FOXBORO, Mass. (WPRI) - New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft is one of the few big-time political donors in the National Football League who's given most of his money to Democrats since President Obama took office, a new study by the Center on Responsive Politics shows.
Kraft has donated $28,800 to Democrats but just $4,800 to Republicans since January 2009, according to federal campaign-finance data analyzed by the center.
Kraft has given $1,000 donations over the years to Congressman David Cicilline, U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse and former Congressman Patrick Kennedy, as well as Chafee administration official Richard Licht when he sought the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate in 2000, a WPRI.com review of the data shows.
Kraft is chairman of the Kraft Group LLC, a Foxboro-based conglomerate that deals in paper products, real-estate development, sports and entertainment. He was No. 263 on Forbes magazine's 2011 list of the 400 richest Americans.
Only three NFL officials donated more to Obama's party than Kraft: the Miami Dolphins' Stephen Ross ($37,200), the Seattle Seahawks' Paul Allen ($36,000) and league official Rodney Peete ($30,400).
"In all, NFL players, owners and executives, along with their spouses, contributed a total of at least $1.4 million to federal candidates and political committees since January 2009," the study said, "with about two-thirds of that money aiding Republicans."
Among the NFL's 32 teams, the Patriots ranked 14th for political donations at $33,600 - all of which came from Kraft. The study showed no Patriots players gave to politicians, unlike other famous names like Peyton Manning, who gave $5,000 to a Republican senator, and Brett Favre, who gave $2,400 to a Democratic congressman.
The teams whose employees donated the most were the Houston Texans ($293,100), the San Diego Chargers ($171,523) and the New York Jets ($147,850). Each of those teams gave more than three-fourths of their contributions to Republicans.
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