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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Jelly Belly, Host of Rick Santorum Rally, Is Sweet on the GOP

Posted By on Thu, Mar 29, 2012 at 8:35 AM

You know Mitt Romney wants to say it: A jelly bean would make a better president than Santorum.
  • You know Mitt Romney wants to say it: A jelly bean would make a better president than Santorum.
The Jelly Belly factory is a beacon of American manufacturing. It is also a fine choice for wholesome family outings. Plus Ronald Reagan loved jelly beans.

Sounds like the perfect location for a conservative darling's presidential campaign rally.

Rick Santorum certainly thinks so, which is why he will be stumping at the Fairfield attraction today at 4 p.m. hoping to sweeten his campaign a bit.  

But Santorum might be drawn to this venue for reasons other than to satisfy his sweet tooth: Jelly Belly executives have donated $182,750 to Republican causes since the 2008 election cycle, according to Federal Election Committee filings.

No doubt, Santorum could use some of that candy.

Here's what we can tell you: Jelly Belly Chairman Herman Rowland carried the pack with $159,850 in contributions since the last presidential election cycle, including $30,400 to the National Republican Senatorial Comittee to support California candidate Carly Fiorina. He also chipped in $30,000 to the California Republican Party, $10,000 to Rep. Dan Lungren (R-Sacramento County), $7,300 to Rep. Jeff Denham (R-Atwater), and $9,600 to House candidate David Harmer.

In comparison, Jelly Belly executives donated $1,800 to Democrats during this same time span.

As for the 2012 Republican Presidential Primary, Rowland gave $2,500 to Mitt Romney in December, $1,000 to Newt Gingrich in November, and $2,500 to Rick Perry in September.

A distant second among Jelly Belly contributors, company President Robert Simpson donated $9,500 to Republican committees and campaigns since the 2008 cycle, including $1,000 to Rick Perry in September, records show. 

Sadly for other jelly bean lovers, the factory will be closing earlier than usual to accommodate the event. Tours will end by 2:30 p.m. and the visitor center will close at 3 p.m.

After Santorum gives his address, the executives will host a $1,000-a-plate fundraiser on his behalf.

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Albert Samaha

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