Elizabeth Warren raising bulk of Senate campaign funds out of Mass.

By STEVE LeBLANC, The Associated Press
Posted Feb. 03, 2012, at 9:27 p.m.

BOSTON — Democratic Senate hopeful Elizabeth Warren is continuing to raise the bulk of her campaign contributions from outside of Massachusetts as she hopes to oust Republican Sen. Scott Brown from office.

Warren’s campaign said Friday that of the more than $5.7 million she collected during the last three months of 2011, about 69 percent came from out-of-state supporters. The remaining $1.8 million came from in-state contributors.

Brown’s campaign said that about 75 percent of the more than $3 million in donations he collected during the same three-month period came from donors inside Massachusetts.

At the same time, Brown is relying more heavily on donations from political action committees than Warren.

The most recent campaign finance reports filed by both candidates with the Federal Election Commission show Brown collected more than $1.6 million from PACs in 2011.

That’s more than ten times as much as the $142,000 collected from PACs by Warren, who entered the race in September.

The PACs backing Brown included financial institutions, defense contractors and corporations like Citigroup, Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, McDonald’s, Microsoft and Google.

Many of the PACs supporting Warren represent labor unions, including the Sheet Metal Workers International Association, the Laborer’s International Union and the American Federation of Government Employees.

“Scott Brown’s donations from PACs are no different than Elizabeth Warren or the other members of the Massachusetts congressional delegation,” said Brown spokesman Colin Reed.

“While Professor Warren collects the vast majority of her donations from outside Massachusetts, Scott Brown is proud that 75 percent of his donations came from in-state last quarter,” Reed added.

Warren’s campaign said regardless of where her donations come from, her focus is on Massachusetts. They said the average donation to Warren is about $65, with more than 23,000 individual contributions from inside Massachusetts out of a total of 105,000 donations.

“Elizabeth’s fight for middle-class families continues to gain strong support here at home,” said Warren press secretary Alethea Harney.

“More than 23,000 Massachusetts contributors and people across the country … want Elizabeth in the United States Senate taking on the big banks and special interests to make Washington work for the middle class instead,” she added.

Although Brown has been relying more on in-state donations now, he benefited from a torrent of out-of-state money during the closing weeks of the 2010 special election that propelled him into the Senate, filling a vacancy created by the death of Democratic Sen. Edward M. Kennedy.

Warren also had fundraising help from groups like EMILY’S List, which raises contributions for female candidates who support abortion rights, MoveOn.org, which raises money for liberal and progressive candidates, and ActBlue, which collects donations for Democratic candidates.

Despite the hefty sums, donations from PACs accounted for a relatively small percent of both candidates’ overall take for the year.

The $142,487 Warren collected from PACs was less than 2 percent of her total fundraising haul of more than $8.8 million last year.

For Brown, the percentage was higher.

Of the $10.7 million he collected from all sources in 2010, about $1.6 million — or more than 15 percent — came from PACs.

Other groups contributing to Brown including PACs representing Best Buy, Comcast, Credit Suisse Securities, General Mills, and the pharmaceutical companies AstraZeneca, Bayer and Pfizer.

Brown, who went into the election 2011-2012 election cycle with sizeable amount of cash on hand, still had more than twice as much cash in his campaign account as Warren at the start of 2012.

Brown reported having about $12.9 million in cash as of Dec. 31 compared to Warren’s $6.1 million.

The Senate campaign could end up being the most expensive political contest in Massachusetts history.

Last month, Brown and Warren took the unusual step of signing a pledge to curb political attack ads by outside groups in their Massachusetts Senate race.

Under the terms of the deal, each campaign would agree to donate half the cost of any third-party ad to charity if that ad either supports their candidacy or attacks their opponent by name.

http://bangordailynews.com/2012/02/03/news/nation/warren-raising-bulk-of-campaign-funds-out-of-mass/ printed on July 23, 2014