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Thursday September 18, 2014
Posted: Jul 16, 2014

Poliquin’s possible momentum, ‘Anonymous Anonymous’ and other tidbits from 2nd District filings

Open Season

In Maine’s 2nd Congressional District race, Democrat Emily Cain raised more money than Republican Bruce Poliquin in the second quarter of 2014, despite having less cash in her campaign coffers.

But a look at the candidates’ filings, due at the Federal Election Commission Tuesday, shows it was Poliquin who had the most late momentum money-wise. After May 21, Cain raised $265,000 to Poliquin’s $296,000. More dramatically, he raised more in the 20 days between the June 10 primary and month’s end than she did from May 21 to June 30.

Poliquin, the former state treasurer from Oakland, is touting that as a sign of momentum over Cain, a state senator from Orono. However, the most remarkable donation in the race went to independent Blaine Richardson, the third candidate in the race to succeed Mike Michaud, who is vacating the 2nd District seat to run for governor.

Richardson, a retired Navy captain from Belfast, raised just $275 in the last quarter. His filing says it came from one donor: “Anonymous Anonymous.”

FEC rules say if one donor contributes more than $200 to a campaign, the campaign must “use its best efforts” to collect and disclose the donor’s name, address, job and employer.

Matt McDonald, Richardson’s campaign manager, said the filing was made in error and will be amended. The money, he said, came from two events where Richardson spoke. Money was collected “like a church offering,” McDonald said, with attendees contributing small amounts of money.

So “Anonymous Anonymous” probably wasn’t as shadowy as it looked on the filing, and donors’ names probably won’t have to be disclosed.

Since the primary, the candidates’ filings show that some top national Republican and Democratic figures and groups have lined up to give the new party nominees money.

In Cain’s filing, notable donors include Jonathan Soros, the son of George Soros, the billionaire business magnate who has given millions to liberal outside spending groups over the years, including more than $1 million during the current election cycle, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. The younger Soros is no slouch, giving more than $1 million to groups and candidates in 2013 alone.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat, also helped Cain with $2,000 from Pelosi’s congressional committee and another $5,000 from her leadership political action committee. Pelosi is often used as a scapegoat for liberal policies by Republicans, and some have said that messaging was a key to Republican electoral success in 2010. In a Wednesday news release, Poliquin’s campaign dubbed her “San Francisco Pelosi.”

Poliquin’s filing shows a $2,600 contribution from the Club for Growth, a conservative group that liberal sources, including Mother Jones and The Center for Media and Democracy, have linked to the Koch brothers, conservative billionaire industrialists who give millions to political groups. Democrats have long campaigned against the Kochs, particularly this year.

He also got a maximum, $2,600 donation from Zoe Cruz, once a titan of Wall Street. She was fired from her position as co-president at financial services giant Morgan Stanley in 2007 after the company saw $3.7 billion in subprime mortgage-related losses. Cruz was the highest-paid corporate woman in America, making $30 million in 2006, according to Fortune. Poliquin is a former New York City investment manager.

Also, Cain got $2,000 each from the congressional committees of Maine’s sitting Democratic U.S. representatives, Michaud and Chellie Pingree. Notably, Poliquin got $2,500 from the National Rifle Association’s political fund. That’s no surprise, but a good sign of donor unity for Poliquin, whose primary opponent, Kevin Raye, got the group’s endorsement in late May.

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