Gates Covers Both Bases in ’14 Races

Bill Gates

Photograph by Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

Bill Gates

Bill Gates sent $15,000 to the political organization of Senate Republicans last month, matching the donation he gave to Senate Democrats in April.

Gates, the world’s richest man, is a frequent donor to federal lawmakers in both parties.

Those giving the maximum $32,400 to the National Republican Senatorial Committee last month included CIT Group CEO John Thain and NASCAR CEO Brian France, according to filings with the Senate public records office. Three members of billionaire Sheldon Adelson’s family also gave $32,400 each to the NRSC; Adelson and his wife Miriam previously maxed out to the NRSC in May.

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee received the maximum $32,400 from Steven Spielberg, whose wife Kate Capshaw matched the amount.

The DSCC led the NRSC by $7.2 million to $6 million in June fundraising and by $30.5 million to $24.6 million in cash-on-hand. Democrats are the defending party in 21 of the 36 Senate elections, including seven that President Barack Obama lost in the 2012 election.

The DSCC sent the maximum $45,400 donation to Sens. John Walsh of Montana and Mary Landrieu of Louisiana and candidates Natalie Tennant in West Virginia and Bruce Braley in Iowa. Republicans are making determined efforts to win those Democratic-held seats as they seek to overturn the Democrats’ 55-45 Senate majority.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee “maxed out” last month to Joni Ernst in Iowa and Ed Gillespie in Virginia.

Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama sent $100,000 in campaign funds to the NRSC, while Sens. Bill Nelson of Florida and Maria Cantwell of Washington state each sent $100,000 to the DSCC. Senators are permitted to transfer campaign funds to national party committees in unlimited amounts.

The Senate committees are permitted to transfer money to their state affiliates in unlimited amounts. The DSCC sent $1.76 million last month to organizations in 10 states led by Arkansas Democrats, who received about $792,000. Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor faces Republican Rep. Tom Cotton in the Nov. 4 election in a state that President Barack Obama lost by 24 percentage points. The DSCC plans to send tens of millions of dollars to states with competitive Senate races to boost voter mobilization efforts in a lower-turnout midterm election.


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