By Andrew Wolf
NASHUA, N.H. (Nashua Telegraph) — A Nashua couple ranks among America’s most generous political donors, but they don’t dabble in New Hampshire politics.
Yalcin and Serpil Ayasli gave more money to politicians and political action groups than anyone else in the country during the 2008 election cycle, according to the nonpartisan Center For Responsive Politics. Their beneficence hasn’t slowed much since, apparently funded by a steady sale of stock in the integrated circuits company that Yalcin Ayasli founded.
The Ayaslis and their children gave $277,800 to various candidates and political action committees for the 2010 election cycle, the center reported, including $30,400 each to the National Republican Committee. The couple’s $249,600 in donations ranked them 12th in the country on the center’s list of top individual donors last year.
Their $424,050 in contributions in 2008 — when they were the nation’s top individual contributors — were evenly split between Democratic and Republican candidates, according to the center’s website, www.opensecrets.org.
While the Ayaslis’ donations have tipped toward Republicans recently, a closer look suggests their giving has nothing to do with partisan politics, but rather is aimed toward advancing Turkish-American relations and the interests and image of Turkey in the United States.