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Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Private equity's top trade group is favoring Republicans in next month's federal elections, but is contributing fewer overall dollars than in past cycles.

By the numbers: The American Investment Council PAC has donated over $243,000 to House and Senate candidates and committees since the 2018 elections, of which around 65% has gone to Republicans, according to an Axios analysis of Federal Election Commission records.

  • AIC PAC donated over $405,000 in the 2018 cycle (67% to Republicans) and over $324,000 in the 2016 cycle (58% to Republicans), per OpenSecrets.
  • It has never contributed to presidential candidates of either party, as a matter of policy.
  • A source familiar with the group's donations says that the lower total this cycle reflects fundraising difficulties caused by the pandemic.

Inside the numbers: AIC is betting on status quo when it comes to congressional control.

  • Eight of the nine Senate candidates it supports are Republicans, including Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and threatened incumbents like Susan Collins and Thom Tillis. AIC also donated $30,000 to the National Republican Senatorial Committee, via donations in 2019 and 2020.
  • 22 of the 38 House candidates it supports are Democrats, including Majority Leader Steny Hoyer.
  • AIC has not yet filed its full September report, which is expected show additional donations.

What they're saying: An AIC spokesperson tells Axios: "The AIC PAC contributes to elected officials from both sides of the aisle who support legislation and policies that will encourage more private investment across the country.”

  • The spokesperson declined to detail those legislative and policy objectives.
  • AIC's website, however, reflects key priorities as maintaining preferential tax treatment for carried interest and capital gains, maintaining interest deductibility, and CFIUS reforms.

The bottom line: Most private equity contributions to politicians are done on an individual basis, such as Blackstone Group CEO Steve Schwarzman donating over $28 million to President Trump and other GOP causes, but AIC PAC contributions reflect the overall industry's political goals.

Go deeper

Tech companies press pause on political donations

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Tech companies, along with large businesses throughout corporate America, rushed to announce Monday that they were halting political donations in the wake of the attack on the Capitol.

The big picture: Some limited their pullback to officials who refused to accept the results of the presidential election, while others said they were taking a break from making any political contributions.

Major businesses say they will pause political donations following Capitol riots

Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Major businesses are pausing donations to politicians in light of Wednesday's deadly siege of the U.S. Capitol.

Driving the news: Marriott will pause donations from its PAC to "who voted against certification of the election,” a company spokesperson confirmed on Sunday. Citigroup meanwhile will pause all donations from its PAC for the rest of the quarter, according to a company memo obtained by Axios.

Updated 11 hours ago - Politics & Policy

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