I’m a little late, but the Republican Governors Association (RGA) was the beneficiary of some big time contributions the other month — one from News Corp., the parent company for a number of media companies, including Fox News and the New York Post, and the other from libertarian billionaire David Koch. Both donated a cool $1 million to the RGA, which spends its money on state races and is thus subject to different regulatory requirements than committees that influence federal elections. Because it’s a media outlet, News Corp. has gotten the bulk of the attention:
The company’s media outlets play politics more openly than most, but the huge contribution to a party committee is a new step toward an open identification between Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. and the GOP. The company’s highest-ranking Democratic executive, Peter Chernin, recently departed. [...]
UPDATE: News Corp. Spokesman Jack Horner emails, “News Corporation believes in the power of free markets, and the RGA’s pro-business agenda supports our priorities at this most critical time for our economy.”
Think Progress jumped into the fray this afternoon, too, arguing that News Corp.’s donation might violate its own “Standards of Business Conduct” for dealing with government officials. The language they cite is pretty basic stuff prohibiting gifts or any sort of quid pro quo arrangements between employees and public officials, however, so the charge doesn’t really hold much water. The Supreme Court has set the bar pretty high for instances in which corporate spending on behalf of candidates might be considered to foster corruption or the appearance of corruption, and this certainly isn’t one of them. As for how the contribution reflects on Rupert Murdoch’s claim that his news outlets are fair and unbiased, well, that’s another story.