ESA Campaign Contributions Off to a Slow Start

May 27, 2008 -

When ESA head Mike Gallagher announced in January that the organization would begin making political campaign contributions, he projected that $50,000 - $100,000 would be donated to various candidates by year's end.

However, figures obtained by GamePolitics show that the ESA's campaign contribution initiative is off to a slow start. Through April 15th, a total of just $4,300 had been donated to three Congressional campaigns:

  • Rep. Jim Clyburn D-SC, $1,000
  • Rep. Artur Davis D-AL, $1,000
  • Rep. Mary Bono Mack R-CA, $2,300

Wooing Clyburn is a no-brainer for the ESA. The influential Democrat serves as House Majority Whip. Bono Mack, a moderate Republican, has been a strong supporter of copyright protections in the past, which makes her a natural ally of video game publishers. It's less clear why the Davis campaign was chosen to receive ESA money.

First quarter fund-raising for the ESA's political action committee wasn't all that impressive, either, especially given that donations to the PAC form the financial basis for campaign contributions. As of April 15th, a mere six donors contributed a total of $27,500. These included Gallagher himself as well as Microsoft's Robbie Bach, who chaired the ESA board of directors at the time the political action committee was formed.

Here's who donated to the ESA PAC:

  • Robbie Bach (Microsoft),  $2,500
  • Mike Gallagher (ESA), $5,000
  • Laurent Detoc (Ubisoft), $5,000
  • Ben Feder (Take-Two), $5,000
  • Graham Hopper (Disney), $5,000
  • Hiroshi Tobisawa (Capcom USA), $5,000

Interestingly enough, none of the 2008 presidential candidates received ESA PAC money in the first quarter. Details on contributions made after April 15th are not yet available.

34 comments

With Election Looming, ESA Plans to Spread Some Cash

January 15, 2008 -

Few things capture a politician's attention like campaign donations.

That's why, as the New York Times reports, the Entertainment Software Association will soon begin spreading money around to candidates for federal office. The video game publishers' organization has created a political action committee (PAC) to facilitate its campaign donations.

Regarding the move, ESA boss Michael Gallagher told the Times' Seth Schiesel:
 

We will be writing checks to campaigns by the end of this quarter. This is an important step in the political maturation process of the industry that we are ready to take now. This is about identifying and supporting champions for the game industry on Capitol Hill so that they support us.


Gallagher said the ESA's PAC would most likely donate $50,000 to $100,000 in 2008. Federal election law prevents giving more than $5,000 to any single candidate. In flexing the ESA's political muscle, Gallagher also touted the Video Game Voters' Network:
 

If I can walk into the office of a member of Congress and tell them we have 20,000 voters in their state who are already signed up to write letters and act based on game-related issues that concern them, that’s powerful.


GP: While the NYT's Schiesel writes of "a much more favorable and tolerant attitude toward video games both among the general public and politicians," we're not so sure we agree. Games seem under attack as much as ever.

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Matthew Wilsonthe lose of nn would not be good for us, but it will not be good for verizion/comcast/att in the long run ether.04/24/2014 - 2:16pm
Matthew Wilsonsadly yes. it would take another sopa day to achieve it.04/24/2014 - 2:13pm
NeenekoI am also confused. Are you saying NN would only become law if Google/Netflix pushed the issue (against their own interests)?04/24/2014 - 2:10pm
E. Zachary KnightMatthew, you are saying a lot of things but I am still unclear on your point. Are you saying that the loss of Net Neutrality will be good in the long run?04/24/2014 - 2:06pm
Matthew WilsonOfcourse it does I never said it did not.though over time the death of NN will make backbone providers like Google, level3 and others stronger becouse most isps including the big ones can not provid internet without them. they can peer with smaller isps04/24/2014 - 1:54pm
E. Zachary KnightMatthew, and that still plays in Google's favor over their smaller rivals who don't have the muscle to stand up to ISPs.04/24/2014 - 1:45pm
Matthew Wilsongoogle wont pay becouse they control a large part of the backbone that all isps depend on. if verizon blocks their data, google does the same. the effect is Verizon loses access to 40% of the internet, and can not serve some areas at all.04/24/2014 - 1:14pm
Neenekolack of NN is in google and netflix interest. It is another tool for squeezing out smaller companies since they can afford to 'play'04/24/2014 - 12:57pm
Matthew WilsonI have said it before net nutrality will not be made in to law until Google or Netflix is blocked, or they do what they did for sopa and pull their sites down in protest.04/23/2014 - 8:02pm
Andrew EisenGee, I guess putting a former cable industry lobbyist as the Chairman of the FCC wasn't that great of an idea. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/24/technology/fcc-new-net-neutrality-rules.html?_r=204/23/2014 - 7:26pm
Andrew EisenIanC - I assume what he's getting at is the fact that once PS3/360 development ceases, there will be no more "For Everything But Wii U" games.04/23/2014 - 5:49pm
Andrew EisenMatthew - Yes, obviously developers will eventually move on from the PS3 and 360 but the phrase will continue to mean exactly what it means.04/23/2014 - 5:45pm
IanCAnd how does that equal his annoying phrase being meaningless?04/23/2014 - 5:09pm
Matthew Wilson@Andrew Eisen the phrase everything but wiiu will be meaningless afer this year becouse devs will drop 360/ps3 support.04/23/2014 - 4:43pm
Andrew EisenFor Everything But... 360? Huh, not many games can claim that title. Only three others that I know of.04/23/2014 - 3:45pm
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.joystiq.com/2014/04/23/another-world-rated-for-current-consoles-handhelds-in-germany/ Another World fulfills legal obligations of being on every gaming system under the sun.04/23/2014 - 12:34pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://arstechnica.com/gaming/2014/04/steam-gauge-do-strong-reviews-lead-to-stronger-sales-on-steam/?comments=1 Here is another data driven article using sales data from steam to figure out if reviews effect sales. It is stats heavy like the last one.04/23/2014 - 11:33am
Andrew EisenI love RPGs but I didn't much care for Tales of Symphonia. I didn't bother with its sequel.04/23/2014 - 11:21am
InfophileIt had great RPGs because MS wanted to use them to break into Japan. (Which had the side-effect of screwing NA PS3 owners out of Tales of Vesperia. No, I'm not bitter, why do you ask?)04/23/2014 - 10:52am
RedMageI'm still disappointed the 360 never broke into Japan either. It had a bevy of great RPGs in the late 2000s.04/23/2014 - 9:48am
 

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