Californians have donated more than $13 million to 2020 Senate races in other states

October 30, 20190

Californians don’t have a U.S. Senate race on the poll in 2020, however they’ve donated greater than $13.2 million this year to senators or their challengers throughout the nation, in line with federal fundraising disclosures.

Some candidates, resembling Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Doug Jones (D-Ala.), have raised more cash right here than of their residence states — an indication of California’s deep donor neighborhood and the heightened significance of management of the Senate within the Trump period.

“You can’t just be electing your own senators,” stated Mike Arias, a trial legal professional who donated to a candidate 2,000 miles away from his Los Angeles residence. “You have to realize that, to get things done, you also have to help elect other like-minded senators in other states.”

Arias, 60, donated $500 to Jones’ reelection marketing campaign, and he plans to contribute to Senate candidates in Arizona and Maine.

Democratic candidates obtained greater than $8.6 million from Californians within the first 9 months of 2019, from donors together with Hollywood moguls, Silicon Valley CEOs and extra modest givers. The Occasions calculated California’s function in funding Senate campaigns utilizing information filed with the Federal Election Fee that embody all donations over $200 between Jan. 1 and Sept. 30. Donations underneath $200 will not be itemized, so it’s unimaginable to know which states they got here from based mostly on FEC filings.

(Chris Keller/Los Angeles Occasions)

The state has lengthy been a reliable supply of donations for presidential candidates of each events. President Trump picked up $15 million on a two-day fundraising blitz final month. And there have all the time been Californians who’ve contributed to out-of-state races.

However Democratic fundraisers say their ranks and donations have swelled since Trump’s election. Within the 2018 cycle, donors efficiently targeted on flipping the U.S. Home of Representatives.

“We’re seeing some of that energy now move to the Senate,” stated Andy Spahn, a Los Angeles-based fundraiser who has deep ties to Hollywood donors and is a longtime political advisor to studio mogul Jeffrey Katzenberg.

“There is a very real understanding about the importance of the Senate, particularly as it relates to judicial appointments,” he added. “The next step after covering the presidential bases has been doing everything possible to pick up the three or four Senate seats needed” to finish Republican management of the chamber.

A number of Democratic Senate candidates visited California on fundraising journeys this month, notably to headline an occasion on the Bel-Air residence of Walt Disney Studios Co-chairman Alan Horn and his spouse, Cindy. Donors every spent as much as $25,000 to assist the campaigns of New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, and candidates Jaime Harrison of South Carolina, Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico, Amy McGrath of Kentucky and Mark Kelly of Arizona.

Senate races in Arizona, Colorado, South Carolina, Kentucky and Alabama have obtained probably the most cash from California by means of Sept. 30, greater than $1 million every, in line with FEC information. California is among the many prime 5 donation states for no less than one candidate in 31 of the 35 Senate races on the November 2020 poll.

One instance is Jones, the Alabaman attempting to maintain the Senate seat he received in a 2017 particular election over Roy Moore, a Republican accused of sexual assault and inappropriate habits with ladies.

It was the primary time a Democrat received that seat in a quarter-century, and the occasion is determined to hold onto it in 2020.

Californians have given Jones’ marketing campaign greater than $664,000, probably the most he has raised from any state; his haul from Alabama was greater than $521,000. His 9 GOP rivals have raised greater than $295,000 in California and $2 million in Alabama.

Kelly, a former astronaut, has raised probably the most from Californians — $1.four million — of all of the Senate candidates within the nation. That’s greater than thrice the California donations to his GOP rival, Sen. Martha McSally, who was appointed to fill the seat vacated by the late John McCain. The Arizona race is among the many best within the nation.

Kelly has turn out to be well-known amongst Democratic donors nationwide due to his gun management activism. His spouse, former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), was shot within the head throughout a 2011 assassination try at a meet-and-greet occasion in Tucson. After the assault, which killed six individuals, Giffords and Kelly co-founded an advocacy group named after her.

California resident Janet Wittenberg was taken with Kelly and Giffords when she met them this summer season at a Tucson fundraiser. “I was so impressed by who he was as a human being,” the Walnut Creek retiree recalled.

She has donated greater than $250 to Kelly’s marketing campaign in what she described as “an act of patriotism.”

Wittenberg, 66, stated she believes Republican lawmakers have turn out to be a hazard to democracy in the US.

“This is not even political; it’s about, ‘Do you support the United States and the Constitution or don’t you?’” she stated. “I really think [Arizona is] ready to move over from the dark side to the light, so to help nudge that along is a good thing.”

California donors have given Republican Senate hopefuls greater than $4.6 million.

Graham introduced within the largest share of that determine, which counts donations bigger than $200, elevating extra right here than in his residence state of South Carolina. The senator, who reworked himself from an acerbic Trump critic in 2016 to one of many president’s most vocal defenders, isn’t dealing with a aggressive reelection struggle subsequent yr.

But he raised almost $8.4 million within the first 9 months of this yr — the largest haul of his political profession — and greater than 10% of that got here from Californians.

Graham’s marketing campaign didn’t reply to a request for remark.

A number of of Graham’s donors cited his assist of Trump as motivation to present to his marketing campaign.

“I don’t care where he’s from, he is a stand-up man who is wanting answers [from] the investigators of our wonderful President Trump,” stated Colleen Hugo, 57, of Carpinteria, who donated $200. “I just believe in people who are stand-up human beings trying to fight the good fight for the American people, and Lindsey Graham is one of them.”

Republican Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Cory Gardner of Colorado, who’re dealing with robust races subsequent yr, have additionally obtained vital donations from Californians.

Donors within the state have additionally given greater than $1 million to Democratic candidates vying to unseat Gardner, in line with FEC information. Many top-tier Democrats in that race dropped out after former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper ended his presidential bid in August and determined to run towards Gardner.

Mike Johnston had been a powerful candidate for the seat, and Los Angeles screenwriter John August made a degree of assembly him at an L.A. fundraiser in Might.

August, who was born and raised in Colorado, stated supporting a Democrat who may unseat Gardnerin his residence state was essential each personally and by way of flipping the Senate. He has donated $2,500 to Johnston’s marketing campaign.

However now that Hickenlooper is within the race and Johnston has dropped out, August stated he plans to assist Hickenlooper’s bid.