It’s a small hiccup, but it inspired us to learn a little more about this liquor-fueled PAC.
In the first quarter of 2014, Bacardi USA made just one donation – $1,000 to Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), who took over as chairman of the powerful Finance Committee this year. The PAC, in 2013, gave that amount to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.), Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) and to a victory fund for Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), who is also the Democratic National Committee chairwoman.
Bacardi’s political arm gave $2,500 to Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), once the chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the first Cuban American elected to Congress. Bacardi was founded in Cuba, but left over family opposition to Fidel Castro.
Bacardi USA spent $30,000 in lobbying last quarter on bipartisan legislation related to trademark protection, which Ros-Lehtinen and Wasserman Schultz are co-sponsors of in the House. The bill is one of several attempts by Congress to tweak a law inspired by a fight over the use of the name Havana Club for a rum product.
Bacardi USA spent considerably more on lobbying in the first quarter of 2013, yet despite Congress’s low productivity, the rum company must still think it’s worth a shot.