Donald Sterling Is a Registered Republican

Jayne Oncea/Cal Sport Media/ZUMA

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Does it really matter whether racist LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling is a registered Democrat? Or a Republican? Or a member of the Pirate Party of Russia?

Well, according to multiple conservative media outlets, yes, it does matter. On Sunday, National Review ran a blog post originally titled, “Racist Clippers Owner Donald Sterling Is a Democrat.” The post breathlessly noted a handful of contributions he made in the early 1990s to Democratic politicians, including California politician Gray Davis and Sen. Bill Bradley, who had played in the NBA. (Sterling has owned his NBA team since the early 1980s.) The headline has since been changed to “Racist Clippers Owner Donald Sterling Has Only Contributed to Democrats,” with an update reading, “his official party affiliation is not known.” Still, the Donald-Sterling-Is-a-Democrat meme already took hold within right-wing media:

“Report: Clippers Owner Caught In Racist Rant Is A Democratic Donor” — Fox Nation.

“NBA Sterling is a Democrat…” — Matt Drudge.

“Race Hate Spewing Clippers Owner Is Democratic Donor” — the Daily Caller.

“Media Ignoring Dem Donations of LA Clippers’ Owner, Allegedly Caught on Tape in Race-Based Rant” — NewsBusters.

“LA Clippers Owner Donald Sterling is a Racist Democrat” — the Tea Party News Network.

Politico piggy-backed on this flood of Sterling-triggered liberal-shaming with a softer headline: “Donald Sterling made donations to Dems.”

Not that Sterling’s broader political views or party affiliation have much to do with the controversy over his insanely racist comments, but here’s a news flash for those conservatives eager to bring up the topic: He’s a Republican.

On Sunday, Michael Hiltzik, a Los Angeles Times columnist, tweeted that local voter records show Sterling to be a registered Republican “since 1998.” We followed up on that, and a search of the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder’s website for Sterling’s name, date of birth, and address confirmed that he’s registered as a Republican:

Donald Sterling Republican Registration from LA County

Screenshot: lavote.net

There’s little reason to get excited about Sterling’s political affiliation. But if you choose to do so, you ought to get it right.

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is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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