In First Quarter, Leahy Raises More Campaign Cash Than Sanders | Off Message

In First Quarter, Leahy Raises More Campaign Cash Than Sanders

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Sen. Patrick Leahy and Sen. Bernie Sanders - FILE: MATTHEW THORSEN
  • File: Matthew Thorsen
  • Sen. Patrick Leahy and Sen. Bernie Sanders
Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) appears serious about running for an eighth term. 

Nineteen months before he faces reelection, Vermont's senior senator on Wednesday reported raising $416,000 in the first quarter of the year. That's more than he's taken in since the July 2010 reporting period, shortly before his last reelection. 

It's also more than Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), a potential presidential candidate, raised. Sanders accepted $241,000 last quarter, he reported Wednesday to the Federal Election Commission. That's not exactly chump change for a guy who doesn't face reelection until 2018, but it's less than the $719,000 he raised in the quarter ending last June.

The third member of Vermont's congressional delegation, Congressman Peter Welch (D-Vt.), took in just $37,530 last quarter. 

All of these figures come with an important caveat: They cover only the congressmen's reelection campaign accounts. All three control separate political action committees through which they also raise and spend money, but reports for those entities aren't due until July. 

That's particularly relevant in the case of Sanders, who appears to be financing his pre-presidential campaign activities through his Progressive Voters of America PAC. Sanders said Sunday that he'll decide whether to run for president by the end of the month. His campaign staff announced Wednesday that he will attend a house party in New Hampshire this weekend.

Though he lagged Leahy in fundraising last quarter, Sanders still has the most money in his campaign account: $4.6 million. Welch has $1.7 million cash-on-hand, while Leahy has $1.6 million.

As usual, Leahy and Welch collected a significant amount of money from corporate and union political action committees. More than 97 percent of Welch's contributions, or $36,500, came from PACs. Only seven real human beings, just two of them Vermonters, donated to his campaign. 

Nearly 44 percent of Leahy's money, or $182,000, came from PACs. Sanders, who does not accept contributions from corporate entities, took $13,230 from union PACs — just 5 percent of his total haul. 

PACs contributing at least $2,000 to Welch included:

  • Action Committee for Rural Electrification ($2,000)
  • Home Depot, Inc. ($5,000)
  • National Chicken Council ($2,500)
  • National Postal Mail Handlers ($2,000)
  • Petroleum Marketers Association of America Small Business Committee ($5,000)
  • Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America ($2,500)
PACs contributing at least $2,000 to Leahy included:

  • A New Direction ($2,500)
  • Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Field ($5,200)
  • Alexion ($2,500)
  • Alkermes, Inc. ($2,500)
  • Alston & Bird ($5,000)
  • America Works ($2,500)
  • AVMA ($2,000)
  • Baker & Hostetler ($2,500)
  • Blue Hen ($2,500)
  • Boeing ($6,000)
  • Cisco Systems ($2,500)
  • Clear Channel Communications, Inc. ($5,000)
  • Common Ground ($5,000)
  • Common Sense Colorado ($5,000)
  • Covington & Burling ($5,000)
  • Dakota Prairie ($5,000)
  • EBAY Committee for Responsible Internet Commerce ($2,500)
  • Empire ($10,000)
  • Employees of Northrop Grumman ($2,700)
  • Facebook, Inc. ($2,500)
  • Forward Together ($5,000)
  • Google Netpac ($2,500)
  • Great Lakes ($2,500)
  • Gridiron ($2,500)
  • Holding Onto Oregon's Priorities ($5,000)
  • Honeywell International ($2,500)
  • Keystone America ($2,500)
  • King & Spaulding Nonpartisan Committee for Good Government ($2,500)
  • MAPLE ($5,400)
  • Mortgage Bankers Association ($2,500)
  • Narragansett Bay ($2,000)
  • National Association of Broadcasters ($3,500)
  • Netflix, Inc. ($5,200)
  • News America Holdings, Inc — Fox ($3,000)
  • Nutmeg ($5,000)
  • Oracle America, Inc. ($2,500)
  • PAC for a Level Playing Field ($5,000)
  • Searchlight Leadership ($5,000)
  • Sidley Austin Good Government Fund ($2,500)
  • Treasure State ($2,000)
  • United Technologies ($2,500)
  • Universal Music Group ($2,500)
  • Welch for Congress ($4,000)
PACs contributing at least $2,000 to Sanders included:

  • Amalgamated Transit Union COPE ($2,000)
  • Committee on Letter Carriers Political Education ($2,000)
  • National League of Postmasters of the US ($2,500)
Disclosure: Paul Heintz worked as Peter Welch's communications director from November 2008 to March 2011.


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