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Fact check: Clippers owner Don Sterling is a registered Republican, not Democrat

After TMZ broke the story and audio of Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling allegedly making racist comments to his girlfriend, the right-wing media was quick to label him a Democrat. A quick fact check tells other wise.

Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling stands on the sidelines before the game with the Memphis Grizzlies in Game Three of the Western Conference Quarterfinals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs
Photo by Stephen Dunn

On his radio show, right-wing talker Rush Limbaugh went on a rant that it shouldn't be a surprise that Sterling is a racist because he was a Democrat who didn't give enough money to the Obama campaign.

“This is not news to anybody who has known of this guy...This guy’s a big Democrat. The only reason he’s in trouble right now is he did not give enough money to Obama.

All of this shock and outrage, it’s as phony as you can believe. It’s been known. They guy gave money to (former Democratic California Gov.) Grey Davis. The guy gave money to (former Democratic U.S. Sen.) Bill Bradley. He’s been donating to Democrat causes, doing what you do in Beverly Hills and LA to be in the A-list crowd.”

In addition to Limbaugh, the conservative website The Drudge Report as well as The Daily Caller and Fox Nation all reported that Sterling was a Democrat. The problem with their claims is that, as Los Angeles Times columnist Michael Hiltzik points out, Sterling is actually a registered Republican.

"What makes anyone think Donald Sterling is a Democrat? LA County records show him registered Republican since 1998."

While Sterling, who is worth nearly $2 billion, has donated about $6,000 to Democrats, his public records show he has been a registered Republican since at least 1998, nearly 20 years ago. Whether Sterling is a Democrat, Republican or Independent shouldn't matter much, what he was caught on tape allegedly saying is disgusting and the NBA will handle it accordingly. But it is important to point out because the right-wing media is trying to use it for a political advantage when it shouldn't be.

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