Friday, June 6, 2008

And now a word from the convention sponsors ...

One of the big myths about politics is that the business community is conservative. Not true. Large corporations are self-interested, which is fine but certainly not the same thing as conservative. They'll take (and seek) government contracts, subsidies, guaranteed rates of return and other such goodies. For that reason, a lot of major corporations play both sides of the fence, and some actually favor Democrats.
Anheuser Busch is one of the most visible corporate sponsors at the convention (see booth picture at right. Another extremely visible company is Energy Future Holdings, the holding company formerly known as TXU. It's three subsidiaries TXU Energy (the retailer), Oncor (the wires company), and Luminant (the generation company) all have booths. I wonder if we'll see any reference in the platform to the way that House Democratic Leader Jim Dunnam killed Senate Bill 482, a retail electric competition bill a lot of lobbyists for a certain large electric company were paid not to like, in the last two days of the 2007 Legislative Session. Hmmm. I'm not holding my breath. (Speaking of utilities, CenterPoint Energy, the wires company serving Houston, is also a sponsor.)
All sides of the telco wars are major sponsors. Verizon has a booth. A.T.&T. and Time Warner Cable are both sponsors of the convention. The BNSF and Union Pacific Railroad are both co-sponsors. Southwest Airlines has an ad in the program and is a sponsor. Chesapeake Energy and Atmos Energy and the Texas Association of Realtors and Microsoft are also sponsors, as is the Texas Association of Manufactured Homes. The Texas Hosptial Association had a booth and sponsored the convention, but many, many Democrats are strong proponents of providing more state funds for health care, so it's not surprising to see THA working with both parties.
By the way, I'll be taking attendance at the Republican convention to see which companies sponsored both conventions, and which ones sponsored only one ...

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