Accountants And Politics in Election Year 2002

If you are curious to know how much the accounting firms are giving to political campaigns this year and how the funds are being spent, a new web site will rack and stack the numbers and even allow you to drill down to the contributions made by individual partners and staff members.

The Web site is opensecrets.org. It is maintained by the Center for Responsive Politics.

The top contributors in the accounting industry this year are Ernst & Young (EY) and Deloitte & Touche (D&T) ranked Number 1 and Number 2 respectively, the same as in the last election year cycle (1999-2000). KPMG moved up into the Number 3 spot, and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) moved down a notch to Number 4. Other firms that ranked among the top 20 contributors include Gibbons & Kawash, Rothstein Kass & Co., Marks, Paneth & Shaon, and Gelman, Rosenberg & Freedman.

More volatility was noted in the amounts collected by accounting political action committees (PACs) this year. Donations through the end of August to the PAC run by D&T were $2.1 million, up 32% from the prior election year. EY had collected $1.2 million, and KPMG, $1.6 million, up 83%. In contrast, donations to the PAC run by PwC were $0.9 million, a drop of 34%, and AICPA collected $0.8 million, a drop of 43%.

The top recipients for the accounting industry overall were Charles Schumer, Michael Enzi, Max Baucus, Michael Oxley, and Norm Coleman in that order. Top PAC recipients were Michael Oxley, W. J. "Billy" Tauzin, Mike Ferguson, Norm Coleman, and Dennis Moore in that order.

The search page to look up individual contributors is located here.

-Rosemary Schlank

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