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During the 2000 presidential campaign, MBNA chairman Charles M. Cawley raised $370,000 for George W. Bush, including $240,000 from his own employees. He also personally contributed
$5,000 to Bush’s Florida recount team and $100,000 to the Bush/Cheney inauguration. All that cash made MBNA Bush’s largest corporate donor. (Cawley, now retired, has pledged to
raise at least $200,000 as a Bush “Ranger” this year.)

The president has expressed his gratitude by promising to sign a bill that would make it harder for maxed-out Americans to declare bankruptcy. Credit card users owe MBNA $82 billion; the proposed law—passed by the House, currently working its way through the Senate—would boost the bank’s profits by $75 million a year.

MBNA is not alone in its political largesse. You might think you’re just racking up frequent-flier miles every time you say “charge it.” But are you also supporting a political party? Below,
the total campaign contributions made by the 10 largest credit card companies in the 2000, 2002, and 2004 election cycles.

What's In Your Wallet?

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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