BOSTON U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s political action committee has reported raising more than half a million dollars in 2013, money she says will go in part to trying to block a Republican takeover of the Senate.
According to documents filed with the Federal Elections Commission, Warren’s PAC for a Level Playing Field took in more than $582,839 in contributions last year.
The PAC doled out $257,000 to other congressional candidates and party committees – including virtually every member of Massachusetts’ all-Democratic congressional delegation.
Warren also donated to other Democratic senators, including Al Franken of Minnesota, Mark Pryor of Arkansas and Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire. Shaheen is facing a possible challenge from former Massachusetts U.S. Sen. Scott Brown, who recently moved to New Hampshire, but hasn’t said whether he’ll run. Warren defeated Brown in 2012.
Warren’s PAC also made donations to other Democratic PACs, including $15,000 to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, $15,000 to a related DSCC fund, and $5,000 to the Massachusetts Democratic State Committee’s federal fund.
Warren’s PAC ended the year with $277,591 left in cash on hand in the account.
Warren has become a darling of the liberal wing of the Democratic Party. That’s reflected in the support for her PAC, which drew contributions from backers in 30 states.
Those supporters include doctors, teachers, CEOs, lawyers, software writers, university professors, nurses and venture capitalists. The donations ranged from $10 to $5,000.
In an email sent out at the end of December, Warren urged supporters to donate to her PAC, pointing to the GOP-run House and saying “we don’t want a gang of extremist Republicans to take control of the Senate too.”
Republicans need a net gain of six seats to grab majority control of the Senate. Democrats have a 55-45 edge but are defending 21 seats this November.
The PAC is separate from Warren’s campaign account, which raised $1,673,060 during 2013 and ended the year with $861,987 left in cash.
Warren, who is beginning her second year in the Senate, has been a fundraising powerhouse. To fuel her 2012 campaign, Warren raised tens of millions of dollars. The election was the most expensive in Massachusetts history.
When she announced the formation of her PAC, Warren said she wanted to support “candidates across the country who believe in consistent accountability, investing in opportunity, and fighting for families and small businesses.”
Warren’s PAC is a defined as a leadership PAC, which many members of Congress form to help support other candidates. Leadership PACs are also helpful in raising a member’s political profile in Congress.
Warren wasn’t the only Massachusetts politician with hefty PAC fundraising in 2013.
Gov. Deval Patrick raised $379,658 for his Together PAC last year. Patrick formed the PAC 2011 to help him campaign for President Barack Obama. He has said he wants to “repurpose” the PAC to focus on “grass-roots, conviction-based politics.”