Madonna Plays Politics: New Site Tracks Political Donations

Aug 16, 2010 2:25pm

ABC News’ Rick Klein reports: You may not hear of Madonna’s politics too often. But Democrats are well acquainted with her cash. Madonna – under her full name, Madonna Ciccone — has given $135,600 to Democratic causes in recent years. The big recipients include the Democratic National Committee plus President Obama’s 2008 “Victory Fund,” a special account set up jointly between the Obama campaign and the DNC. That’s one of the factoids compiled by Aristotle, a political technology company, in a new venture launching this week in conjunction with The Huffington Post. The new site, fundraise.org, takes 10 years’ worth of contributions at the state, local, and federal level and aggregates the information to get a more complete picture of political donations than has been available previously. Fundraise.org goes live Wednesday.

“It gives you a historic perspective of who’s giving and where the shift in the contributions are,” John Phillips, Aristotle’s CEO, said today on ABC/Washington Post’s “Top Line.” “In 2010, the incumbents are raising a lot of money, both the Democrats and the Republicans. It used to be much more difficult to raise money because it was hard to find the donors, but both Democrats and Republicans are really shaking the tree.” The vast majority of big-name donors – think Steven Spielberg, George Clooney, Hugh Hefner – have given almost exclusively to Democrats. A few celebrities – Chuck Norris, for instance – favor Republicans. And try to figure out Barry Manilow’s politics: He gave to the presidential campaigns of both Barack Obama and Ron Paul. Watch the “Top Line” segment with John Phillips HERE. For our “Post Politics” segment, we checked in with Michael Shear, who covers the White House for The Washington Post, about President Obama’s decision to weigh in on the controversy involving the proposed mosque and Islamic cultural center in Lower Manhattan. Watch that portion of “Top Line” HERE.

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