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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E. Zachary KnightHere is some food for thought for gamergaters who want politics out of games journalism. https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20141026/06425828942/journalists-need-point-view-if-they-want-to-stay-relevant.shtml10/30/2014 - 7:18am
quiknkoldI didnt say all games are like that, Conster. Princess Peach was....different. though I had fun with it.10/30/2014 - 7:00am
james_fudgehttp://www.somethingawful.com/news/gamergate-with-cats/10/30/2014 - 5:20am
MechaTama31AE: Japan's doujin scene illustrates an interesting potential solution to that problem. Let people play around with the characters, and keep an eye on things to see what people are buying.10/30/2014 - 12:07am
ConsterI bought, played and liked the game (unlike Smash Basketball *shakes fist*), but that felt iffy to me.10/29/2014 - 10:52pm
Consterquiknkold: if Super Princess Peach had been Super Prince Peach instead, do you think emotions would've been a mechanic?10/29/2014 - 10:51pm
quiknkoldcore meaning Colossus, Storm, Wolverine, and Nightcrawler10/29/2014 - 8:51pm
quiknkoldMatthew, those core x-men were together for almost 2 decades, until one would always be dead so they couldnt have them all together.10/29/2014 - 8:51pm
quiknkoldmore of an unknown. background characters mostly, who had a book but it was mostly a waste. they bring in this powderkeg of diversity and boom. now they could do the same thing and with the right artist and writer and mystique to it...10/29/2014 - 8:50pm
Matthew Wilsondoes it though? they always seem to return to the original cast in a year or two.10/29/2014 - 8:49pm
quiknkoldWhen I think of the perfect catalyst of a melting pot hero team, I think of the All New All Different X-Men. A Russian, A African goddess, A Canadian Berzerker, a German elf, and Cyclops. and all have withstood the test of time mostly cause the x-men were10/29/2014 - 8:49pm
Andrew EisenOne reason is because the money people are often afraid it won't sell. "A new IP AND the protagonist is gay?! That'll never work!" Showing that diverse characters can work in popular IP is simply a place to start. The indie scene is another.10/29/2014 - 8:47pm
Matthew Wilsonisnt that the point? why not just make new heroes that are different races, sexual orientations, and genders to start with?10/29/2014 - 8:46pm
Andrew EisenYep, progress is a lot slower than it should be (especially for something that shouldn't have been a problem in the first place).10/29/2014 - 8:45pm
quiknkoldrelevent. Hazmat and X-23. while Reptile, Mettle, Rockslide, Anole, Hellion, Dust, Mercury are all relegated to background characters with zero character enhancement. or they are dead10/29/2014 - 8:45pm
quiknkoldThat has a chance of happening. But its a cosmic scale gamble. They cant all end up like Captain Marvel, once a sidekick and now queen badass. but with Marvel? Look at New X-Men and Avengers Academy. a plethora of new characters, and only 2 are still10/29/2014 - 8:44pm
Andrew EisenIt is a gimmick, albeit one with some good intentions. Plus, it can potentially lead the way to the things you want to see such as new characters.10/29/2014 - 8:41pm
quiknkoldcomes in as a gimmick.10/29/2014 - 8:38pm
quiknkoldI really dont care that Thor is a woman now because they way theyve written it is that Thor will regain his hammer, and the female thor will either fade away or get a new name and eventually writers are going to forget about her like everybody else that10/29/2014 - 8:38pm
quiknkoldother things are a target. Comics are another big one. Genderswapping and race swapping and sexual pref swap characters is happening alot. I'd rather just have all new characters that are female and whatever.10/29/2014 - 8:37pm
 

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