ROUNDUP: Collins Continues Relying On Special Interest & Out-Of-State Campaign Cash
With the most recent round of campaign finance reports being released, Senator Susan Collins continues to rely almost exclusively on special interest & out-of-state campaign cash despite having campaigned on limiting out-of-state campaign cash. According to Collins’ Q2 FEC report, 95 percent of donations came from outside of Maine and more money came in from corporate PACs than the entire state of Maine. What’s more, Collins teamed up with one of “Trump’s closest allies” and other Republicans to raise campaign cash - more than $137,000 and $109,000 respectively - raising more than $246,000 and none of it coming from the state of Maine. Furthermore, the Collins-aligned super PAC is also being exclusively funded by out-of-state donors, with only seven people contributing more than $775,000 to it.
- “[O]nly about 5 percent of Collins’ recent haul comes from Maine donors and 95 percent came from out of state”
- “Collins’ report shows a number of donations from corporate PACs”
- “Collins got $353,000 from other committees set up to benefit her and other Republicans running for re-election, including U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina.”
- Collins only received 1% from small-dollar donors and 5% from Mainers: “[O]nly $33,000 from donors who gave $200 or less. Of the rest of her money, $98,000 came from Maine donors.”
- "Roughly $26,000, or a mere 1.3% of her total haul, came from people who gave $200 or less. A whopping 95% of Collins’ remaining contributions came from out-of-state donors, with only about $98,000 given from people in Maine."
- "In the first quarter, between January and March, Collins raised roughly $9,000 in in-state contributions, totaling about 1% of that quarter’s haul."
- "Collins’ willingness to accept these funds has shifted since she first ran for Senate in 1996, when she expressed support for limiting donations from out of state. Asked about Collins’ change of position, Amy Abbott, deputy treasurer of the senator’s campaign committee, told HuffPost in April that 'all serious candidates for federal office in Maine raise a majority of their money out-of-state.'"
- “Collins has also teamed up with South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, a Trump ally, and other groups such as GOP Winning Women to boost her re-election bid. Collins reported $350,000 this spring from such joint fundraising efforts.”
- “[C]ommittees often are created to facilitate one or many major fundraisers, as was the case with the one Graham established earlier this year with U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, another incumbent up for re-election in 2020. … Collins and Graham joined forces so that both lawmakers could attend the same event to save time for the benefit of a major fundraiser who wanted to raise money for both candidates. The pairing makes sense, however, as both candidates played pivotal roles in the confirmation of then-embattled Supreme Court Justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh.”
- “1820 PAC ... was formed earlier this year and has reported over $775,000 in contributions from just seven donors. One of them is Stephen Schwarzman, CEO of The Blackstone Group, an international investment firm. Schwarzman, who has previously supported Collins and given the maximum $5,600 to her 2020 re-election committee, gave $500,000 to the 1820 PAC.”
- “A new Republican super PAC called 1820 PAC is designed to sound like a local affair--1820 was the year that Maine was founded--but its donors, all but one of whom have given five- and six-figure sums, all hail from out of state”
- “The group’s top donor in the second quarter of the year was Stephen Schwarzman, the CEO of investment giant Blackstone. Schwarzman donated $500,000 to 1820 in May, two months after maxing out to Collins’ campaign. Schwarzman has also donated millions of dollars to the Senate Leadership Fund, Republicans’ top Senate super PAC.”
- “Other top donors to 1820 have also helped finance SLF, sister super PAC American Crossroads, and Republican Senate candidates themselves, including Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). They include Dallas real estate investor Harlan Crow, who gave $25,000 to 1820; retired chemical executive Robert Burt, who donated $100,000; and investor Howard Leach, who chipped in another $100,000.”