VC lobbyist reddens as elections near

October 26, 2010, 6:13 PM UTC

Last night I spent some time looking at recent political contributions of VenturePAC, the National Venture Capital Association’s political action committee (there wasn’t much on TV). Specifically, I looked at which candidates and PACs it had given money to in calendar 2010.

The breakdown looks like this:

  • $126,000 to 67 Democratic candidates
  • $151,500 to 69 Republican candidates
  • $93,000 to GOP-supporting PACs
  • $88,000 to Democrat-supporting PACs

In other words, a slight edge in giving to Republicans than to Democrats. This is a flip from calendar 2007 and calendar 2008, in which VenturePAC trended blue. I have not yet looked at 2009 figures – i.e., the first part of this election cycle – which NVCA president Mark Heesen says includes more Democratic giving, based on a tendency to support incumbents earlier in the cycle.

Heesen says that he accepts conventional wisdom of Republicans regaining the House next week, but falling short in the Senate (he thinks the GOP will get that prize in 2012).

He also says that neither party is necessarily in lockstep with NVCA policy priorities. For example, he is worried that a GOP-controlled House would mean a death-knell for comprehensive energy legislation, which is desired (in some form) by many cleantech-focused members. On the other hand, he believes that Republicans would be likely to exclude VCs from any change to carried interest tax structure (and be more sympathetic on taxes, in general). When it comes to immigration, he finds plenty of blame on both sides.