Republican senators take notice when one of their own gets a serious primary challenge. That’s the lesson to learn from Sen. Mike Enzi’s (R-Wyo.) recent campaign finance report, which is chock full of contributions from Enzi’s Senate colleagues, both past and present.
Enzi collected more than $150,000 from fellow senators between July 1 and Sept. 30, according to the report filed with the Federal Election Commission. That was about one-sixth of the $847,646 Enzi took in during the third quarter of the year. This year, Enzi has collected $207,500 from his colleagues.
A total of 29 sitting senators gave to the Wyoming Republican through their political action committees, the report shows. Those senators run the gamut from leadership to back-benchers, from moderates to conservatives and from old bulls and young pups.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell wrote two $5,000 checks; Sens. John Cornyn (R-Tex.) and Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) gave $5,000 apiece. So did Sens. Dan Coats (R-Ind.), Dean Heller (R-Nev.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Thad Cochran (R-Miss.). Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.), John Thune (R-S.D.) and Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) all kicked in $10,000 total.
Enzi’s rival in next year’s Republican primary, Liz Cheney, has criticized the senator for taking money from “liberal” Republicans like McCain. She didn’t bother to mention Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), whose Reinventing a New Direction PAC gave Enzi $5,000 on Sept. 30, or Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), whose Citizens for Prosperity in America Today PAC chipped in $10,000 in two $5,000 increments.
Enzi also got contributions from former colleagues Kit Bond (R-Mo.), Judd Gregg (R-N.H.), Dick Lugar (R-Ind.) and George Voinovich (R-Ohio). Maybe those four formed a bond with Enzi over their experiences as executives: Bond, Gregg and Voinovich all served as governors, while Lugar and Enzi were mayors before coming to the Senate.
About 230 of the 900 contributions Enzi received in the last quarter came from political action committees, including $4,950 from the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action and $5,000 from a PAC operated by the Office of the Commissioner of Major League Baseball. Republican mega-donors Philip and Nancy Anschultz donated $5,200.
Cheney has gotten the bulk of her money, a little over $1 million raised so far, from individual donors. She took one $500 check from One Nation PAC, a conservative group based in Palm Desert, Calif., that gave about $10,000 to Republican candidates last cycle. Cheney also fronted about $33,800 in start-up expenses as she kicked off her campaign. About a quarter of her total contributions came from Wyoming.
Senators whose PACs contributed to Enzi’s campaign:
|Leadership PAC||Affiliated Senator||Amount Given|
|Common Values PAC||Barrasso||$10,000|
|Fund for a Conservative Future||Inhofe||$10,000|
|Fund for America’s Future||Graham||$5,000|
|Responsibility and Freedom Work PAC||Wicker||$7,500|
|Tallatchee Creek PAC||Sessions||$5,000|
|Denali Leadership PAC||Murkowski||$6,000|
|21st Century Majority Fund||Isakson||$5,000|
|Citizens for Prosperity in America Today||Toomey||$10,000|
|Country First PAC||McCain||$10,000|
|Free State PAC||Moran||$5,000|
|Georgians for Isakson||Isakson||$1,000|
|Heartland Values PAC||Thune||$10,000|
|Louisiana Reform PAC||Vitter||$2,500|
|Next Century Fund||Burr||$5,000|
|Rely on Your Beliefs Fund||Blunt||$5,000|
|Republican Majority Fund||Chambliss||$5,000|
|Rock City PAC||Corker||$5,000|
|Senate Victory Fund||Cochran||$5,000|
Former senators who have donated to Enzi’s cause:
|Leadership PAC||Former Senator||Amount Given|
|Ohio USA PAC||Voinovich||$5,000|
|White Mountain PAC||Gregg||$3,000|
|19th Star PAC||Lugar||$2,500|