Although he’s not up for re-election next month, Senator Richard Blumenthal is seeking campaign contributions from supporters to assist other candidates as Democrats look to gain the majority in the U.S. Senate — and using the Kavanaugh confirmation to do it.
In a recent e-mail solicitation for his Nutmeg PAC, Blumenthal pointed to the confirmation process for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh as a reason to give.
“The unacceptable and reprehensible confirmation proceedings for Judge Kavanaugh have thrown one thing into sharp relief: We urgently need to take back the Senate. This November’s elections will matter not only for the next few years, but for decades to come,” he wrote. “I’m doing everything I can in the Senate to fight Trump and the GOP’s extreme, hateful agenda, but frankly, I can’t do it alone.”
Senate Republicans currently hold a 51 to 49 majority. Among the 35 Senate seats on the ballot in November, only a handful are considered to be in serious play.
Blumenthal’s Nutmeg PAC has reported contributing $190,000 to 24 Senate Democratic candidates — more contributions will likely be reported in the coming weeks as third-quarter filings are due at the Federal Election Commission. The PAC has already reached the $10,000 giving limit to five of the vulnerable incumbent Democrats: Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Jon Tester of Montana and Bill Nelson of Florida.
Senator Chris Murphy also has been raising funds through his leadership PAC. MURPH PAC has reported $132,500 in contributions to 21 Senate candidates including $10,000 each for Donnelly, Tester and Nelson. The PAC gave $7,500 to McCaskill and $5,000 to Heitkamp.
Blumenthal and Murphy leadership PACs have also given $7,500 each to Nevada Democrat Jacky Rosen who is challenging Republican incumbent Dean Heller.
Most senators have established political action committees to raise contributions for candidates other than themselves. Senate Democratic PACs have so far reported giving Donnelly’s campaign $462,500 with Tester, Heitkamp and Nelson each getting more than $400,000, according to the campaign finance tracking website Open Secrets.