The sign outside the Frankfort headquarters of the Republican Party of Kentucky. (Kentucky Lantern photo by Tom Loftus)
FRANKFORT — Add aerospace giant Boeing to the list of companies with vital lobbying interests in Washington to make a big contribution to renovate and expand the Republican Party of Kentucky’s headquarters — a building that stands a few blocks from the Kentucky Capitol and is named in honor of U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, one of the most powerful people in Washington.
A report filed Tuesday by the Republican Party of Kentucky with the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance discloses that The Boeing Company PAC, of Arlington, Virginia, gave $100,000 on Sept. 5 to the Kentucky GOP’s building fund.
That brings to $2.75 million the total of donations in the past 12 months from big companies or their PACs — all based outside Kentucky — to renovate and expand the Mitch McConnell Building. Here’s the complete list of donors to the fund since late 2022:
- Pfizer Inc., New York, New York $1,000,000
- NWO Resources, Greenwood Village, Colorado $500,000
- Metropolitan Life Insurance Co., New York, New York $300,000
- Verizon, Washington, D.C. $300,000
- AT&T, St. Louis, Missouri $200,000
- The Boeing Company PAC, Arlington, Virginia $100,000
- Altria Client Services LLC (Philip Morris), Richmond, Virginia $100,000
- Microsoft Corporation, Reno, Nevada $100,000
- Comcast Corporation, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania $100,000
- Delta Air Lines Inc., Atlanta, Georgia $50,000
The amount of money a person or PAC can give to most political committees is limited. (For instance, a person can give no more than $2,100 per election to a candidate for Kentucky governor, and corporation contributions are prohibited.) But a bill passed by the Kentucky General Assembly in 2017 allowed each political party to establish a building fund which can accept contributions of unlimited amounts and accept corporation donations.
Late Tuesday, Sean Southard, spokesman for the Kentucky GOP, replied to questions from the Lantern with an email that said in part: “We are taking on this renovation and expansion as we need additional space. We have a lot more staff than we used to and many more Republicans we need to support. As we raise funds into the building fund account, we are following both federal and state law. The funds raised into this account can only be used for certain expenditures related to the building and are not eligible to be spent on candidate or issue advocacy.”
The report filed by the Republican building fund on Tuesday also shows that since July 1 the fund has paid $15,000 in fundraising consulting fees to Haney Consulting. That brings to $60,000 the amount paid by the building fund this year to Haney Consulting, a firm owned and operated by McConnell’s longtime chief fundraising consultant Laura Haney.
As of Sept. 30 the Republican building fund reported having $2,715,122 in cash on hand for its pending renovation and expansion project.
The Kentucky Democratic Party building fund reported less than $1,000 in receipts and expenses during the past three months. It reported having $339,254 on hand as of Sept. 30.
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