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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.

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This is a big one for us. So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

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