WASHINGTON — As the campaigns for the House, Senate and White House unfold, cosmetics makers are picking sides, with Republicans slightly edging out Democrats in total industry contributions so far.
According to Federal Election Commission reports filed through the end of 1995, beauty manufacturers have given $194,000 to Republicans and $140,350 to Democrats. Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. is the largest political donor so far, having contributed $109,750, with $92,250 going to Republicans and $17,500 to Democrats. The second-largest political contributor is Revlon, which does not have a political action committee registered at the FEC, but which gave $100,000 in what is deemed “soft” money to the Democratic Party. Soft money often includes corporate or individual contributions that exceed federal limits and cannot be used in connection with federal elections. Usually donated to party committees, the money may go toward federal and non-federal campaigns because the committees can buy get-out-the-vote ads that benefit federal and non-federal candidates. Contributions to presidential candidates have been slim so far. Bristol-Myers Squibb has given $250 to Republican candidate Sen. Bob Dole of Kansas, and Nu Skin International Inc. gave $2,000 to Republican candidate Lamar Alexander from Tennessee, the FEC reports said. Ralph S. Larsen, chairman and chief executive officer of Johnson & Johnson, gave $1,000 to Dole’s campaign, FEC reports said.
With the exception of Revlon and Mary Kay Cosmetics, both of which gave exclusively to Democrats, all of the surveyed companies gave more to Republican candidates, according to the FEC reports. Recipients of some of Johnson & Johnson’s biggest contributions include Joe Barton (R., Texas), a member of the House Commerce Committee, $2,000, and Phil Crane (R., Ill.), chairman of the House Trade Subcommittee, $2,000, according to the reports.
Bristol-Myers Squibb gave $2,000 contributions each, according to the FEC, to Sen. Larry Pressler (R., S.D.), chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee; Rep. John Dingell (D., Mich.), former chair of the House Energy and Commerce panel, and Rep. Gerald Solomon (R., N.Y.), chairman of the Rules Committee, which determines what bills are considered by the House.
Procter & Gamble’s only contribution of hard money so far, $3,000, went to Rep. Steve Chabot (R., Ohio), its hometown representative. The company also made $9,000 in soft-money contributions to Republican committees, according to the FEC.
FEC documents show that Avon has so far given to only two members: Sen. Alfonse D’Amato (R., N.Y.), chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, $1,000, and Rep. Jon Christensen (R., Neb.), a freshman on the Ways and Means Committee, which has jurisdiction over tax and trade matters, $500.
Mary Kay’s political contributions so far consist of $7,250 in soft-money contributions to Democratic committees, according to the FEC. The Cosmetic, Toiletry and Fragrance Association contributed $7,250 to the campaigns of Congressional Republicans and $5,500 to Democratic campaigns, according to the FEC. In addition, it gave $6,000 in soft money contributions to Republican committees, according to the FEC. The CTFA’s largest contributions, of $1,000 each, went to Rep. Dingell; Rep. Dennis Hastert (R., Ill.), a member of the House Commerce Committee and a member of House Republican Leadership; and Rep. Bill Paxon (R., N.Y.), also a member of the Commerce panel. The House Commerce Committee has oversight responsibility over the Food and Drug Administration, which regulates cosmetics ingredients.
Company executives also are beginning to make political contributions. In addition to his contributions to Dole’s presidential campaign, Larson has donated $500 to the campaign of Rep. Dick Zimmer (R., N.J.), a member of the Ways and Means Committee. Dan Wassong, chairman of Del Laboratories, has so far given $2,000 to the campaign of Sen. Chris Dodd (D., Conn.) and $10,000 to the National Republican Senatorial Committee, according to the FEC. — Fairchild News Service

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