Political-campaign financing is supposed to pit rival interest groups against one another. But in this year's wide-open presidential race, some interesting tugs-of-war are going on within individual companies.
Consider Time Warner Inc., whose chairman, Richard Parsons, has sent money to Republican Sen. John McCain's campaign, while Chief Executive Jeffrey Bewkes last year helped fund Democratic Sen. Christopher Dodd, who has since dropped out of the race. At the same time, other top officials at the media conglomerate's cable-television units have been backing Democratic contenders Sen. Hillary Clinton or former Sen. John Edwards.
Is there a discernable Time Warner point of view on the election? No way.
Playing the field even more broadly is Goldman Sachs Group Inc., the former employer of Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson as well as other major figures in both political parties. The nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics in Washington has tallied campaign donations as of Oct. 31, the most recent data available, and has posted the results on its Web site, www.opensecrets.org.