by Gregory Boller
Last October, when the Clinton campaign faced criticism from the GOP over contributions from the Indonesian Riady family, it tried to turn the tables by pointing to the vice chairman of Dole’s campaign finance committee: Cuban-born sugar magnate José Fanjul of Palm Beach, Fla. Fanjul recently applied for U.S. citizenship, but his status as a legal resident makes him ineligible to vote. He and his family compensate with staggering contributions to Republicans — and Democrats. Brother Alfonso even earned an invitation to a Clinton kaffeeklatsche attended by fundraiser Terry McAuliffe, among others.
The Fanjuls’ total giving has been consistently underreported because they give through an array of family members, companies, executives, and PACs. During the 1995-96 election cycle, members of the Fanjul family contributed $774,500 to federal campaigns. This total includes $135,500 in PAC money, $141,000 to candidates, and $498,000 in soft money from companies owned or controlled by the Fanjuls (see below). Add in $128,080 from the Fanjuls’ closest advisers and senior executives and the Fanjuls’ generosity totals $902,580.
It’s an excellent investment. In return, a grateful Congress maintains a sugar price support program worth approximately $65 million annually to the Fanjuls.
Hard Money From Fanjul Family and Executives
|Fla. Sugar Cane
|Alfonso Fanjul Jr.||23,000||5,500||5,500||0||0|
|Emilia H. Fanjul||3,000||0||1,000||0||0|
|José Fanjul Jr.||11,500||0||2,500||0||0|
Soft Money From Fanjul Private Corporations
(1995-96 Election Cycle)
|Flo-Sun Land Corp.||50,000||45,000||95,000|
|New Farm Inc.||10,000||20,000||30,000|
|New Hope Sugar||5,000||20,000||25,000|
|South Florida Industries||5,000||20,000||25,000|
|Florida Crystals Refinery||15,000||0||15,000|
|Florida Atlantic Land Corp.||0||10,000||10,000|
|New Hope South||10,000||0||10,000|
|Kendall Sugar Cane||5,000||0||5,000|
Gregory Boller is an associate professor of marketing at the University of Memphis.
Source: Federal Election Commission
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