Dutch firms financingBush to defeat Kerry

21st October 2004, Comments 0 comments

21 October 2004, AMSTERDAM — With less than two weeks to go before the US presidential election, many Dutch multinationals have decided the incumbent should be re-elected to the White House and are betting money on it.

21 October 2004

AMSTERDAM — With less than two weeks to go before the US presidential election, many Dutch multinationals have decided the incumbent should be re-elected to the White House and are betting money on it.

Major Dutch companies have contributed USD 10 million to President George Bush's campaign. His Democratic opponent, John Kerry, got just EUR 3 million from Dutch multinationals, newspaper De Volkskrant reported based on information filed with the Federal Election Commission in the US. 

The clear choice in favour of Bush is in contrast to a recent poll of politicians in the Dutch parliament, or Tweede Kamer, where a majority expressed a preference for Kerry.

The MPs seem to reflect popular opinion in the Netherlands which favours "anyone but Bush" in the white House.

The public also expressed unease at the way Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende gave political support for President Bush's invasion of Iraq in March 2003. 

Kerry has also secured 81 percent of the 310 votes cast by 5pm on 21 October in a stray poll of expat opinion on Expatica's homepage — but the poll is by no means scientific.

But if Dutch money could talk, it appears to be going for Bush.

Electoral laws in the US impose strict limits on the amount the corporate world can give directly to a presidential candidate. But foundations and funds established by individuals have more freedom to donate.

Newspaper De Volkskrant said Anglo-Dutch energy giant Shell, Insurer Aegon and electronics company Philips had established Political Action Committees to allow employees to donate to a candidate.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Dutch news

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