Giants, Jets pony up politically

BY foxsports • November 19, 2011

They share the same football stadium, but they are on opposite sides of the political field when it comes to campaign cash.

The Jets rank among the top three NFL teams when it comes to political donations, mostly from well-heeled executives, kicking in $148,000 since 2009, according to an analysis by the Center for Responsive Politics.

People associated with the team gave 80 percent of their cash to Republicans, with some of those contributions going from owner Woody Johnson to Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

Johnson, heir to the Johnson & Johnson fortune, has given more than $130,000 since 2009 — the second most of anyone connected to the NFL, with 88 percent going to Republicans.

Others in the front office followed the owner's lead, with executive vice president Thad Sheehy and GM Mike Tannenbaum each giving $2,500 to Romney.

But the Giants lean distinctly Democratic when it comes to politics, with people connected to the team giving 92 percent to Democrats, making them one of only eight teams in the league to give to the party of the football-loving Kennedys.

The Houston Texans and San Diego Chargers lead the league in overall giving since 2009, having donated $287,000 and $136,000, respectively, to GOP candidates.

In total, players, execs, and employees of all the teams gave more than $1.4 million since 2009, according to the analysis.

Some of the contributions went to the Gridiron PAC, which collects contributions from multiple owners and which doled out more than $500,000 in 2010 to members of both parties, with 59 percent going to Democrats.

The Texans' Robert McNair is the most politically generous owner, with $215,000 in contributions.