WBUR

Why People Around The U.S. Are Giving To Brown And Warren

BOSTON — In the Massachusetts Senate race, Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren is out-fundraising Republican incumbent Sen. Scott Brown.

In this past quarter, she raised $8.5 million and Brown raised about half that amount, according to filings with the Federal Election Commission. While both candidates’ No. 1 source for donations is Massachusetts, Warren draws more itemized contributions from out-of-state donors. Brown has criticized her for this, even though in the special election that put him in office, he raised most of his money from out of state.

Click for a more detailed breakdown of states' contributions to Brown and Warren.

Click for a more detailed breakdown of states’ contributions to Brown and Warren.

Who are these out-of-state contributors, and why are they giving money to Warren and Brown? We randomly selected more than two dozen names of out-of-state state contributors from each candidate’s reports to the FEC. The reports are lists of people giving $200 or more. About a half-dozen supporters of each candidate agreed to talk about why they’re giving money.

First a Warren backer, Emily Lyon, of Albany, Calif., a city near Berkeley: “We need her in the country,” Lyon said.

Warren got the most out-of-state funds from California. Lyon is a clinical psychologist whose reasons for giving were typical of other Warren supporters around the country.

“I know she’s running in Massachusetts, but she’s going to be in the Senate,” Lyon said. “But I don’t think of just California, I think about the whole country.”

Several donors said it’s important Warren make it to the Senate because they want her to run for president.

As for Brown, he collected the most out-of-state contributions from people in New York. Floridians were the second-highest givers, Texas the sixth. In Fort Worth, piano teacher Carol Malone typified the reasons other Brown supporters say they’re giving to him.

“What I really don’t like is his opponent, and I don’t like the left, I don’t like what they stand for, I don’t like how well they are funded, I don’t like anything about the left at all,” Malone said. “And Scott Brown in Massachusetts is the one who is countering the left.”

In the just-released second quarter fundraising numbers, 66 percent of Brown’s donors were from Massachusetts. Sixty percent of Warren’s donors were from outside the state. In addition to California, Warren raised the most money from Virginia and New York.

Brown has made a big deal about this. He criticizes Warren for getting so much from out of state. But her fundraising overall has continued to grow, even in the face of Brown’s criticism of her claiming to be part Native American.

Robin Vaccarino, an 83-year-old sculptor in Studio City, Calif., called that controversy “manufactured criticism.”

“There’s nothing else they can find to attack her with, so they are looking for dumb little things,” Vaccario said. “What difference does that make in terms of the needs of the American public? It’s not essential.”

Other Warren contributors commented on her integrity and dismissed the controversy over her heritage. But several of Brown’s supporters mentioned Warren’s Native American claims as one of the reasons they think she’s not a trustworthy candidate.

“I just think Scott Brown is the more stable of the two and has the more integrity,” said Stephen Kaufman, a lawyer in the Bronx. “And I think that this Warren is just absurd. It’s crazy how she’s behaving; it’s just not acceptable.”

Another New Yorker agrees. John Greenwood lives in Canton, N.Y., which is the extreme northern part of the state.

“I contributed to Scott Brown’s campaign because I am concerned about the direction of the country and want to get as many fiscal conservatives in Washington as we can,” said the dairy farmer.

Many of Brown’s supporters outside Massachusetts said they wished he were more conservative. And a lot of them said they routinely donate to Republican candidates across the country. For the most part, it was the first time Warren’s supporters gave to a candidate outside their state.

Katherine Ross said she did so because she was impressed by Warren and her advocacy for the middle class. Ross is a lawyer in Denver, Colo., and went to Harvard Law School, but never had a class with Warren as the professor.

“I think that what’s she saying is not radical at all,” Ross said. “I think what she’s saying is extremely common sense. And I think she’s extraordinarily good at getting the message across — that this is not a party issue, this is not class warfare, this is simple fairness.”

Even though Warren is raising more money than Brown, she has less in the bank: $13.5 million, to Brown’s about $15.5 million, due to the fact that the he started with more campaign funds. Donations from outside Massachusetts are putting their contest on track to be the most expensive U.S. Senate race in history.

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  • http://twitter.com/Jeanabella Jeanabella

    Brown has no core beliefs except to win the seat again. Forbes: “Brown is Wall St. favorite Congressman” but Wall St. hates E. Warren because she knows them well. Brown just voted against disclosure in senate as all gop did. Shameful! Corporations own these pols who vote against the people they represent.
    The people have a voice but can’t afford to be heard! Bill Moyers said as much recently.
    Citizens United expanded with the filibusterer yesterday in the Senate.

    • Richard Garner

      I am a Democrat and will vote for Ms. Warren.  But why does this commeter have to say that Scott Brown has “no core beliefs”?  That just sounds ridiculous and makes him out to be a sociopath.  This is the type of criticism I dislike immensely, whether from the left or the right.  Both candidates are decent people, most likely (I don’t know either of them).  People hold to different philosophies of government and of governing.  In many instances, neither are right or wrong.  Perhaps one is better or worse, given the time period.  But, attacking people’s integrity and  lack of core beliefs is ridiculous, and not terribly helpful to the continuing political dialogue.

      • Michael Glik

        I
        can not agree with you more!  It seems that even the president
        campaigners do not believe they can get  votes by describing
        their philosophies and started getting to the competition of
        nonsense; like where the cloths are made for different events argument…
         What is worse, is that it seems that American Voters do NOT
        punish anyone for stupidity and lies…   

        I wish there is
        a forum where people like us can discuss the issues… If there is
        one where name-calling is not considered worth of discussion while issues of political science do, such as health-care and bail outs of
        industries by the government, deficit, etc. I really would like to
        read and participate…

        I was absolutely
        shocked last fall listening Justice Antonin Scalia’s explanation of
        the freedom of corporations to spend as much money as they want on
        the political advertisements (to which I am profoundly disagree with)
        BECAUSE he made sense. His question of How would you legally
        differentiate NYT from Citizens United stack to my brain. I am still
        not sure that he was right, but shocked that nowhere in media I read
        real meaningful factual discussion on the topic!

        And here we are:
        instead of discussing the record of Mr. Brown and possible difference
        in the votes between Mr. Brown and Ms. Warren and what would it
        provide for the country and Massachusetts we are discussing where
        they draw support money and in what year and what average donations
        are and what religious affiliations they belong to and all these
        issues which would not bring any explanations or predictions of any
        event.

  • Talldon47

    It is interesting, but not unexpected, that the average donation to Warren is much higher than the average donation to Brown. 

  • Rod

    I live in Salt Lake City, I come from a mormon pioneer family, and I support Elizabeth Warren. One would think that with all the attention SLC is getting (i.e., Today’s article in the NYTimes), that people like me,  more than ever, would be voting for Romney, and supporting Scott Brown, Eric Cantor, et al. Not so, at least for me. I see Elizabeth Brown as a beacon of hope in an otherwise out of control system dominated by one percenters, who are utterly convinced that they can buy anything, including our democracy.

    • M8200n

      Dude – at more than $400,000 per yr as a Harvard professor (and we know that’s really a part time job), she is the 1%

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_LLH7SFRBBDZ54YLFVP6POB6XAI ANNA

         
        ….and yet she advocates for tax policies that require 1%er’s to pay a fair
        share of taxes to the society that enables them to amass such great
        wealth.

      • jim

        and your point? 

        at least she is fighting for the 99%

      • DebV

        These days almost anyone going into politics will be, but she came from a working family, and earned everything she has. More importantly, she has consistently stood for working Americans and their interests. I look forward to her becoming my senator.

  • Steve

    Warren has broad based support and the fund raising shows that.  They have both raised a lot of money from Massachusetts and other states around the country. What is telling is that she is outraising him in Massachusetts and that is where the votes that count are.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_LLH7SFRBBDZ54YLFVP6POB6XAI ANNA

    Stephen Kaufman of NY: You think Warren ‘behaves’ unstably, crazy, absurdly and has less integrity?  And you deem her ‘behavior’ unacceptable?  You’re a male supremacist. Your language is repulsive.
    John Greenwood of NY: You want fiscal conservatives in Washington? Then you need to support Warren, not Brown. There is nothing fiscally conservative about the Republican agenda, past or present. If there were, we wouldn’t be in the financial situation we are in.

  • M8200n

    I would have expected more donations for Warren from Oklahoma and other states with a high Cherokee population  :-)

  • Gardenia

    Elizabeth Warren is far more capable and intelligent than Scott Brown.  I want her to win! Not the pretty boy Scott Brown whose claim to fame is that he used to pose NUDE for Cosmopolitan Magazine.  He may be “cute” but he is not capable of taking Ted Kennedy’s place.  She is a brilliant thinker.

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