Financial reports show divide in GOP over Mississippi’s U.S. Senate race


COUNT IT UP: Outside sources contributed heavily to U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran’s re-election campaign in Mississippi.

By Steve Wilson | Mississippi Watchdog

Campaign finance reports filed with the Federal Election Commission for Mississippi’s U.S. Senate race show a stark divide between the tea party and GOP establishment.

Six-term incumbent U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran, who won the runoff by 7,667 votes, received more than $4 million in contributions, with 54 percent of that coming from individual contributors. Cochran raised more than $4 million for his campaign, and $1.6 million of that came from political action committees.

MONIED UP: Six-term U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran got plenty of money from outside sources to finance what was a bruising primary.

The individuals who contributed at least $2,400 apiece included some of Mississippi’s heaviest hitters in GOP circles:

  • Haley Barbour former governor and now a D.C.-based lobbyist gave a total of $5,200 in three different transactions
  • Delbert Hosemann, secretary of state, contributed $2,600

Native American tribes outside Mississippi also contributed heavily to Cochran’s campaign, including:

  • The Poarch Band of Creek Indians in Alabama, which gave $2,400, $2,000 and $200 apiece in separate contributions.
  • The Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma gave $2,500 in two contributions
  • The Pechanga Band of Mission Indians of California gave $2,600
  • The Gila River Indian Community of Arizona gave $2,600
  • The Seneca Nation of New York gave $1,000
  • The Biloxi Tribe of Marksville, La. gave $1,000
  • The AK-Chin Indian Community of Arizona gave $1,000

Individual contributions from business interests from outside Mississippi:

  • Four executives from unmanned aerial vehicle producer General Atomics gave a total of $20,800
  • Fifteen executives from defense contractor Northrop Grumman gave a total of $15,500
  • Fourteen executives from the Washington, D.C., based lobbying firm the Podesta Group gave a total of $14,800
  • Seven executives from Boeing gave a total of $6,300
  • Sean Parker, founder of Napster and former president of Facebook, gave $2,600 apiece in two separate entries
  • Two executives from security company Aegis gave a total of $5,000
  • Three executives from the Airbus Group gave a total of $4,600
  • Three executives from Huntington Ingalls gave a total of $3,500
  • James C. France, former NASCAR executive and CEO of the Daytona Beach, Fla.-based International Speedway Corporation, gave $1,000

McDaniel, who might challenge the race’s result, received more than 89 percent of his contributions from individuals and raised more than $1.5 million. The Club for Growth and Sarah Pac, former Alaska governor and vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin’s political action committee, contributed $10,000 and $5,000, respectively.

Get regular updates on Mississippi through our Facebook or Twitter accounts