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The Big Money Behind Warren and Brown's Mass. Senate Race
Democrat and Harvard law professor Elizabeth Warren won a U.S. Senate seat in Massachusetts on election night Tuesday, thanks to strong financial support from universities and plaintiffs law firms. Her opponent, Republican Senator Scott Brown, received his top campaign contributions from financial institutions.
An analysis by MapLight.org, a non-partisan research group, of campaign finance data from the Federal Election Commission showed that Warren raised over $28 million to Browns nearly $24 million.
The Brown-Warren race exemplified a trend in Senate campaignsmore of the candidates contributions came from out-of-state than from in-state residents, according to MapLight.
Warrens total haul placed her first in donations of all 219 senatorial candidates running in the November 6 election; Brown was a close second.
The totals included individual and PAC contributions, and were based on latest available data from January 1, 2011, to October 21, 2012.
Warren, a former assistant to President Barack Obama, is credited with helping to establish the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Brown is a former Massachusetts state legislator who was chosen in a special election in 2010 to finish the term of the late Democratic Senator Ted Kennedy. He was seeking his first full term in the 2012 election cycle.
Here, according to MapLight, are Warrens top 10 contributors:
Here are Browns top 10 donors:
People deserve to know the truth about whose interests their candidates are really representing, said Daniel Newman, MapLight's president and co-founder, in a statement. Were proud . . . to draw back the curtain on the moneyed influence plaguing our political system.
Another MapLight analysis of the past three election cycles found that 51 percent of all contributions to 180 senatorial campaigns were made by people other than the candidates constituents. The organization presented its data in a report entitled Remote Control 2012 [PDF].
Although many of Warrens top 10 donors were universities based in Massachusetts, nearly 60 percent of her donations and 51 percent of Browns came from outside the state, the study showed. MapLight ranked Warren 26th and Brown 34th in percentage of contributions from out of state.
Ranking first was Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), with over 95 percent of his campaign funds raised elsewhere. Hatch was followed by Senator John Barrasso (R-Wyoming), with 93 percent, and Senator Thomas Carper (D-Delaware), with about 90 percent.
If money is equal to free speech, MapLights Newman said, the rest of the country has a bigger say in selecting your senator than you do.
See also: Tracking Obama and Romney's Top Corporate Contributors, CorpCounsel, October 2012.