Is the Tea Party Good for Business?
(Forbes Magazine) -- by Brian Wingfielddated --
Backed by Tea Party supporters, Sharron Angle is giving Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid the political fight of his life in Nevada. Yet the big money is behind Reid, a Democrat who has raised $19.2 million, including $3.5 million from corporate or industry PACs ranging from Altria Group ( MO - news - people ) to Yum Brands. Angle has amassed $3.5 million in total.
The Tea Party embraces many business-friendly positions--smaller government, less regulation and lower taxes. But corporate America isn't throwing its full weight behind the movement, according to data from the Federal Election Committee and the Center for Responsive Politics, a campaign finance watchdog. For example:
Yahoo! BuzzIn Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski raised $1.6 million from business-related political action committees but lost the Republican primary to Tea Party favorite Joe Miller, who was armed with $283,000 and a Sarah Palin endorsement.
In Delaware Republican Senate hopeful Michael Castle raked in $3.2 million with the help of people from Goldman Sachs ( GS - news - people ), FedEx ( FDX - news - people ) and other companies. He lost the state's Senate primary to Christine O'Donnell, a Tea Partier with little backing from big businesses.
In Colorado Democratic Senate candidate Michael Bennet has raised $7.7 million compared with Tea Party candidate Kenneth Buck's $1.3 million--with help from companies like the Blackstone Group ( BX - news - people ), Comcast ( CMCSA - news - people ) and Union Pacific ( UNP - news - people ).
The cause of such mixed support from businesses? Incumbents like Harry Reid have a long history of earmarking federal money for their home states. Repeal of health care reform, a Tea Party goal, could also upset some businesses that are already starting to plan for it. Pharmaceutical and health insurance industry groups, notably, have not called for the law's repeal...MORE...LINK