Some Clinton Donors Are Contributing to McCain

Dozens of prominent fundraisers have donated over $200,000 in last few months.

ByABC News
August 28, 2008, 10:20 AM

August 28, 2008 — -- Some of Hillary Clinton's most fervent supporters are taking their enthusiasm – and their campaign contributions – to John McCain.

More than 85 of Clinton's fundraisers, including Donald Trump, Univision chief executive Joseph Uva, cable mogul Charles Dolan, philanthropist Norma Hess and one of Florida's biggest lobbyists appear to be skipping Barack Obama when it comes to writing checks for the general election, according to an review of campaign finance records.

These Clinton donors have contributed at least $200,000 to McCain's campaign in the last few months, an amount which doesn't include larger contributions to the Republican joint fundraising committees.

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But the defecting donors, along with a significant segment (20 percent) of Clinton fans who have expressed support for McCain in recent polls, could present a problem for Obama in the general election.

In her convention speech on Tuesday night, Clinton passionately encouraged her supporters to back Obama, but some of her one-time backers weren't convinced.

"That speech was amazing, but it's not going to change my mind," one Texas donor, who gave $2,300 to Clinton earlier this year and contributed $2,300 to McCain last month, told "I talk to plenty of people like me who just won't accept an unqualified president."

At least one of Clinton's HillRaisers, elite fundraisers who contributed at least $100,000 to her failed campaign, recently donated to the Republican candidate.

Charles Dolan, head of the giant Cablevision, wrote a $2,300 check to McCain on June 30 after Clinton's initial plea to help Obama.

Ronald Book, one of the biggest lobbyists in Florida who represents clients as diverse as the University of Miami and Bell South, raised $700,000 for President Clinton in recent years and contributed the maximum to Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign earlier this year.

Now, he's contributing to McCain and is leaning toward endorsing the Republican nominee. Book notes that he wouldn't give money to Obama even if the candidate took money from lobbyists.

"Obama has said a lot of stuff, but nothing with a concrete vision," says Book. "I have heard at least some sensible things from Senator McCain. He's a comeback kind of guy and I've heard from many other people who are clearly leaning in his direction."