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Strange Bedfellows

Republican U.S. Senate hopeful Michael Steele was in Minneapolis Monday morning for a breakfast fundraiser hosted by Sen. Norm Coleman (R-Minn.).

The $1,000-per-person event, hosted by Coleman's NorthStar Leadership PAC, honored Steele and GOP Sen. Conrad Burns (R-Montana). Democrats said they considered it an odd coupling, given remarks that have gotten Burns in hot water in the past, as recounted by the Great Falls Tribune.

Steele's campaign has not responded to a question about a well-publicized 1994 comment by Burns, in which he said it was "a hell of a challenge" to live among so many African Americans in Washington D.C., a remark for which he later apologized.

A more familiar fundraising union is the one that joins Steele to President Bush. In addition to a Steele fundraiser hosted by the president himself, Steele has been honored by Vice President Cheney, Karl Rove, Andrew Card, Marvin Bush, and now, word that former Preisdent George H. W. Bush and Barbara Bush will host a bash for the lieutenant governor.

The presidential parents will host a high dollar event for Steele on May 19 at a private home in Chevy Chase. For Steele supporters, this means a big bundle of cash for the campaign kitty. For his Democratic opponents, it's another chance to tie Steele to an administration that remains unpopular in Maryland.

"Given Michael Steele's support for ..... the entire Bush agenda it's no surprise that the entire Bush family is helping to funnel cash to Steele's campaign," said Oren Shur, a spokesman for U.S. Rep. Benjamin Cardin, one of several Democrats vying for the senate seat that's being vacated by Paul S. Sarbanes.

State GOP spokeswoman Audra Miller fired back, saying that former President Bush will help Steele keep pace with "a long entrenched career politician like Ben Cardin."

By  |  May 9, 2006; 7:27 AM ET
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It would be interesting to see how much of the campaign finance $ is coming from out of state for the various campaigns.

And, for Steele, what share of his money is coming from these big events with national party leaders.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 9, 2006 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Anonymous (is there reason you don't post your name?), it would be interesting to track Ben Cardin's historic reliance on special interest money.

Here's one to chew on. Ben Cardin took over $85,000 from BGE, Constellation, and Florida P&L and their employees. That's nearly triple what anyone else in the state got.

Posted by: Bryan | May 11, 2006 11:23 AM | Report abuse

To be fair to Cardin (and I'm no Cardin fan), he didn't receive any money from those companies. Corporations cannot donate to a candidate. He received money from their employees. Now, it's hard to tell anything without knowing which employees gave. There is a difference between executives who give $2500 donations and low-level employees who may contribute only $200.

Posted by: MK | May 11, 2006 3:45 PM | Report abuse

MK, check the FEC records. This stuff is public record. When you donate to a fed candidate you have to list employer. Anyway, chew on this for a few minutes since you refuse to believe Cardin is a BGE lapdog:

Bge 3/16/98 $1000
Bge 2/17/88 $500
Bge 3/16/98 $500
Bge 3/16/98 $500
Bge 4/29/86 $500
Bge 4/30/96 $500
Bge 9/30/92 $500
Bge 9/18/95 $500
Bge 10/12/93 $500
Bge 11/19/97 $500
Bge 10/12/93 $700
Bge 2/19/98 $1,000
Bge 5/11/94 $1,000
Bge 9/28/90 $1,000
Bge 9/30/96 $1,000
Bge 9/20/91 $1,350
Bge 10/17/89 $1,350
Bge 9/8/87 $1,600
Total 12500

CONSTELLATION 2/15/02 $1,000
CONSTELLATION 3/31/03 $1,000
CONSTELLATION 3/9/2005 $1,000
CONSTELLATION 6/28/01 $1,000
CONSTELLATION 9/9/02 $1,000
CONSTELLATION 9/29/04 $1,000
CONSTELLATION 5/19/04 $1,500
CONSTELLATION 9/22/02 $1,500
CONSTELLATION 10/20/99 $2,000
CONSTELLATION 110/29/03 $2,000
CONSTELLATION 9/21/04 $2,500
CONSTELLATION 6/20/05 $4,000
Total 19,500
FLORIDA P&L 9/21/98 $500
FLORIDA P&L 3/21/02 $1,000
FLORIDA P&L 10/19/04 $1,000
FLORIDA P&L 10/18/99 $1,000
FLORIDA P&L 10/6/00 $1,000
FLORIDA P&L 12/19/05 $1,000

Total 5500

BENDER, EDMUND F BGE 10/28/05 $1,000
BUCHHOLZ, DARLENE BGE 10/28/05 $1,000
BURTON, A C BGE 11/3/05 $500
CASE, MARK BGE 10/28/05 $1,000
DASHBACH, BRIAN C BGE 10/28/05 $250
DE FONTES, KENNETH W BGE 10/28/05 $1,000
FERGUSON, BETTY L BGE 10/28/05 $500
HAHN, ANNE A BGE 10/28/05 $1,000
HUSTON, MARK P BGE 10/28/05 $1,000
MCGOWAN, GEORGE BGE 4/30/86 $500
MCGOWAN, GEORGE V BGE 9/18/87 $1,000
MCGOWAN, GEORGE V BGE 10/30/89 $500
MILLS, JEANNETTE M BGE 10/28/05 $1,000
VALENTI, THOMAS W BGE 10/28/05 $1,000
WOERNER, STEPHEN J BGE 10/28/05 $1,000

Brady, Thomas F Constellation 10/28/05 $1,000
Brooks, Thomas Constellation 10/28/05 $1,000
Burke, John F Constellation 11/3/05 $250
Collins, John R Constellation 10/28/05 $1,000
Cornelius,robert Constellation 10/28/05 $500
Dampsey, Mary E Constellation 11/3/05 $1,000
Dawson, Felix Constellation 10/28/05 $1,500
Duggan, Martha A Constellation 10/28/05 $500
Eudy, W Todd Constellation 11/3/05 $500
Fetlon, Andrew Constellation 10/28/05 $1,000
Gilbert, David Constellation 10/28/05 $1,000
Good, Andrew L Constellation 11/4/05 $500
Heffley, John M Constellation 10/28/05 $500
Hitt, Carrie C Constellation 10/28/05 $1,000
Hyle, Kathleen W Constellation 10/28/05 $500
Jarosinski, Gregory Constellation 10/28/05 $500
Karp, Jordan P Constellation 10/28/05 $500
Kidd, Andrew C Constellation 11/4/05 $1,000
Knoll, Julie S Constellation 10/28/05 $1,000
Long, John T Constellation 10/28/05 $500
Martin, Gregory C Constellation 10/28/05 $1000
Nevins, David Constellation 10/28/05 $1,000
O'connor, Philip R Constellation 10/28/05 $500
Palevich, Clement Constellation 10/28/05 $500
Perlman, Beth Constellation 10/28/05 $1,000
Persky, George E Constellation 11/4/05 $1,000
Reck, Daniel Constellation 11/3/05 $2,100
Rehn, David L Constellation 11/4/05 $1,000
Ruszin, Thomas E Constellation 10/28/05 $1000
Shattuck, Mayo Iii Constellation 10/28/05 $2100
Sierra, Jesus Constellation 10/28/05 $500
Small, Malinda Constellation 10/28/05 $1,000
Smith, E Follin Constellation 10/28/05 $1,000
Stoltz, Edward J Constellation 10/28/05 $1,000
Sutton, Charles Constellation 10/28/05 $500
Tate, Ossle Jr Constellation 10/28/05 $500
Tumage, Joe C Constellation 10/28/05 $1,000
Ugol, Marc Constellation 11/3/05 $1,000
Walkington, James K Constellation 10/28/05 $1,000
Welsh, Charles B Constellation 10/28/05 $500
Yoskowitz, Irving Constellation 11/3/05 $1,000

Posted by: Bryan | May 13, 2006 10:25 AM | Report abuse

And MK, companies could give before campaign finance reform and their pacs most certainly still can--you're not that naive are you?

Posted by: Bryan | May 13, 2006 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Bryan, I am certainly no defender of Cardin. In fact, I think you will see by my comments here that I am a strong supporter of Steele. My comments were simply that you cannot tell that someone is a lapdog of a certain industry by how much money they get from employees of that industry. Your FEC record search is interesting, but I'd prefer to disagree with Cardin's politics rather than question his character.

As far as corporations giving, you are correct that corporations could give to candidates before campaign finance reform. Of course, the campaign finance reform that banned contributions from corporations occurred during Theodore Roosevelt's term. And, of course, company's PACs can give to a candidate, but money from those PACs comes from employees, not from the corporations directly. Individuals, not corporations, give to candidates.

Posted by: MK | May 13, 2006 4:15 PM | Report abuse

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