Herman Cain explains past donations to Democrats

Chris Moody
·Political Reporter

Herman Cain has worn several hats over the course of his career--rocket scientist, businessman, motivational speaker, radio host and now, presidential candidate. But during his time in the private sector, he was an active participant in politics through political giving.

For more than two decades, the current Republican front-runner has donated hundreds of thousands to political causes and candidates, including a handful of Democrats. Since 1988, Cain has given close to $400,000, according to data collected from the Federal Election Commission and the Center for Responsive Politics.

All but one of Cain's contributions to Democrats went to candidates in Nebraska, where Godfather's Pizza, the company Cain led from 1986 to 1996, had been headquartered for more than 35 years: In 1993, Cain gave $500 to former Nebraska Gov. Bob Kerrey and $250 to New York Rep. Jose Serrano. In 1994, Cain wrote a check for $500 to former Nebraska Rep. Peter Hoagland. Two years later, he gave $500 to Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson and in 1998, he donated another $500 to Omaha newscaster Michael Scott's campaign for Congress.

"They were business decisions and personal decisions," Cain told The Ticket when asked about the donations to Democrats. "One was a restaurateur. One was a personal friend. All moderate Democrats."

The majority of Cain's donations over the years, however, have gone to Republicans. As the head of the pizza chain, the chairman of the National Restaurant Association, a radio host and a public speaker, Cain has spent $359,000 on Republican causes since 1988.

Although he officially endorsed former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney for president in 2008, Cain put his money toward former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee that election cycle with a $2,300 donation to his presidential campaign.

Even as a presidential candidate, Cain, who lives in Atlanta, continues to cut checks to political causes. His most recent donation, $1,000, went to the Republican Party of Georgia in June.

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