GOP REAPS BEAUTY HARVEST
Byline: Joyce Barrett
WASHINGTON — Republican congressional candidates topped Democrats with 74 percent of political action committee (PAC) contributions from cosmetics makers during the last election cycle, according to Federal Election Commission reports.
Of the $583,169 given in 1995 and 1996 for November elections by surveyed beauty companies, 344 Republican candidates received $404,289, compared to 153 Democrats, who garnered $143,780.
An additional $392,500 was given to the Republican Party and $278,250 was given to the Democratic Party in soft money contributions. Soft money gifts are unregulated donations typically made to either party to help with party-building activities such as get-out-the-vote drives or advertising expenditures.
There are no limits on soft money gifts, while there are restraints on contributions to individual candidates.
The largest contributions went to members of the Republican leadership and to members of Congress holding key committee posts that legislate taxes, trade issues and the Food and Drug Administration — issues of critical importance to the industry.
Members whose congressional districts or states are home to corporate offices also were recipients of the industry’s generosity.
Bristol-Myers Squibb Inc., by far the largest contributor among beauty industry PACs, made all of its contributions in the soft-money category.
Of the firm’s $369,500 in total contributions, $320,000 went to the Republican Party and $49,500 to the Democratic Party.
Pfizer contributed $259,350 to individual candidates, of which $193,170 went to 139 Republicans and $65,680 went to 54 Democrats.
Among those candidates who received the largest donations from Pfizer were Sen. Max Baucus (D., Mont.), former chairman of the Trade Subcommittee, who received $5,000; Sen. Pete Domenici (R., N.M.), chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, $5,000, and Sen. Fred Thompson (R., Tenn.), new chairman of the Senate Government Affairs Committee.
Revlon, which does not have a political action committee registered at the FEC, gave $251,250 in soft money contributions, of which $226,250 went to the Democratic Party and $25,000 went to the Republican Party.
Procter & Gamble made $127,625 in political contributions to individual candidates, of which $99,000 went to Republicans and $27,625 to Democrats.
Among those receiving the largest cash contributions from Procter & Gamble were Rep. Jim Bunning (R., Ky.), a member of the Ways and Means panel, $5,000, and House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R., Ga.), $4,500.
Johnson & Johnson gave $117,950 to individual candidates, primarily Republicans, and another $11,500 in soft money contributions to the Republican Party.
Republicans on the gift list included Sen. Thompson, $2,000; Rep. Dick Zimmer (R., N.J.), whose district is home to Johnson & Johnson’s headquarters, $8,500; and Rep. Phil Crane (R., Ill.), chairman of the House Trade Subcommittee.
The Cosmetic Toiletries and Fragrance Association gave $28,344 to candidates and another $22,500 in soft money contributions. Most of CTFA’s money went to Republicans, according to FEC records.
Some of the biggest contributions went to Rep. Thomas Bliley Jr. (R., Va.), chairman of the House Commerce Committee, and Rep. John Dingell (D., Mich.), former Commerce committee chairman.
Of the CTFA’s soft money contributions, $21,000 went to the Republican Party, and 28 Republican candidates received $18,219 in individual contributions.
Seventeen Democratic candidates received $10,125 from CTFA.
Del Labs, according to FEC reports, gave $15,000 in soft money to the Republican Party, while Mary Kay Cosmetics Inc., gave $1,000 in soft money contributions to the Democratic Party.
Avon gave $14,900 to individual candidates, of which $10,650 went to Republican candidates and $4,250 went to Democrats.
Nu Skin International Inc. gave a total of $3,000 to two Republican candidates.