Insurance Industry’s Political Contributions to Democrats Spike in 2008

Political contributions to Democratic candidates in the 2008 election spiked more than 10 percent overall, according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan, independent research group that tracks money in U.S. politics and its effect on elections.

The Center reported that in the 2008 election cycle, 46 percent of the insurance industry’s total $38.3 million in political contributions went to Democratic candidates. That’s up from just 34 percent and 32 percent to Democrats in the 2006 and 2004 elections, respectively.

The largest political action committee representing the property/casualty industry, the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America’s InsurPac, distributed more than $1.6 million in the 2008 campaign cycle.

“InsurPac distributed $1,631,500 in support of 241 races, winning 222 of them for an amazing 92 percent victory rate,” said Nathan Riedel, Big “I” vice president for political affairs. In disbursing contributions, InsurPac said it does not look at party affiliation but supports representatives, senators, and candidates for federal office that have been advocates and supportive of the independent agency system.

According to the Center, approximately 38 percent of the IIABA’s InsurPac contributions were allotted to Democratic candidates while some 62 percent went to Republicans.

Those candidates who received more than $10,000 from InsurPac running for the U.S. House included: Gresham Barrett (R-S.C.); John Boehner (R-Ohio); Eric Cantor (R-Va.); James E. Clyburn (D-S.C.); Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.); Earl Pomeroy (D-N.D.); Tom Reynolds (R-N.Y.); Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.); and David Scott (D-Ga.). Those candidates who received more than $10,000 from InsurPac running for the U.S. Senate were Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine.)

“While the dust is still settling on campaign 2008, and our victory rate could actually increase a bit, one thing is certain — just as the election was historic for our nation, it was also historic for InsurPac,” added Robert Rusbuldt, Big “I” president and CEO.