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The blog at OpenSecrets.org is out today with a report that should be of interest to followers of the San Diego Chargers and their owners, Stockton-based Alex Spanos and family.

In the U.S. political contribution derby, Spanos and his team are second only to Robert McNair, owner of the Houston Texans, and 293 on the Forbes 400 list of richest Americans.

(With an estimated net worth of $1.1 billion, Spanos is ranked further down on the Forbes list at only 375.)

The information was compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics, and the data can be found here.

"McNair has donated $215,200 of his estimated $1.4 billion net worth to political causes since January 2009, almost strictly to Republicans," OpenSecrets says.

"That pushes the Texans to a team total of $293,100 in political contributions from its players, executives and coaches.

"That is more than enough to outdo the No. 2 team, the San Diego Chargers, whose players and executives gave $171,500 to federal politicians and committees since January 2009, according to the Center's research.

"The majority of that sum came from the Spanos family, which includes the owner, the president and the chief executive officer.

"Overall, the teams that favored Republicans most with their campaign cash included the Houston Texans, Arizona Cardinals, Dallas Cowboys, Denver Broncos, Carolina Panthers, Kansas City Chiefs,  Washington Redskins, Detroit Lions, New York Jets, San Diego Chargers and the Baltimore Ravens, all of which donated at least 70 percent of their contributions to the GOP."

"To further advance its interest, last year the NFL spread the money around like a prolific offense using its political action committee, Gridiron PAC.

"The PAC, which was formed in 2008, donated more than $505,000 to federal candidates during the 2010 election cycle after not spending a dime in 2008. Of that sum, 59 percent benefited Democrats and 41 percent aided Republicans.

"Overall, 98 House candidates and 31 Senate candidates received money from the NFL's PAC during the 2010 election cycle.

"Powerful legislators, such as then-House Speaker Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) were among the politicians to receive the legal maximum in terms of donations.

"The PAC also sent a $30,000 a piece to the Democratic and Republican senatorial campaign committees and $20,000 a piece to the Democratic and Republican congressional campaign committees, according to the Center's research."

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Visduh Oct. 7, 2011 @ 10:02 p.m.

The Spanos family is far more than the Chargers. It is a property development giant, and needs approval from political bodies almost every time it wants to build something. The surefire way to get that approval is to grease the skids with money. That explains the big giving--just a cost of doing business. But that pattern of buying political influence and approval can also give hints to happenings here in SD, especially as regards this idiotic talk of a new stadium.


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