donors

Grasswho? Members raised hundreds of thousands, almost none from small donors
Democrats tout small-dollar contributions as grassroots support, but several raised less than $400 that way

House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer, D-Md., received less than $200 in donations too small to require the donor’s name to be disclosed, a metric some tout as an indicator of grassroots support. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democrats have long touted the importance of raising small amounts of money from a large number of donors as a sign of political strength on the campaign trail and in Congress.

But recent campaign finance disclosures show some lawmakers — from both parties — raised next to no money from so-called small donors in the first three months of 2019 for their campaign accounts. The names of contributors giving less than $200 in the aggregate do not have to be included in reports to the Federal Election Commission, but the total received from all those “unitemized” contributions is disclosed.

Democratic female freshmen signal Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez doesn’t represent them
Democrats with military, CIA backgrounds unite to fundraise for each other

Democratic House freshmen banding together to help each other raise money to keep their seats in 2020 are, from left, Reps. Mikie Sherrill, Abigail Spanberger, Elissa Slotkin, and Chrissy Houlahan, along with Rep. Elaine Luria. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Five freshman Democratic women in the House want the world to know that the newcomers receiving the most attention so far in the 116th Congress aren’t reflective of the women who ran and won in tough districts last fall.

At an event to tout their formation of a joint fundraising committee to tap each other’s donors (and hopefully bring in more), the five, all with military or intelligence backgrounds, never mentioned New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez by name.

Will the ‘bathroom bill’ animate yet another North Carolina election?
Dan Bishop may be on track to avoid a runoff in 9th District GOP primary

As 10 Republicans battle for the nomination in next week's primary for the vacant seat in North Carolina's 9th District, Democrat Dan McCready has had no opposition and used potential opponent Dan Bishop’s legislative record to raise money. (Jeff Siner/The Charlotte Observer/AP file photo)

The email from Dan McCready was telling.

The North Carolina Democrat, who’s amassed more than $2.6 million for a redo election in the 9th District, was fundraising off a poll that showed state Sen. Dan Bishop leading the 10-person Republican field for next Tuesday’s primary. 

Report: Anti-Muslim groups funded by some mainstream philanthropies
Council on American-Islamic Relations report peels back donations to ‘fringe’ groups

Frank Gaffney, president, Center for Security Policy, identified by CAIR as an anti-Muslim hate group, testifies at a House Armed Services Committee hearing in 2006. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Politically active organizations known for stoking anti-Muslim animus and advocating policies that restrict the civil liberties of Muslims have gotten millions in contributions from mainstream philanthropic institutions, according to a new report from a Muslim civil rights organization.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations tracked contributions over a two year period to 39 organizations it identifies as anti-Muslim hate groups and uncovered donations from pillars of U.S. philanthropy.

Mark Kelly’s fundraising highlights limits of ‘no corporate PAC’ pledge
Campaign accepted thousands from corporate CEOs, presidents and lobbyists

Democrat Mark Kelly is running for Senate in Arizona. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

When he launched his campaign for Senate, Arizona Democrat and former astronaut Mark Kelly said corporate money “poisons our democracy” and he would not accept corporate PAC contributions.

But Kelly’s campaign accepted thousands of dollars from business executives and lobbyists during the first three months of the year, raising questions about how “no corporate PAC” pledge candidates can actually separate themselves from special interests.

K Street gets behind Mayor Pete Buttigieg
In contrast to some 2020 rivals, Indiana mayor takes a tamer tone on anti-lobbyist rhetoric

South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg has struck a tamer tone on anti-lobbyist rhetoric compared to some of his rivals for the 2020 Democratic nomination. (Scott Eisen/Getty Images)

A collection of prominent K Street insiders has jumped behind the Pete Buttigieg campaign, helping the South Bend, Indiana, mayor’s bid in the Democratic 2020 presidential contest with fundraising and strategy.

It’s striking that longtime federal lobbyists, policy strategists and message makers are gravitating to the D.C. outsider’s campaign given the long list of sitting lawmakers who are also running. K Street denizens, though they often bring with them the baggage of working on behalf of corporate interests, offer campaigns a network of donors and fundraising expertise as well as policy chops and sway on Capitol Hill.

GOP Rep. Spano got just $1 in grassroots donations
Freshman Rep. Ross Spano has been beleaguered by ethical questions since before his swearing-in

Reps. Ross Spano, R-Fla., raised almost nothing from small dollar donors in the first quarter of the year. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Ross Spano collected just one dollar in grassroots donations in the first quarter of the year.

The Florida Republican received just one unitemized contribution of less than $200 — a single donation of $1 — his latest filing to the Federal Election Commission shows. 

No letup in congressional fundraising after ‘green wave’ election
Retirement-watch Republicans and no-corporate-PAC Democrats both stepped up

California Rep. Josh Harder, a freshman Democrat, raised the most money of all the Democrats the NRCC is targeting in 2020. (D.A. Banks/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The race for the White House is already dominating headlines, but new campaign finance disclosures show donors in both parties are also opening their wallets to renew the fight to control the House in 2020.

Presidential campaign years tend to boost fundraising for down-ballot candidates, and early fundraising reports show 2020 is no exception.

Your email address could be worth $8 to a political campaign
With emphasis on small donors, Democrats are under pressure to grow email lists

Presidential candidate and former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke, seen here at an Austin rally for his 2018 Senate race, has spent more than $8.6 million on Facebook ads over the last year. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

With Democrats up and down the ballot eschewing corporate PAC money, and the Democratic National Committee setting a grassroots fundraising threshold to get onto the presidential debate stage, connecting with small donors is more important than ever. 

Email remains one of the best ways to do that, and with the emphasis on small donors, Democratic candidates are under even more pressure to grow their distribution lists.

Only 13 Mainers gave $200 or more to Susan Collins in latest quarter
Four-term GOP senator is likely facing her most competitive re-election next year

Maine Sen. Susan Collins is likely facing her most competitive re-election in 2020, but Democrats don’t have a candidate in the race yet. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Maine Sen. Susan Collins, one of the most vulnerable Republican senators in 2020, raised more than $1.1 million in itemized contributions during the first three months of the year. But less than 1 percent of that money came from her home state.

Collins raised $9,200 from 17 itemized donations from Maine during the first three months of 2019. Those came from 15 Pine Tree State residents. Thirteen Mainers gave $200 or more this quarter, while two gave less than $200 this quarter but have given more than $200 to Collins in the aggregate.