Maine Citizens for Clean Elections this week released the second report in the group’s Money in Politics series. The newest installment, “The Leader Board: Maine’s Top Legislative Fundraisers and How They Earned Their Spots,” takes a look at Maine legislative candidates who have run privately funded campaigns, how much they raised and their funding sources.
The “Leader Board” lists the 10 candidates who raised the most private money for their campaigns between 2002 and 2012. The candidates decided against funding their campaigns with public Maine Clean Election Act funds.
The first installment in the Money in Politics series looked at special interest money raised by legislators’ political action committees.
According to Maine Citizens for Clean Elections, the Leader Board is as follows:
- John Linnehan, Republican of Ellsworth: Raised $225,566 for an unsuccessful state Senate bid in 2004 against former Sen. Dennis Damon. Linnehan, whose campaign was almost 90 percent self-funded, is the only candidate to raise more than $200,000 for a legislative bid since the Maine Ethics Commission began keeping electronic records.
- Paul Tessier, Democrat of Fairfield: Raised $108,477 for an unsuccessful 2002 Senate primary. More than 80 percent of that sum was Tessier’s money. Tessier, who served in the House from 1996 to 2002, waged three other campaigns with Clean Elections funding and one other privately funded bid for the House in 2010.
- Christopher Hall, Democrat of Bristol: Raised $106,415 for two Senate bids in 2002 and 2004. Maine Citizens for Clean Elections describes his fundraising approach as “balanced,” with 509 contributors.
- Bill Diamond, Democrat of Windham: The current state senator and former Secretary of State raised $100,599 between 2002 and 2012 for four Senate campaigns. Maine Citizens for Clean Elections also calls his fundraising approach balanced, with 508 contributors.
- Nancy Sullivan, Democrat of Biddeford: The current state senator raised $99,601 between 2002 and 2012 for six campaigns — four for the Senate and two for the House. Maine Citizens for Clean Elections says the bulk of her fundraising comes from political action committees and commercial sources.
- Dana Dow, Republican of Waldoboro: The current state representative and former senator raised $83,250 for three campaigns during the 2002-2012 period — two for the Senate and one for the House. He ran as a Clean Elections candidate earlier this year, when he faced Chris Johnson in a special Senate election to fill the seat of Republican David Trahan, who resigned from the Senate to become executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine.
- Dennis Damon, Democrat of Trenton: The former state senator raised $74,713 to fund four state Senate bids. The Maine Citizens for Clean Elections report describes his fundraising approach as “balanced.”
- Debra Plowman, Republican of Hampden: The assistant Senate majority leader raised $70,616 to fund four state Senate bid between 2002 and 2012. Maine Citizens for Clean Elections says the bulk of her fundraising came from political action committees and commercial sources.
- Frank Farrington, Republican of Bangor: The former Bangor mayor raised $63,632 to fund an unsuccessful Senate bid in 2006. Maine Citizens for Clean Elections says Farrington’s fundraising was balanced and emphasized contributions from individuals.
- Gerald Davis, Republican of Falmouth: Davis, who has served in both the House and Senate, raised $59,592 to fund two House campaigns and one Senate race. He ran for the Senate in 2010 as a Clean Elections candidate. The Maine Citizens for Clean Elections report describes Davis’ fundraising style as balanced.
Check out the report for yourself. In addition to descriptions of the top 10 fundraisers, it includes a list of the top 50.