Vaporub and IBM profits wend way to Obama campaign

By Laurie Bennett

October 1, 2011 at 7:02am

When Bill Stetson and Jane Watson married, the founding families of two major American corporations also merged.

Bill Stetson is the grandson of the chairman of Vick Chemical, maker of Vicks VapoRub. The company was sold to Procter & Gamble in 1985. Anoother grandfather, Eugene Stetson, was chairman of Guaranty Trust Company of New York and a part-owner of Coca-Cola.

Jane Watson Stetson is the granddaughter of Thomas J. Watson, founder of IBM. Her father, Arthur Watson, was vice chairman of IBM and ambassador to France.

She’s now finance chair of the Democratic National Committee and a bundler for Barack Obama’s re-election campaign. She was also a fundraiser for his 2008 race.

Obama gave a nod to her husband last April, appointing him to an advisory committee on the arts for the Kennedy Center. Bill Stetson has been an environmental consultant and a producer for film, TV and radio. He’s a founder of the Vermont Film Commission and a board member with Vermont Public Radio.

The couple held a fundraiser for Obama in 2007 at their Vermont home. They’ve also been big donors over the years to the DNC and Democratic campaigns.

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