Of all the responses to racist-du-jour Donald Sterling, the bleating from the right that the Los Angeles Clippers basketball team owner is a “Democratic donor” is the most ridiculous. Why they are doing it is obvious. It’s a desperate attempt to draw attention away from fallen far-right heartthrob Cliven “I want to tell you one more thing I know about the Negro” Bundy. But let me explain just how ridiculous the far-right’s Sterling maneuver is.
Yes, Sterling gave money to Democrats. OpenSecrets.org, absolutely the place to go when you want to follow the money in politics, shows that the “Slumlord Billionaire” has donated a paltry $4,000 to Democrats between 1989 and 1991. Zilch to anyone since then.
The first political donation Sterling gave was in 1989 to then-U.S. Sen. Bill Bradley (D-N.J.), a former basketball player. His last political donation appears to be to Gray Davis, who was California’s state controller when the donation was made in 1991.
So all it takes is $4,000 to be branded some big-time Democratic donor? By that logic then I’m a big-time Republican. See, I voted to reelect Republican New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani in 1997. And then I apparently bolstered my GOP bona fides when I worked on Michael Bloomberg’s first campaign for New York City mayor when he ran and won as a Republican in 2001.
Wondering the political affiliation of the racists among us is an understandable, but a useless exercise. As Asawin Suebsaeng and Patrick Caldwell of Mother Jones correctly note, Sterling’s “broader political views or party affiliation [haven’t] much to do with the controversy over his insanely racist comments.” But just in case you were wondering, the reporters unearthed the basketball team owners political party registration. Sterling is a Republican.
What will the far-right bleaters have to say now? My hunch? Nothing.
Follow Jonathan on Twitter: @Capehartj