Update, Jan. 24, 2014, 12:14 p.m.: This story has been updated to include comment from Paul Breazeale, the treasurer of Mississippi 2012, who also provided a copy of the group's 2012 tax return.
Corporate dollars have helped bankroll a host of political events and parties benefiting Democrats and Republicans alike, according to a Center for Public Integrity review of records voluntarily released by some of the nation’s largest companies.
For instance, records show New Orleans-based energy company Entergy Corp. donated $50,000 to Mississippi 2012, a nonprofit group established for “organizing, planning and implementing” activities related to the January 2012 inauguration of Republican Gov. Phil Bryant.
Mississippi 2012, which is organized under Sec. 501(c)(4) of the U.S. tax code as a social welfare nonprofit, is not required to publicly disclose its donors. The same rule applies to all 501(c)(4) nonprofits.
Like Entergy, tobacco giant Altria Group Inc. and drugmaker Eli Lilly & Co. both self-reported contributions to the nonprofit — giving $10,000 and $1,000, respectively.
In 2013, Eli Lilly also contributed to nonprofits linked to gubernatorial inauguration activities in Delaware and Washington state, according to company documents.
Paul Breazeale, the treasurer of Mississippi 2012, told the Center for Public Integrity that the nonprofit raised its funds from "a litany of people," including "corporations and individuals."
The state legislature did not appropriate money for the inaugural festivities, which included a parade, ball and bands, Breazeale continued. "Somebody's got to pay for that stuff."