The Washington Post

Several Republicans choose Disney World to host events


(Matt Stroshane / The Walt Disney Company)

Several Republican members of Congress invited donors to be a part of their world this campaign cycle.

At least a handful of GOP lawmakers enjoy the company of Mickey and Goofy (probably more than they do their colleagues these days), and they hosted campaign events at Walt Disney World in Orlando, according to an analysis by OpenSecrets.org.

It’s easy to see the allure of the happiest place on Earth – a weekend in Disney is the perfect excuse to combine a little work with family time. Rub elbows at a political dinner, then take the kid on Splash Mountain. Golf with executives by day, catch the Magic Kingdom fireworks display with the kiddos at night.

In March, Reps. Tom Price (R-Ga.), Bill Huizenga (R-Mich.) and Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.) held a joint event in Orlando that combined baseball spring training and Disney over a long weekend. There was time designated on the invitation as “family time.”

OpenSecrets notes that Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) is also a Disney fan. His PAC spent nearly $6,000 there this cycle. He also held an event there in 2012 that included a character breakfast (that’s where you eat eggs as Donald Duck makes the rounds). And according to the Times-Picayune, the new House Majority Whip Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) also frequents the theme park, spending nearly $10,000 there for two fundraising events last year.

It’s a small world after all. Rep. Ander Crenshaw (R-Fla.) also hosts events at Disney, spending more than $25,000 there this cycle, according to OpenSecrets data.

Though the CEO of Disney, Bob Iger, is a huge Democratic donor, the Walt Disney political action committee gives only slightly more to Democratic candidates – 57 percent to Democrats and 43 percent to Republicans. Disney has also spent $1.8 million on lobbying so far this year, and spent $3.5 million in 2013.

However, Disney did not return the favor so far this cycle to the lawmakers who hosted events at the theme park. None were among the dozens of candidates who have received Disney PAC money.

But don’t feel too bad for them. We’re sure they’re still swimming in campaign contributions like our friend Scrooge McDuck:


 

Colby Itkowitz is the lead anchor of the Inspired Life blog. She previously covered the quirks of national politics and the federal government.

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