Seahawks owner Paul Allen has donated $100,000 to a fundraising committee dedicated to helping Republicans maintain control of the U.S. House of Representatives, according to a new report in the Seattle Times. It’s the largest single check Allen has sent to a political action committee, according to federal election records, and it’s one of many donations Allen has made to a range of bipartisan causes.
Paul Allen’s political causes
Allen donated $100,000 to Protect the House, a joint fundraising committee headed by House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) with the goal of holding onto the Republican majority in the House in this fall’s competitive elections. Joint fundraising committees allow wealthy individuals — Allen has a reported net worth in excess of $20 billion — to donate significant sums that are later divided among a range of causes. Protect the House has raised more than $13 million nationally, with Allen’s gift placing him among the top 50 donors.
The donation is notable given Allen’s history of bipartisan, and even Democratic-leaning, giving. So far during this election cycle, Allen has given $173,500 to Republican candidates and committees as opposed to $45,900 to Democratic candidates and causes. During the 2016 election cycle, Allen gave $74,500 to Democratic candidates and $52,400 to Republican ones.
Notable among Allen’s other donations is a $1 million check to help the passage this November of a Washington state initiative on gun safety reform. The initiative aims to raise the minimum age to buy semiautomatic rifles to 21, as well as increase the stringency of background checks.
“Paul Allen has supported both Republicans and Democrats over the years, and he will continue to support candidates on both sides of the aisle,” Allen’s spokesman John Pinette told the Seattle Times in a statement.
NFL owners’ conservative leanings
Allen is among a number of NFL owners who have given to conservative causes. Houston Texans owner Bob McNair gave $371,500 to Protect the House. And eight NFL owners donated a total of $7.25 million to President Donald Trump’s inauguration in 2017, including McNair, the Patriots’ Robert Kraft, the Rams’ Stan Kroenke and the Jets’ Woody Johnson.
The NFL, of course, has since found itself in Trump’s crosshairs over protests during the national anthem. Trump continues to criticize the NFL for allowing players to silently protest during the national anthem.
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