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George Steinbrenner spent big on politics, too

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Richard Clement/REUTERS/FILE

(Read caption) George Steinbrenner (l.) meets in 1999 with then-first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton at the White House. The late New York Yankees owner died July 13.

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George Steinbrenner’s sports life was defined by Yankee pinstripes. But in politics Mr. Steinbrenner’s uniform was purple.

That’s because he spread campaign contributions around. His personal political state, in financial terms, was neither Republican red nor Democratic blue, but a mix.

Like many wealthy political donors, Steinbrenner was motivated by pragmatism, friendship, and business concerns, as well as ideology. His is a case in point: US politics today may be hyperpartisan, but it is often financed by people who aren’t.

IN PICTURES: George Steinbrenner through the years

Over the past 20 years, the late Yankees owner steered 44 percent of his donations to Republicans and 44 percent to Democrats, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. The rest went to nonpartisan political committees.

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