After all the loud noise and extreme behavior of this election season, Stanley Hubbard, the billionaire broadcasting executive who has long been one of Minnesota’s biggest political donors, says moderation will win in the end.
“I’m not worried like so many people,” he said in an interview last week. “Our country goes back and forth. People move to the left and to the right, but not that far.”
Hubbard, who has led St. Paul-based Hubbard Broadcasting since 1983, donated nearly $800,000 in the 2019-2020 election cycle. Nearly all of it went to Republican candidates and causes.
“I don’t want the country going too far left,” he said. “But I am not a cuckoo. My wife and I give to people who are like us.”
If money talks, Hubbard has been shouting for decades.
His giving to candidates, parties and committees dwarfs that by CEOs of Minnesota’s publicly traded companies. The nearly $800,000 in giving attributed to Hubbard and his wife totals more than donations of entire political action committees at many Minnesota Fortune 500 companies.
But it’s less than half the $1.8 million the couple contributed during the 2016 campaign.
He said he has faith in American democracy even after a year when partisans brought weapons to campaign rallies and protests in the name of social justice turned into riots. When politicians get too close to the edges, they get voted out of office, Hubbard said.
“I don’t see Armageddon coming,” he said.
Hubbard, whose privately held company operates radio and TV stations in cities and towns of various sizes, said he doesn’t worry his political beliefs will affect the business. The company’s success depends on providing products and services that its advertisers and audience need, he said.
If he finds himself at odds with friends and acquaintances over politics, Hubbard said he likes “to disagree agreeably.”
A little more than a week from Election Day, Hubbard is done giving this election cycle.
“My wife and I,” he said, “are tired of getting phone calls.”