CNN Reporter: Corporations, GOP Conspire to Keep Wages Low

"American Morning" reporter Ali Velshi insinuated on Tuesday’s show that corporations favor the GOP partly because "Republicans have kept hourly wages" low:

Ali Velshi: "All right, no big secret that Big Business favors Republicans, or has traditionally favored Republicans. But with polls showing that their friends in high places might be in some trouble leading into this election, Big Business has decided to cozy up with the Democrats. Corporate America likes Republicans. For the most part, Republicans have kept hourly wages and taxes low, and they keep their hands out of business as much as possible. Republicans like corporate America, and its hefty donations."

So, apparently, in addition to attempting to "criminalize science," Republicans also are the party of low wages? Perhaps that should be on a bumper sticker somewhere. Also, do Democrats not like their "hefty donations" from trial lawyers? The segment, which aired at 7:32a.m. on October 31, discussed a "New York Times" report that described how "Big Business" is hedging its bets for the midterm election by giving more to Democrats. However, Velshi noted that some businesses were still fans of the GOP:

Velshi: "According to a 'New York Times' analysis, as the campaign entered its final month, American corporations shifted more than 10 percent of their political donations from Republicans to Democrats. Lockheed- Martin, for instance, went from being a mainly Republican supporter to being a mainly Democratic supporter, at least in October. Still, some on Wall Street are staying solidly red. Democratic threats to raise taxes on the oil industry mean that so far this year, 83 percent of Big Oil's money has gone to Republicans. The drug companies aren't looking for new friends either. Democrats want to renegotiate the Medicare prescription drug plan."

Isn’t it amazing how the "New York Times" can find a silver lining for the Democrats in any trend? A transcript of the segment follows:

10/31/06 7:32Miles O’Brien: "One week until the election. And while political pros are obsessed with who will control Congress when all is said and done, turns out corporations are hedging their bets. They just want to make sure they end up, either way, with some friends in Congress. ‘American Morning's’ Ali Velshi is here following the money trail. Hello, Ali."Ali Velshi: "Dressed as a morning reporter. This is my Halloween costume."O’Brien: "It looks good. I like it."Velshi: "An investment. All right, no big secret that Big Business favors Republicans, or has traditionally favored Republicans. But with polls showing that their friends in high places might be in some trouble leading into this election, big business has decided to cozy up with the Democrats. Corporate America likes Republicans. For the most part, Republicans have kept hourly wages and taxes low, and they keep their hands out of business as much as possible. Republicans like corporate America, and its hefty donations. According to one mutual fund company, 76 percent of the firms in the S&P 500 lean Republican in their political donations. But with Republican fortunes flagging, corporate America is looking for some new friends. Remember, big business is big for a reason -- it's smart. It's not that corporate America wants the Democrats to win, but if they do win, Big Business doesn't want to lose. According to a 'New York Times' analysis, as the campaign entered its final month, American corporations shifted more than 10 percent of their political donations from Republicans to Democrats. Lockheed- Martin, for instance, went from being a mainly Republican supporter to being a mainly Democratic supporter, at least in October. Still, some on Wall Street are staying solidly red. Democratic threats to raise taxes on the oil industry mean that so far this year, 83 percent of Big Oil's money has gone to Republicans. The drug companies aren't looking for new friends either. Democrats want to renegotiate the Medicare prescription drug plan. So far this year, 69 percent of the pharmaceutical and health care industry's political donations have gone to Republicans. Restaurants and small businesses are worried about Democrats raising the minimum wage, which has been stuck at $5.15 since 1997, but Wal-Mart has been preparing for that for two years. Though, it still gives more to Republicans than to Democrats, it now spreads the donation love more evenly. Now some industries aren't just doing it to get in good with the Democrats, they actually stand to gain from a Democratic win. Life insurance companies, for instance, could get a big payout if the Democrats bring back the estate tax, because people would need more life insurance. And alternative energy companies could also get a boost from a Congress that isn't so much about Big Oil. Now while the Republicans have companies that donate in a solid Republican way, the Democrats have the same thing, CostCo, Starbucks, Coach, these are all companies that have traditionally more to the Democrats then the Republicans. And Apple Computer and Google both give more than 90 percent of their political donations to the Democrats. They have done that traditionally."O’Brien: "So could they over-think this, and could there be some sort of backlash? Are they playing with fire here?"Velshi: "You know, even -- look at Exxon-Mobil, this is a company that has no interest in a Democratically controlled Congress, but even still, over the last 10 years, they've given seven percent of their money to the Democrats. Companies hedge their bets, and they give them to candidates, not just the parties. So the candidate who got helped from one of these big companies is going to remember that when it comes to vote on something that has to do with an oil company or a Wal-Mart. It's the way they've always done it. It's just interesting that they're shifting over. They're not shoring up the Republicans when times are tough, they're hedging a little more."O’Brien: "Companies don't have friends; they have vested interests, so to speak."Velshi: "That's correct."
Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock is the senior news analyst for the Media Research Center and a contributing editor for NewsBusters.org