As GamePolitics reported in May, the ESA's plan to win political influence through campaign donations got off to a slow start in 2008, spreading just $4,300 among three members of Congress.
But the software publishers' lobbying group dramatically increased its political donations in the second quarter of of the year.
Using publicly available records, GamePolitics has learned that the ESA wrote checks totaling $19,000 to 17 separate candidates for the U.S. House and Senate. Two U.S. Senators received $2,000 campaign donations, while the remaining 15 recipients each received $1,000.
All recipients are incumbents. Seven senatorial and ten congressional campaigns received donations. Nine recipients are Democrats and eight are Republicans.
Recipients of ESA Q2 donations include:
- Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) $2,000 - Majority Whip
- Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) $1,000 - a member of the Joint Committee on Taxation
- Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) $1,000
- Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR) $1,000 - has supported the ESRB in the past
- Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) $2,000
- Sen. John Sununu (R-NH) $1,000
- Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), $1,000
- Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA), $1,000 - the Chief Deputy Minority Whip was reported to be on John McCain's list of VP candidates
- Rep. John Howard Coble (R-NC) $1,000 - the 77-year-old Coble is the longest-serving member of Congress from North Carolina
- Rep. Ed Towns (D-NY) $1,000 - a member of the Energy & Commerce Committee which has in the past considered video game legislation
- Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) $1,000 - chairman of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties
- Rep. Jay Inslee (D-WA) $1,000 - from the Seattle area, where so many game companies are located
- Kendrick Meek (D-FL) $1,000 - voted in favor of Net Neutrality in the past
- Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) $1,000 - has expressed concern about games previously on the floor of Congress
- Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) $1,000
- Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) $1,000
- Rep. Tom Feeney (R-FL), $1,000
GP: The notes which follow some of the names are just ballpark guesses as to why a particular recipient may have been of interest to the ESA politically.
As to where the money came from, EA CEO John Riccitiello and Sony CEO Jack Tretton each ponied up $5,000, as did the Microsoft Corporation Political Action Committee.