Tags: US | Massachusetts | Senate | Fundraising

Sen. Scott Brown Reports Raising $14M Since Jan. 1

Thursday, 18 February 2010 09:07 PM

U.S. Sen. Scott Brown has raised a staggering $14.2 million since the beginning of the year and has a hefty $6 million left in his campaign account as of the start of February, documents show.

The $6 million in cash thrusts Brown to the top of the state's congressional delegation in campaign war chest totals and positions him for a well-funded re-election campaign in 2012.

The federal campaign finance report filed Thursday covers Jan. 1 to Feb. 8 including the final three weeks of the special election campaign and the weeks after the Republican's upset win over Democrat Martha Coakley.

Brown's capture of the Senate seat held for nearly half a century by the late Edward Kennedy has made him star in Republican political circles.

As he closed in on Coakley in the final stretch of the campaign, money flooded in from across the country at a rate of about $1 million a day to support Brown, who had been considered a long shot just weeks earlier in one of the most liberal states in the country.

All told, Brown collected $15.2 million in his campaign, nearly all of it in those final chaotic weeks, particularly when polls began to show the race slipping away from Coakley.

Coakley's campaign did not immediately release her fundraising totals.

Brown's campaign portrayed the fundraising as broad-based. They said donations came from 154,431 donors and the average donation was $86.

"The low-dollar average donation of $86 shows the strong grass-roots support that Scott Brown enjoyed in this race," said campaign spokesman Felix Browne.

Brown, who pledged to be the "41st vote" to block President Obama's health care overhaul, was raising money so quickly during the final weeks that he couldn't spend it fast enough. He ultimately spent $8.6 million, much of it on campaign advertising.

Although Brown's campaign could not say how much of the fundraising came from outside of Massachusetts, it's clear his victory was fueled in large part by a national fundraising push.

The bulk of donations of $1,000 or more sent to Brown during the final weeks of the campaign — donations which the campaign had to report within 48 hours — came from out of state, according to an Associated Press review of the reports.

The review found that three out of every four dollars came from supporters outside of Massachusetts, with California, New York and Texas among the most generous states.

Browne said the out-of-state donations were to be expected given that the special election was the only contest at the time.

Also striking was how rapidly Brown's fundraising accelerated.

Of the nearly 2.5 million Brown collected from big money donors between Jan. 1 and the special election on Jan. 19, $2.1 million was collected during the final week — and after some polls began to show the race was far closer than anticipated.

Brown won strong support among the financial services industry. Among those giving to Brown were executives from JP Morgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, Capital One, Fidelity Investments, Barclays Capital, State Street Corp., Morgan Stanley and Prudential Investments.

Coakley also collected money from out of state but didn't enjoy nearly as big a bump as Brown.

Of the $1.9 million Coakley collected in donations of $1,000 or more between Jan. 1 and the election, about 59 percent came from outside of Massachusetts, compared to Brown, who collected 75 percent of his top money donations from outside of the state.

Brown also enjoyed a late influx of spending by independent groups, including a $1 million television advertising campaign by the Washington-based U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Other out-of-state groups that supported his campaign were the Virginia-based Americans for Job Security, which spent $460,000 on an ad campaign; the California-based Tea Party Express, which spent $348,000; and the Iowa-based American Future Fund, which spent $618,000.

All told, outside groups spent more than $2.6 million in the last 12 days of the campaign supporting Brown's election efforts.

Coakley also benefited from spending by outside associations including Washington DC-based EMILY's List, which supports female candidates who back abortion rights; SEIU, a union representing 60,000 service employees across Massachusetts; and an environmental advocacy group, the League of Conservation Voters.

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U.S. Sen. Scott Brown has raised a staggering $14.2 million since the beginning of the year and has a hefty $6 million left in his campaign account as of the start of February, documents show.The $6 million in cash thrusts Brown to the top of the state's congressional...
Thursday, 18 February 2010 09:07 PM
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