NHL champs LA Kings visit White House, but owners wish someone else were in it
If Los Angeles Kings owners Ed Roski and Phil Anschutz had their way during last year's election, someone other than President Obama would be greeting the Stanley Cup champions Tuesday when they arrive in D.C. for the traditional White House fete. According to Sunlight's Influence Explorer, the Kings organization contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to Republican candidates throughout the 2012 election cycle — almost all of which came from the pockets of Roski and Anschutz.
Kings' employees donated a combined $413,800 to candidates, political action committees and political independent expenditure groups. That's the second-highest total among National Hockey League teams, behind only the St. Louis Blues. All but $500 came from owners Roski and Anschutz; more than 92 percent of their donations fortified conservative causes — leaving only a modest $35,000 that went to Democrats.
Kings ownership actively contributed to presidential candidates, giving failed GOP candidate Mitt Romney and his Victory Committee more than $55,000 (the vast majority coming from Roski). However, it doesn't appear as though Romney was the first choice for either owner; Anschutz and his wife, Nancy, previously gave $2,500 to Gov. Rick Perry, R-Texas, and former Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., while Roski and his wife, Gayle, each maxed out $5,000 to former Gov. Tim Pawlenty, R-Minn. No one associated with the Kings gave to President Obama.
Republican committees also saw substantial donations from the Kings higher-ups, the biggest recipient being the Republican National Committee which received over $60,000 from the Anschutz family. The couple proved generous for each fundraising arm of the GOP as well, contributing more than $30,000 to the National Republican Senatorial Committee and $25,000 to the National Republican Congressional Committee. Democratic committees didn't receive anything from Kings employees.
The Kings owners also spent big on individual candidates for the House and Senate, almost entirely on Republicans. Anschutz dropped a healthy $10,000 for Gov. Scott Walker, R-Wis. Roski supported Gov. Tom Corbett, R-Pa., to the tune of $50,000. Not so coincidentally, Pennsylvania is the state where Roski's Majestic Realty has corporate headquarters. Roski's wife contributed $5,000 to Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., while Roski sent $15,000 to House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio.
Kings Chief Operating Officer Chris McGowan also donated $500 to Boehner's campaign committee. He was the only other member of the Kings organization, including players and coaches, to register a significant political contribution in the last election cycle.
Despite all his conservative contributions, Roski was the source of the $35,000 of Kings-affiliated money that went to Democratic politicians. This included a slew of $5,000 donations to various California liberals, such Reps. Pete Aguilar, Janice Hahn, Loretta Sanchez, Lucille Roybal-Allard and Brad Sherman. One possible explanation: Roski's desire to construct a football stadium and lure an NFL team to a suburb of Los Angeles. The process has encountered multiple lawsuits and hiccups.
The Anschutzes, who reside in Denver, also gave significantly in their home state. They each dropped $10,000 on the Colorado Republican Campaign Committee, as well as $35,000 on various Centennial State politicians. Republican Mike Coffman, Cory Gardner and Scott Tipton each received $5,000.
In addition to owning the Kings, Anschutz is the billionaire CEO of the Anschutz Corporation, an investment company that owns a variety of firms in entertainment, energy, mass media, and other fields. His company's political arm made a $50,000 contribution to the Congressional Leadership Fund, a super PAC dedicated to winning a Republican majority in the House. Majestic Realty, the company that made Roski a billionaire, gave $50,000 to Mitt Romney's super PAC, Restore Our Future.
Anschutz also owns the LA Galaxy, the 2012 Major League Soccer champions accompanying the Kings on their visit to the White House on Tuesday.
To see a complete list of contributions by LA Kings employees, click through the table below.