this season, mostly to Romney and Republican committees, but also $8000 to Chris Dodd.