By Roger Donacie, DCNF
Chief members of the Commission on Presidential Debates have historically donated to Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and to the Democratic party overall.
The Commission on Presidential Debates was founded in 1987 to ensure that debates are nonpartisan and provide the general public the best possible information. It is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation that has sponsored all debates since 1988.
Co-Chairman Michael D. McCurry donated to Hillary Clinton campaigns from 2000 to 2008, giving her a total of $5,650 over eight years. In 2006, during her first push for the White House, McCurry gave Clinton $2,100. There is even a Federal Elections Commission lawsuit that alleges McCurry gave $7,500 to Hillary Clinton from 2008 to 2012.
Richard D. Parsons, member of the board of directors for the commission since 2011, gave $7,900 to Hillary Clinton while she ran in 2008, and contributed again during the 2016 cycle. Interestingly, Parsons was invited to speak at the Clinton Global Initiative in 2007, just one year before his first large donation to Clinton in 2008.
A longtime supporter of the Democratic Party, Paul G Kirk, co-chairman emeritus of the commission, gave Secretary of State John Kerry $6,250 since 1990, and gave the maximum $4,600 to now-President Barack Obama in 2008. “Senator Obama is the one candidate who, in the best tradition of American history, will not take us back but will lead us to a new future,” Kirk proclaimed in May 2008.
Rep. Jane Harman, member of the board of directors since 2014, came out in full support for Hillary Clinton in 2016. “Hillary’s strength and experience make her uniquely qualified to be Commander in Chief and deliver the change Americans want,” Harman said in a press release.
Harman’s husband, Sidney Harman, gave Clinton $2,300 during her first run for president in 2008, and $25,000 to the Democratic National Committee in 2004. He also gave more than $64,000 to Democratic Party committees and progressive PACs.
Howard G. Buffett, member of the board of directors since 2010, gave then-Sen. Barack Obama $1,000 in 2008. Also, pictures of Buffett and Clinton together can be found here.
Shirley M. Tilghman, member of the board of directors since 2014 and former president of Princeton University, came out in public support for Hillary Clinton in a 2011 video. Two years later, she is now a sitting member of the Commission on Presidential Debates.
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