Political fundraisers for the accounting profession have raised a record-breaking campaign war chest of more than $8 million dollars to support congressional candidates in the fall elections.Big accounting has already channeled more than $5.9 million in campaign contributions to candidates for House and Senate seats in 2006, and the industry's total stake in this year's congressional elections may well top $10 million by the time the dust settles in November.
Indeed, the latest disclosure statements filed by the accounting profession's political action committee fundraising groups reveal that the industry is entering the homestretch of the 2006 election campaign flush with cash to support accounting's friends on Capitol Hill.
At a minimum, those records show that accounting industry PACs will be in position to contribute another $3,289,457 to the profession's favorite sons and daughters in Congress during the final four months of this year's campaign.
Those findings are from an exclusive Accounting Today analysis of campaign fundraising disclosure statements filed with the government by PACs sponsored by the American Institute of CPAs, the National Society of Accountants and a number of the nation's leading accounting firms.
Through June 30, 2006, the accounting profession had already made campaign contributions to a collection of more than 300 different House and Senate candidates, running the political gamut from Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., to ousted GOP House Majority Leader Tom DeLay of Texas.
But while the accounting profession contributed to candidates on both sides of the aisle, Republicans were on the receiving end of the lion's share of the industry's donations.
GOP candidates receiving support from accounting PACs outnumbered Democrats by two to one, and Republicans enjoyed an even bigger financial edge, receiving 72 percent of the profession's total campaign dollar contributions for this year's elections.
Accounting Today's analysis found that as of June 30, 2006:
* The AICPA's PAC had already raised $934,329 for candidates in this year's election, and had paid out $738,886 in contributions to House and Senate hopefuls. Six out of 10 candidates supported by the institute were Republicans, and 69 percent of the funds donated by the AICPA went to the GOP. The PAC had just over $100,000 on hand entering the campaign homestretch.
* The profession's largest fundraising body, Deloitte & Touche's PAC, collected some $2,564,297 for the 2006 campaign and contributed more than $1.9 million of that to candidates by the June 30 filing deadline. Republicans enjoyed a near three-to-one edge in dollar contributions from the PAC, and Deloitte still has over $1.5 million in its war chest for the final months of the campaign.
* Ernst & Young's PAC raised $1,486,092 for the 2006 elections, and it had contributed $1,210,518 of that to candidates by June 30. Republicans account for 62 percent of the candidates supported by E&Y, and they received 69 percent of the PAC's funds.
* KPMG's PAC amassed a war chest of $1,332,863 for this fall's elections, and $841,488 has already been contributed to House and Senate candidates. KPMG's PAC, which tilts toward Republicans by a better-than-70-to-30 margin in terms of both dollars and candidates, still has $540,844 in reserve for the campaign homestretch.
* Big Four accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers has raised $1,531,854 through its PAC, and has so far made contributions totaling $963,184. At press time, the PwC PAC still had $538,930 in the kitty for 11th-hour campaign contributions. The PAC favors Republicans by two to one, and earmarks 75 percent of its funds to GOP candidates.
* Grant Thornton - a newcomer to the accounting profession's group of PAC sponsors - raised $293,295 for this year's elections, and has already contributed $144,000 of that, leaving $116,771 in reserve for the campaign homestretch. Of the candidates supported by Grant Thornton, 42 percent are Democrats, while 64 percent of the PAC's dollar contributions go to Republicans.
* The National Society of Accountant's small PAC collected $12,951 for the 2006 election campaign, and has contributed $7,000 of that so far. The NSA could make a splash during the final weeks of the campaign, however, because its PAC has $160,990 in cash on hand - an unspent balance left over from past election years. During this election cycle, the society has supported Republicans over Democrats by three to one.
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