“Best fundraising periods ever,” that’s how the Denver Post described the $2 million raised by U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet in the first quarter of the year, the official kick-off to the 2016-election cycle.
It sure sounds like a lot of folks want to help Bennet get reelected. Trouble is, the majority of donors were not even from Colorado, according to his filings with the Federal Election Commission.
Most notably, Bennet’s numbers signal he is severely, grossly, embarrassingly lacking in statewide support.
However, he’s very popular in New York, D.C. and Hollywood.
Additionally, nearly a quarter of all the money he raised came from those repugnant political action committees despised by all Democrats, except those who benefit from the largess.
We also found several controversial donors, money that Bennet might want to reconsider kicking back from where it came. And surprisingly, Bennet got very little love from teacher unions and environmentalists.
Here’s the breakdown:
Bennet raised a total of $2,046,445.
Contributions from political action committees totaled $467,496, but only a miserly $3,500 came from Colorado PACs.
As for individual donors, 782 people were identified has having contributed $1,474,684, and 56 percent of those were from out of state. An additional $104,263 was raised from individual donors, but those people were not identified in the report so we have no clue from where this money came.
Only 360 people from Colorado contributed to Bennet’s “best fundraising periods ever,” and not surprisingly, nearly half of those came from Denver.
This does not come as a great shock. To be fair, Most of the money came from outside of Colorado because that’s where nearly all of Bennet’s fundraising events were held, judging by his catering and liquor bills.
Out of 28 catered events at a cost of more than $33,000, we found only six that were held in Denver and Englewood. Greatest number of contributors, 168, came from Denver, second largest number, 29, came from Englewood.
That’s kind of a pathetic showing, Englewood. Hell, even New York had more than 90 contributors to Bennet.
Coming in third place with support for Bennet was Boulder with 19 donors, 18 from Eagle County, and 17 from Greenwood Village. From there on, it just gets kind of sad. He had nine contributors from Castle Rock, seven each in Parker and Colorado Springs, and six each in Lakewood and Fort Collins.
Then, Bennet’s support dwindles to a trickle. These cities had only three to five donors: Pueblo, Littleton, Cherry Hills, Highlands Ranch, Centennial, Evergreen, Golden, Lone Tree, and Pitkin County.
Bennet had two donors from the towns of Telluride, Aurora, Longmont, Arvada, Castle Pines, Loveland, Durango and all of Summit County.
And just when we thought it couldn’t get any more pathetic, Bennet roped in only one supporter from the towns of Grand Junction, Erie, Superior, Elizabeth, Lafayette, Estes Park, Broomfield, Las Animas, Keenesburg, Broomfield, Lajunta, Bayfield, Ignacio, Morrison, Monument, Steamboat Springs, Crested Butte, and Lamar.
You know who was happy about Bennet’s reelection campaign? Hollywood. Some major cinematic players kicked in more than $32,000, including $5,400 from Sony CEO Michael Lynton, whose company was greatly embarrassed in the leaked email scandal.
Jeffrey Katzenberg of DreamWorks, a perennial fixture on FEC reports for liberal Democrats, also kicked in $2,700. And then there was “Albert Reiner,” film producer and director at Rob Reiner Productions, he was the lone donor from Steamboat Springs and kicked in a paltry $30.
Some of the notable individual contributors include former Colorado Senator and climate hustler Tim Wirth who donated $1,000, well short of the $5,400 maximum allowed. Thomas Strickland, former Obama administration official with Fish and Wildlife Service, now a lobbyist, kicked in the maximum. Gov. Hickenlooper’s volunteer bike czar Ken Gart contributed the max as did Hick’s ex, Helen Thorpe.
There were a number of controversial contributors to Bennet’s campaign, like anti-gun crusader and Colorado’s chief meddler Michael Bloomberg, who along with his daughter, Emma, kicked in $8,100.
Pat Stryker, Colorado’s millionaire liberal crony who was a principle investor in Abound Solar, also invested $5,400 in Bennet. She’s enough to tarnish his coveted “moderate” label.
Former Enron trader John Arnold of Texas, who is just disgusting beyond words, kicked in the maximum $5,400. Most recently he’s been meddling in “reform” efforts of Colorado’s public employee pensions. Previously, the Arnolds gave generously to the pro-Amendment 66 campaign, a billion dollar tax hike on the middle class, and $150,000 to Mainstream Colorado, which reached a new low by using the murder of Jessica Ridgeway to score political points.
Another controversial figure, hedge fund manager Bill Ackman, donated the maximum $5,400. Ackman’s organization is under federal investigation to determine if he manipulated Herbalife stock by tagging the company as a pyramid scheme. Essentially, he bet that a stock would go down while working to make that happen through his team of political operatives. Meanwhile, the middle class folks who depend on this company for jobs are taking a hit.
Jamie Gorelick, a blast from scandals past, donated $5,400. Americans remember the former Clinton deputy attorney general as the author of the “wall” memo that banned intelligence agencies from talking to each other — also known as the single greatest breakdown in national security that lead to the September 11 terrorist attacks. She also raked in an astounding $26 million as Clinton’s vice chair at Fannie Mae, just prior to the financial crisis that swept the nation. Good times.
Nearly a quarter of Bennet’s fundraising total came from Political Action Committees. The big money contributions came mostly from the effort to resurrect the Democratic Senate majority, also known as fellow Democratic Sens. like Harry Reid, Chuck Schumer, and Elizabeth Warren who each kicked in $10,000.
What we didn’t see much of were the usual suspects like teacher union PACs, although Democrats for Education Reform did make a $190 in-kind contribution. Environmentalists were almost a no-show, with only a $500 contribution from Environment America Voter Action. That was interesting, considering he got $1,000 from Exxon Mobile and $2,000 from British Petroleum.
Bennet did get some old school contributions like $8,000 from Goldman Sachs and $2,500 from Morgan Stanley. The hippest donor was Google with $2,500. Other big donors included $10,000 from a San Francisco law firm, Orrick Herrington and Sutcliff, and $5,000 from Friends of Israel.