By Gautham Nagesh - 07/19/11 08:33 PM EDT
Political donations by News Corp., its employees and their families were evenly split between Democrats and Republicans, with President Obama the all-time leading recipient, according to a report from the Sunlight Foundation.
The transparency watchdog noted Tuesday that Democrats received 51 percent of contributions while Republicans received 49 percent, despite the firm's highly publicized links to the GOP, such as a $1 million donation to the Republican Governors Association in August.
News Corp. is the parent company of The Wall Street Journal, the New York Post and Fox News, among others. The firm is currently under scrutiny in both the U.S. and U.K. over allegations its subsidiary News of the World hacked into voice mail accounts and bribed public officials.
"Obama being listed as the company’s top recipient might surprise some people because of its highly publicized involvement with his political rivals, like Sarah Palin who was the vice presidential candidate in 2008 and reportedly still under contract with Murdoch-owned Fox News as a paid commentator," wrote Sunlight's Ryan Sibley.
Sibley said News Corp. has spent $8.2 million since 1997 lobbying on issues such as net neutrality and privacy. He also points out the top recipients from the firm's political action committee, News America Holdings, in the 2009-10 election cycle were Reps. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Howard Berman (D-Calif.) and Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.).