Summers picks up fundraising pace, but King still brings in double the money

Independent Angus King (left) and Republican Charlie Summers shake hands following the debate at the Franco-American Heritage Center in Lewiston on Monday, Sept. 17, 2012.
Daryn Slover | Sun Journal
Independent Angus King (left) and Republican Charlie Summers shake hands following the debate at the Franco-American Heritage Center in Lewiston on Monday, Sept. 17, 2012.
Posted Oct. 15, 2012, at 9:26 a.m.
Last modified Oct. 15, 2012, at 8:03 p.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — Independent Angus King continued to lead his rivals for Maine’s open U.S. Senate race in fundraising during the past three months, according to figures from the latest reporting period released by the candidates’ campaigns.

Meanwhile, Republican Charlie Summers accelerated the pace of his fundraising during the past quarter while Democrat Cynthia Dill fell even further behind her two opponents in the race for money. Dill added less to her Senate campaign account between July 1 and Sept. 30 than she did in the previous quarter.

Third-quarter campaign finance reports were due to federal election officials Monday. Dill’s campaign released its full report Sunday, and King’s campaign released its report Monday. Summers released fundraising totals on Friday, but hadn’t released its full report by late Monday.

King added more than $1.1 million to his campaign account between July 1 and Sept. 30, according to figures released by his campaign. That brings the former governor’s fundraising total since he entered the race in March to nearly $2.1 million. His campaign spent more than $1.2 million during the third quarter, which included a $200,000 ad buy for the last two weeks before Election Day.

King’s campaign had $464,000 left to spend as of Sept. 30, compared with the $503,000 the campaign had on hand at the end of June. The campaign said 53 percent of its total contributions have come from within Maine.

Summers raised $507,000 in July, August and September, his campaign said. That brings his total fundraising to about $746,000 since he entered the Senate race in March. The third-quarter number is double the amount Summers had raised through June 30.

Summers had $189,000 left to spend as of Sept. 30, compared with $119,000 on hand three months earlier. His campaign said half of all third-quarter contributions were $200 or less.

According to Dill’s campaign finance report, the state senator from Cape Elizabeth raised $57,000 during the third quarter — compared with $66,000 between April 1 and June 30 — and spent $76,000. The $57,000 figure brings Dill’s total fundraising for the Senate race to $148,000.

She ended the third quarter with $10,000 left on hand, compared with $28,000 on June 30. Some 82 percent of her contributions came from within Maine, her campaign said.

King’s 895-page finance report has a list of contributors heavy on representation from Maine’s business, law and medical circles and Washington, D.C., lobbyists. Some highlights include $2,500 from actress Glenn Close, a part-time Maine resident; $2,500 each from L.L. Bean chairman Leon Gorman and his wife, Lisa; and a $500 donation from Harold Ickes, a major Democratic fundraiser and president of Priorities USA Action, the primary super-PAC supporting President Barack Obama.

A number of King’s contributions were earmarked through NORPAC, a political committee that supports pro-Israel candidates. Also notable on King’s contribution list was more than $31,000 in in-kind legal services from the Portland firm Pierce Atwood.

Political action committees contributed nearly $192,000 in total during the third quarter. They include political committees representing the health insurance company Aetna, the American Medical Association, the American Wind Energy Association, Comcast Corp. and NBC Universal, Facebook, Washington lobbying firm Patton Boggs, the Sierra Club, Unum and U.S. Airways.

California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat, contributed $2,500 to King’s campaign on July 10. The campaign then refunded it on Aug. 13. Campaign spokeswoman Crystal Canney said King “does not accept checks from sitting senators.”

King’s fundraising report shows that trips he made to Washington, D.C., to raise campaign cash paid off. His contributors include a number of employees of the Podesta group, which held a July fundraiser for King. The report also shows a number of contributions from employees of the Washington, D.C., lobbying firm Patton Boggs, including former Louisiana Sen. John Breaux, a Democrat, and Patton Boggs chairman Thomas Hale Boggs.

On Tuesday, King will travel to New York City for a fundraiser at the home of New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has contributed $500,000 to a third-party, pro-King ad campaign by the nonprofit group Americans Elect.

Dill’s third-quarter contributor list shows a number of names from Maine Democratic circles, including former Gov. Joseph Brennan, 2010 gubernatorial candidate Rosa Scarcelli, U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree and husband Donald Sussman, and former Maine House Speaker Hannah Pingree. Some of Dill’s Senate colleagues — Phil Bartlett of Gorham, Dawn Hill of York and Seth Goodall of Richmond — also chipped in; Goodall contributed through the political action committee he controls.

Dill also received support from at least one major Republican donor: E.W. Bosarge of Houston, Texas, who gave Dill $1,000. Bosarge is a summer resident of Southport and has contributed $150,000 to the Maine Republican Party this year. His support for Dill could echo a larger Republican strategy to keep Maine’s Senate seat in the GOP column by siphoning off enough Democratic support from King to create an opening for Summers.

Dill’s finance report shows the bulk of her spending went to campaign staff and communications consultants.

While candidate fundraising picked up during the past quarter, it lags behind the $4.4 million outside groups have spent so far on ads designed to bolster Summers’ and King’s candidacies.

According to expenditure reports filed with the Federal Election Commission, Republican groups have spent $2.8 million since the end of July almost entirely on ads attacking King. The latest was a $500,000 anti-King ad campaign from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which has endorsed Summers.

Spending on ads designed to benefit King, however, has started to catch up. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee — which hasn’t endorsed Democratic nominee Dill — has spent $700,000 so far on ads attacking Summers while the nonprofit organization Americans Elect has spent almost $900,000 on television advertising and direct mail on King’s behalf.

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