Max Baucus, the former Senate Finance Committee chairman now serving as U.S. ambassador to China, sent $475,000 in campaign funds to fellow Senate Democrats six days before he vacated his Senate seat in Montana.
The Jan. 31 donation from Baucus’s campaign committee helped the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee raise $6.6 million last month, compared with $4.6 million for the National Republican Senatorial Committee, according to reports the two groups filed last week to the Senate public records office.
The DSCC is leading the Democratic defense of 21 seats in the November elections, including one in Montana, where former Lt. Gov. John Walsh is seeking a full term after Gov. Steve Bullock appointed him earlier this month to replace Baucus. The Montana seat is among six in states where Democrats are defending Senate seats and President Barack Obama lost by more than 13 percentage points in the 2012 election.
Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon, who succeeded Baucus as leader of the tax-writing Finance panel, sent $75,000 to the DSCC on Jan. 31. Members of Congress may transfer campaign funds in unlimited amounts to national party committees such as the DSCC and NRSC.
Former Louisiana Sen. John Breaux, a lobbyist with Patton Boggs, sent $32,400 to the DSCC last month.
Billionaire Steve Ballmer, former chief executive officer of Microsoft Corp., and lobbyist Anthony Podesta each gave $30,000 to the DSCC.
Republican Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina sent $50,000 in campaign funds to the NRSC.
Publisher Richard Mellon Scaife and John F. Megrue Jr., chairman of Apax Partners U.S., were among those giving $32,400 to the NRSC last month.