Susan Collins, Big Money Candidate. Shenna Bellows, Small Money Candidate. Who Wins?
Contribution totals in the Maine Senate race through October 15, 2014 have become available at the Federal Election Commission, and they tell a story of strong contrasts.
Here’s a graphic profile of Democrat Shenna Bellows’ campaign contributors:
And here’s a graphic profile of Republican Susan Collins’ campaign contributors:
Less than 1 in 10 dollars to Shenna Bellows’ campaign came from political action committees and political party machines; more than 4 in 10 dollars to Susan Collins’ campaign came from corporate and party sources. The vast majority of the individual contribution dollars coming to Susan Collins came from people giving $200 or more; FEC data show that the average contribution to Collins was $792. A noticeably larger share of Shenna Bellows’ contribution dollars came from people giving $200 or less; FEC data shows that the average contribution to Bellows was $381, less than half the contribution that Collins earned.
Who are these big donors to Republican Susan Collins? They don’t live in Maine, the state that she is supposed to represent. Collins’ bigger donors come from the centers of power and wealth in this country, centers far outside of Maine.
For example, in this election cycle, 9 people who work for the top lobbying firm in the nation, Patton Boggs, donated funds to Susan Collins. They are:
|BOGGS, THOMAS H JR||$1,000.00|
|GINSBERG, BENJAMIN L||$500.00|
|KENDRICK, MARTHA M||$500|
|RAMIREZ, LILIA L||$250.00|
While Susan Collins raked in 9 donations from the DC giant Patton Boggs, she got no contributions from the town of Pembroke, Maine.
Shenna Bellows received a $50 contribution from Pembroke, Maine, but $50 from Pembroke that can’t compete with all that money from Patton Boggs. Nobody who works for Patton Boggs donated money to Shenna Bellows.
In 2013 and 2014, 60 people working for the lobbying and corporate law firm DLA Piper donated funds to Susan Collins. They are:
|BAMBERGER, DAVID H||$500.00|
|CLARKE, DAVID JR||$500.00|
|CUSACK, JOHN T||$1,000.00|
|FINNERTY, JOSEPH III||$500.00|
|GOLDMAN, EDWARD S||$1,000.00|
|KEITELMAN, JEFFREY R||$1,000.00|
|KLEIN, GARY J||$500.00|
|NOVAK, THEODORE J||$1,000.00|
|RUDNICK, WILLIAM A||$1,000.00|
|SMITH, ROBERT W JR||$500.00|
|SULLIVAN, JOHN L||$500.00|
|SUSLER, DAVID G||$1,000.00|
|WEIL, ANDREW L||$1,000.00|
While Susan Collins raked in 60 donations from the massive DLA Piper firm, she got no contributions from people who work for the Down East Community Hospital in Machias, Maine.
In contrast, Shenna Bellows received one relatively small contribution of $150 from a resident of nearby Jonesboro, Maine who works for the rural Down East Community Hospital. Not one soul who works for DLA Piper funneled money to Shenna Bellows.
Who is Susan Collins going to represent in her next term as a U.S. Senator? The town of Pembroke or the lobbyists at Patton Boggs? The Down East Community Hospital with its small staff and just 25 beds, or the thoroughly staffed corporate firm DLA Piper? When there are battles on Capitol Hill pitting one against the other, who do you think will win?