California political donors have contributed more than $80,000 to Massachusetts U.S. Senate candidates Scott Brown and Martha Coakley, who are vying today to succeed the late Sen. Ted Kennedy in a race that has become a proxy of support for health care reform and a test of strength for Republicans.
According to data from the Center for Responsive Politics in Washington, D.C., Californians have given more than $75,000 to Coakley’s election bid versus just more than $5,000 for Brown.
The largest share of Coakley’s California fundraising has come from around the Bay Area. Her biggest supporters include prominent fundraiser and Clinton family friend Susie Buell, who is often associated with the liberal Democracy Alliance, a donor group composed largely of wealthy Democrats and trade unions.
Marcia Carsey, of television producers Carsey-Werner Productions; Bay Area attorney Jeffrey Lawrence; and entrepreneur and philanthropist David Bohnett, who co-founded the once-popular online community GeoCities were also among Coakley’s largest Golden State donors.
Brown saw much less support from Californians, with most coming from one donor: Latham & Watkins partner Robert Howard, an attorney based in San Diego.
The magnitude of political fundraising in Massachusetts is much smaller than California’s colossal campaigns. Coakley’s campaign committee brought in $5.2 million as of Dec. 31, while Brown raised about $1.2 million. Combined, that’s less than half of what either Steve Poizner or Meg Whitman have poured into their own gubernatorial campaigns.
Still, with its perceived ramifications on momentum and its potential to upset the Democrats’ filibuster-busting majority in the Senate, Californians have taken a strong interest in how the Massachusetts election turns out, as the San Francisco Chronicle’s political team notes this week.
Check out our full list of California donors to the Massachusetts U.S. Senate race here: