Sinema's $1.6M Q4 Haul Is Feeling Some GOP Love

Ariz. senator sees donations from Fox News PAC, Republican 'whale' to her campaign, separate PAC
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 1, 2022 10:20 AM CST
Sinema Rakes In Cash From Fox News PAC, GOP 'Whale'
Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., speaks on the floor of the US Senate on Jan. 13, 2022.   (Senate Television via AP)

It's no secret that, after bucking her own party on much of President Biden's agenda, Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema is now bringing in cash from major GOP donors as she gears up for a reelection run in 2024. Now we know just how much, thanks to new Federal Election Commission filings documenting the Arizona senator's campaign haul in Q4: $1.6 million, her best quarter for fundraising since she was elected in 2018, per Politico. Much of the money has come from known Republican names—among them, Harlan Crow, once referred to by a GOP operative as "one of the biggest whales in the country" when it comes to his influence in the political sphere, per a 2015 article in the Texas Tribune.

New York Times political reporter Shane Goldmacher notes that Sinema even had to give back an excess of $2,900 to Crow, because he'd already hit the $5,800 limit an individual can give to a candidate in an election cycle. Per CNBC, Sinema also scooped up donations from business entities and corporations like Microsoft, Cigna, Gilead Sciences, and the American Petroleum Institute. Even Fox Corp. PAC, the political action committee for Fox News, forked over $5,000 to Sinema's separate Getting Stuff Done PAC. A Sinema campaign rep says "nearly 85% of contributions came from individuals" and "nearly 75% of contributions were less than $100," per Politico.

Politico notes that while Sinema's record fundraising number is giving her a big boost, there's a "starker reality" underlying it—namely, that Sinema is taking most of that cash in from corporate PACs and big donors, not the Democratic grassroots movement that's now pretty much ditched her. Only about 2% (roughly $34,000) of what she brought in last quarter to her campaign was "unitemized," meaning made up of small donations of $200 or less from regular folks, per Rolling Stone. Contrast that with the $60,000 to $140,000 she saw from grassroots supporters in various quarters of 2020. Still, with a war chest like the one she's amassing, the magazine thinks she'll be in good shape to take on any progressive Democrat, like Rep. Ruben Gallego, who may try to challenge her in the primaries. (More Kyrsten Sinema stories.)

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