Casino Execs Support Baker-Polito, While MGM Goes Big For GOP In Senate Races

Oct 18, 2018

Executives at MGM Springfield have not made many political donations this election season, but they do have some favorite politicians.

Candidates for state office

MGM Springfield President Mike Mathis has donated to a pair of Massachusetts politicians this cycle: Republican Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito and Democrat Joseph Wagner, a state representative from Chicopee. Mathis gave $200 to each, according to state campaign finance reports

The casino's top lawyer, Seth Stratton, also has a bipartisan donation record, except for gubernatorial candidates.

Through the years, Stratton repeatedly donated to Polito and Governor Charlie Baker, going back to Baker's failed 2010 campaign against incumbent Democrat Deval Patrick.

Stratton was also a supporter of independent candidate for Connecticut governor Oz Griebel -- during an earlier Griebel campaign back in 2010.

A big boss at MGM Resorts, President William Hornbuckle, gave Baker $1,000 last year.

MGM Resorts President Bill Hornbuckle joined casino supporters, including Springfield resident Sonya Johnson, on Nov. 4, 2014, as Massachusetts considered a statewide referendum on casinos.
Credit Greg Saulmon / The Republican / masslive.com/photos

Candidates for federal office

These same casino executives also voluntarily had money deducted from their paychecks for MGM's political action committee. That PAC contributes to Republicans as well as Democrats -- including Congressman Mike Capuano, who lost a primary to Boston City Councilor Ayanna Pressley this year. 

Mathis and Hornbuckle each donate about $192 every two weeks, adding up to the annual limit of $5,000. Stratton's donations come $50 at a time.

The PAC's bipartisan donations to candidates this cycle fall short of MGM's direct corporate investment in Republican control of the Senate.

In late August, MGM Resorts donated $250,000 to Senate Leadership Fund.

That's a Super PAC whose stated goal is "to protect and expand the Republican Senate Majority when Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and Chuck Schumer, together with their army of left-wing activists, try to take it back in 2018."