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washington observer
Industry Gears Up for Presidential Race
By Pam Hunter and Bruce Buckley

As the presidential campaigns swing into high gear, various contractors, employer groups and unions are gearing up resources and funds to support their candidates of choice.

Top 10 Construction-Related Company Donors Company
Company Total PAC Individual*
William Lyon Homes, Newport Beach, Calif. $27,600 $0 $27,600
Owens Corning, Toledo, Ohio $27,450 $15,000 $12,100
Miller Electric, Bradenton, Fla. $22,100 $0 $22,100
Advanced Roofing, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. $20,700 $0 $20,700
Miller & Smith McLean, Va. $18,800 $0 $18,800
Maya Enterprises, Miami, Fla. $18,400 $0 $18,400
CH Newton Builders Falmouth, Mass. $16,900 $0 $16,900
JB Coxwell Contracting Jacksonville, Fla. $16,100 $0 $16,100
Caterpillar, Peoria, Ill. $15,800 $0 $15,800
D&J Enterprises, Auburn, Ala $13,300 $0 $13,300

The National Roofing Contractors Association has donated $5,000 to Sen. John McCain’s (R-Ariz.) campaign through its political action committee and plans to send a delegation of members to the Republican National Convention in September. Craig Brightup, NRCA’s vice president of government relations, says it was an easy choice to support McCain, whose policy positions are more in line with his group’s agenda than Obama’s. NRCA particularly likes McCain’s plan to boost offshore oil drilling and exploration to reduce dependence on foreign oil, Brightup says.

The Associated Builders and Contractors also has endorsed McCain and donated $10,000 to his campaign. Chris Singerling, ABC's director of political affairs, says that ABC has put together educational materials for its members, but stops short of telling members—and members' employees—how to vote. Election laws forbid companies from promoting particular candidates among employees. “The important thing our member companies can do is educate their employees on the issues,” Singerling says.

The Associated General Contractors has not endorsed either candidate, opting instead to work with both campaigns to suggest potential policies that would be of benefit to the construction industry, says the group’s PAC director, Elisa Brewer Pratt.

Union groups are ramping up grassroots efforts to help Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.). In June, the AFL-CIO’s Building and Construction Trades Dept. endorsed Obama and unveiled a $43.5-million grassroots program to support the candidate. The program is expected to reach more than 13 million union voters and will involve door-to-door visits, phone calls and jobsite leafleting.





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