Republican donors who have provided ample backing to GOP lawmakers, Donald Trump, and a super PAC aligned with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell have found a new fixation: Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona.
Sinema, who raised $1.1 million in the third quarter, apparently thinks she can buy her way to reelection with the backing of corporate America and GOP donors while pissing off those that brung her. Lots of corporate lobbyists from the pharmaceutical and finance sectors took an interest in Sinema, as she and Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia continue to erect roadblocks to President Joe Biden's potentially transformative agenda.
But in many ways, the real eye-poppers are the Sinema benefactors who have spent the past couple of decades primarily backing the GOP's congressional PACs, campaign committees, and/or the presidential elections of Trump.
According to reporting from Mother Jones magazine, they include:
- Stan Hubbard, a Minnesota billionaire and prime backer of the Republican National Committee who supported both Scott Walker and Trump for president, and donated $2,900 to Sinema, the maximum contribution a donor can make to a candidate per election.
- Jimmy Haslam, owner of the Pilot truck stop chain, who along with his wife gave Sinema $2,900 a piece. Over the years, Haslam shoveled at least $425,000 into the Senate Leadership Fund along with maxing out to the GOP's House and Senate campaign arms.
- Marc Rowan, billionaire private equity investor, who along with his wife maxed out to Sinema by each writing two $2,900 checks a piece for a total of $5,800 each (since the primary and general count as separate elections, individuals may give $5,800 per candidate per cycle). Rowan has been a major donor to the Senate Leadership Fund, sometimes writing quarter-million dollar checks. He also backed both Scott Walker's presidential bid and Trump's reelection bid.
- Anthony De Nicola, another private equity investor who has funneled hundreds of thousands to the Senate Leadership Fund and Senate GOP campaign committee, also gave Sinema $2,900.
All of those donations to Sinema were made on either Sept. 29 or 30, presumably after she had adequately proved her obstruction bona fides.
And while it is en vogue these days for lawmakers to tout their homegrown grassroots fundraising and the contributions of low-dollar donors, Politico reports that roughly 90% of Sinema's haul came from outside her state.
But perhaps what is truly amazing about Sinema selling out her party for dollars is just how anemic her fundraising numbers look next to those of her fellow Democratic Arizona senator, Mark Kelly, who amassed $8 million in third-quarter fundraising.
Kelly, who doesn’t accept corporate PAC donations, is facing a tough reelection bid next year while Sinema’s seat isn’t up until 2024. But still, apparently, you don't have to flit off to Paris, gouge your party's agenda, and sell out your voters to reap a windfall in donations and fuel your reelection to office.