ESA Contributes to Obama Campaign Co-Chairman, Others

Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-IL), national co-chair of Barack Obama’s presidential campaign, was among recipients of 3rd quarter campaign contributions from the video game industry’s political action committee. Jackson (left), who received $1,000, is the son of the Rev. Jesse Jackson.

As GamePolitics has previously reported, the Entertainment Software Association, which lobbies on behalf of U.S. game publishers, formed its PAC late last year and began making contributions in 2008.

In addition to Jackson, 3rd quarter campaign donation recipients include:

  • $1,000 – Sen. Gordon Harold Smith (R-OR)
  • $2,300 – Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R-CA)
  • $1,000 – George Radanovich (R-CA)
  • $1,000 – Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-FL)

Contributions to the ESA PAC came from:

  • $5,000 – Walt Disney Employees PAC
  • $250 – EA P.R. exec Jeff Brown

It’s always entertaining to guess why the ESA chooses to fund particular candidates. In Jackson’s case, the strong Obama connection is a significant clue. In addition, the seven-term Democrat is a member of the House Appropriations Committee. His family connections can’t hurt, either, although he has occasionally been put in the position of doing damage control over comments made by his father.

Bono Mack, a moderate Republican, has been a strong supporter of copyright protections in the past, which makes her a natural ally of video game publishers. The ESA PAC actually made a contribution to her in the first quarter, but it appears that the check wasn’t cashed for some reason and was re-issued.

Smith is a moderate Republican who serves on the Senate Commerce Committee. He has a track record of supporting IP content owners, so it’s not difficult to guess why the ESA would look favorably upon his re-election. As a longtime Tivo and DVR user, GP notes this rather disturbing passage from Smith’s Wikipedia page:

In January 2006, Smith began circulating a draft of the Digital Content Protection Act of 2006… The legislation would grant the Federal Communications Commission the authority to authorize a technology known as the "broadcast flag." This technology would enable the producers of television programming to ensure the programs cannot be recorded by viewers in their homes, for instance using a digital video recorder like TiVo or onto recordable DVDs.

Wasserman-Schultz seconded Obama’s nomination at the DNC and serves on the House Appropriations and Judiciary committees. Radanovich is a conservative Republican who serves on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. Why these two members of Congress were selected for support is not clear.

For a copy of the ESA PAC Q3 report click here.

For previous GamePolitics coverage of ESA campaign contributions, click here.

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on RedditEmail this to someone


  1. 0
    GamesLaw says:

    Wasserman-Schulz is extremely influential in Florida, and has been doing very well handling the increased visibility with her close association to the Obama campaign. She stands to pick up considerable power within the House over the next terms. It’s pretty obvious that she’s a solid pick to me.



    Dan "SWATJester" Rosenthal

    Executive Director,

    Member, ABA IP Law Division Special Committee on Computer Gaming and Virtual Worlds

  2. 0
    Spartan says:

    No shock seeing the Bono name there – hell it should have double or triple that amount for what her late husband has done IRP extentions.


    "The most difficult pain a man can suffer is to have knowledge of much and power over little" – Herodotus

Leave a Reply