Donald Sterling Is a Registered Republican

Jayne Oncea/Cal Sport Media/ZUMA


Does it really matter whether racist LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling is a registered Democrat? Or a Republican? Or a member of the Pirate Party of Russia?

Well, according to multiple conservative media outlets, yes, it does matter. On Sunday, National Review ran a blog post originally titled, “Racist Clippers Owner Donald Sterling Is a Democrat.” The post breathlessly noted a handful of contributions he made in the early 1990s to Democratic politicians, including California politician Gray Davis and Sen. Bill Bradley, who had played in the NBA. (Sterling has owned his NBA team since the early 1980s.) The headline has since been changed to “Racist Clippers Owner Donald Sterling Has Only Contributed to Democrats,” with an update reading, “his official party affiliation is not known.” Still, the Donald-Sterling-Is-a-Democrat meme already took hold within right-wing media:

“Report: Clippers Owner Caught In Racist Rant Is A Democratic Donor” — Fox Nation.

“NBA Sterling is a Democrat…” — Matt Drudge.

“Race Hate Spewing Clippers Owner Is Democratic Donor” — the Daily Caller.

“Media Ignoring Dem Donations of LA Clippers’ Owner, Allegedly Caught on Tape in Race-Based Rant” — NewsBusters.

“LA Clippers Owner Donald Sterling is a Racist Democrat” — the Tea Party News Network.

Politico piggy-backed on this flood of Sterling-triggered liberal-shaming with a softer headline: “Donald Sterling made donations to Dems.”

Not that Sterling’s broader political views or party affiliation have much to do with the controversy over his insanely racist comments, but here’s a news flash for those conservatives eager to bring up the topic: He’s a Republican.

On Sunday, Michael Hiltzik, a Los Angeles Times columnist, tweeted that local voter records show Sterling to be a registered Republican “since 1998.” We followed up on that, and a search of the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder’s website for Sterling’s name, date of birth, and address confirmed that he’s registered as a Republican:

Donald Sterling Republican Registration from LA County

Screenshot: lavote.net

There’s little reason to get excited about Sterling’s political affiliation. But if you choose to do so, you ought to get it right.

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  • Asawin Suebsaeng was formerly a reporter in the Washington, DC, bureau of Mother Jones.

  • Patrick Caldwell

    Patrick Caldwell is the associate editor in Mother Jones’ DC bureau. E-mail any and all tips to pcaldwell [at] motherjones [dot] com.