Over the weekend, while nation-wide attention was focused on the racist comments reportedly made by Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, some conservative commentators were focused on something else: Sterling’s party affiliation.
Specifically, certain conservatives were taking the media to task for supposedly ignoring Sterling’s ties to the Democratic Party. But a bit of context was missing. Sterling is a registered Republican.
A search of The Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder’s website using Sterling’s name, date of birth, and address turns up a Republican registration, and the registrar-recorder’s office confirmed the information to TPM on Monday. (The initial tip came to TPM from public records compiler eMerges.)
(Search result on Monday for Donald Sterling’s voter registration.)
Conservatives — including Matt Drudge, The National Review, and The Daily Caller — have taken time since the Sterling story broke to describe him as a Democrat or point to Sterling’s past contributions to Democratic politicians.
Sterling has given money to Democrats, though his most recent donations appear to have taken place more than a decade ago. According to the Center For Responsive Politics, those donations include $2,000 to then-Sen. Bill Bradley (D-NJ) in 1989, $1,000 to future California Gov. Gray Davis (D) in 1991, and $1,000 to Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) in 1991. Records kept by the National Institute on Money in State Politics also indicate that Sterling gave another $5,000 to Davis in 2002.
By Monday afternoon, The National Review had updated its piece on Sterling’s political ties. The correction read as follows:
“An earlier version of this post identified Sterling as a Democrat. Although his political donations appear to have been exclusively to Democrats, his official party affiliation is not known. A Clippers representative did not respond to requests for his present political affiliation.”
(h/t Mother Jones)