Sen. Patrick Leahy at a fundraiser in fall 2013 at the ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) may be the one flirting with a run for president, but Vermont's senior senator is the one raking in the campaign cash.
During the first three months of 2014, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) raised more than $223,000 between his two campaign accounts, according to documents filed this week with the Federal Election Commission. In that same period, Sanders' campaign accounts brought in $114,00, while Congressman Peter Welch's (D-Vt.) took in nearly $105,000.
Of the three, Sanders is still sitting on the biggest pile of cash. The second-term senator has more than $4 million in his reelection campaign account and another $196,000 in his leadership political action committee, called Progressive Voters of America. If he sits out the 2016 presidential race, Sanders won't face another election until 2018.
In addition to traditional campaign accounts, most members of Congress — including all three members of Vermont's delegation — also operate leadership PACs, which can be used for some political purposes but not for direct campaign expenditures.
Leahy, who's up for reelection in 2016, has more than $1.5 million in his traditional campaign account and another $92,000 in his leadership PAC, called Green Mountain PAC. Welch, who faces reelection this November, has more than $1.4 million in his campaign account and another $44,000 in his leadership PAC, called Maple PAC.
No potential challengers to Welch filed campaign finance reports this quarter.
Unlike Leahy and Welch, Sanders raised the vast majority of his money from individual human beings, not special-interest groups. Sanders raised just $13,500 — less than 12 percent — of his first-quarter cash from PACs. Those included the American Postal Workers Union, the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, UNITE HERE and the National Association of Realtors.
Leahy, on the other hand, raised $92,500 — more than 41 percent — of his donations from corporate and union PACs. And Welch raised $72,250 — a whopping 73 percent — of his money from PACs.
So who's cozying up to Leahy and Welch?
The following donated $2,000 or more to Leahy's reelection campaign or his Green Mountain PAC last quarter:
Akin Gump — $2,000
ASCAP — $2,000
Boeing — $2,500
CBS Corporation — $5,000
Consumer Electronics Association — $2,500
Deloitte — $5,000
Friends of Chris Dodd — $2,000
General Dynamics — $5,000
General Electric — $2,500
Google — $2,500
Hogan Lovells — $2,000
Honeywell International — $2,500
National Cable & Telecommunications Association — $5,000
News America Holdings/FOX — $2,500
Office of the Commissioner of Major League Baseball — $5,000
SAP Software and Solutions — $2,500
Sheet Metal Workers International Association — $5,000
Sony Pictures — $10,000
Time Warner — $5,000
Walt Disney — $5,000
And donating $2,000 or more to Welch's reelection campaign or his Maple PAC last quarter were:
American Optometric Association — $2,500
Committee on Letter Carriers — $2,000
EcoLab — $2,000
General Electric — $4,000
Ingersoll Rand — $2,000
National Association of Postal Supervisors — $2,500
National Association of Realtors — $1,000
National Multi-Housing Council — $2,000
National Rural Electric Cooperative Association — $4,500
Petroleum Marketers Association of America — $2,500
Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors — $3,000
United Technologies — $2,000
U.S. Cellular — $3,000
Verizon — $2,000
Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America — $2,500
Congressional candidates are scheduled to file their next fundraising reports by July 15.
Disclosure: Paul Heintz worked as Peter Welch's communications director from November 2008 to March 2011.