Center wins first Pulitzer!

Black lung investigation honored

Get more award-winning investigations:

Fox News host Sean Hannity bankrolls Republicans despite assertion he's not one

Conservative commentator has given thousands of dollars to GOP candidates

By

 Updated:

During a heated exchange Tuesday night, Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., accused Fox News host Sean Hannity of being "a shill for the Republican Party."

Hannity's response: denying the charge and betting Ellison $10,000 that he is not a registered Republican.

Incidentally, that's about the same amount of money that Hannity donated to Republicans in 2010.

Records filed with the Federal Election Commission indicate that Hannity donated the legal maximum of $4,800 to John Gomez in May of 2010.

Gomez, a childhood friend of Hannity's, appeared on the ballot that year as both a Republican and a member of New York's Conservative Party, the party with which Hannity said he's registered. Gomez was ultimately unsuccessful in his attempt to unseat Democratic Rep. Steve Israel of New York, who now serves as chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

New York is one of the few states that engages in "fusion voting." Under this system, one candidate can appear multiple times on the ballot on different party lines, and all votes the candidate receives are then combined.

Documents show that in August 2010, Hannity further contributed $5,000 to the leadership PAC of Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., as did his wife, Jill Hannity.

Hannity in 2005 also contributed $4,200 to the U.S. Senate campaign of Jeanine Pirro, a New York state Republican. Pirro, who today is a Fox News contributor, dropped out during the race's primary. She then refunded $2,100 to Hannity since she wouldn't be running in the general election against then-Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., opting instead to run for New York state attorney general.

Since 2010, Hannity has not donated money to federal candidates or committees of any political persuasion, federal records indicate.

As for Ellison, he declined to take Hannity's wager, saying, "I don't bet."