October 25, 2012

Donations to Pingree near $1 million

More than half of the $56,056 raised by the incumbent Democrat in October came from PACs.

By Kevin Miller kmiller@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

WASHINGTON — Democratic U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree reported Thursday that donations to her re-election campaign have almost reached the $1 million mark.

click image to enlarge

Derek Davis/Staff Photographer: Maine Democratic convention at the Augusta Civic Center. Congresswoman Chellie Pingree speaks during the convention. Photographed on Friday, June 1, 2012.

Pingree raised $56,056 from Oct. 1 to Oct. 17, according to a campaign finance report filed Thursday with the Federal Election Commission. For the entire election cycle, Pingree has collected $1,007,261, but she has refunded $13,600 of that amount.

More than half of her October contributions -- $28,900 -- came from political action committees, including several donations by labor union PACs and $5,000 from General Dynamics Corp., which operates the Bath Iron Works shipyard in Pingree's district.

Pingree reported having $173,503 left in her campaign account as of Oct. 17.

State Sen. Jonathan Courtney, Pingree's Republican opponent in the District 1 race, has been trailing well behind the incumbent in fundraising.

The Courtney campaign was still finalizing its latest report to the FEC on Thursday afternoon. But Courtney's total fundraising as of Sept. 30 was $104,562, according to the campaign's last report to the FEC. That total included $67,263 in donations -- the majority from individuals -- during the previous three-month reporting period.

Courtney reported having $27,475 left in his campaign account on Sept. 30.

Courtney, who trails Pingree in the polls as well as in donations, has repeatedly criticized Pingree's campaign fundraising as well as the political involvement of her husband, financier S. Donald Sussman, who is Maine's largest political donor. Sussman is majority share owner of MaineToday Media, which publishes the Portland Press Herald, the Kennebec Journal and the Morning Sentinel.

Earlier this week, Courtney launched a television ad stating that the Democratic incumbent "went to D.C. to take the money out of Washington, but now Pingree is the problem." The ad accuses Pingree and Sussman of spending millions "buying the news media and influencing elections here in Maine."

Washington Bureau Chief Kevin Miller can be contacted at 317-6256 or at:

kmiller@mainetoday.com

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