January 12th, 2010
01:31 PM ET
4 years ago

Democratic candidate holds DC fundraiser in closing days of campaign

(CNN) – Democratic candidate Martha Coakley is raising money at a high dollar event in Washington Tuesday, one week before Massachusetts voters choose a successor to the late Sen. Edward Kennedy.

Coakley is holding a fundraiser at a Capitol Hill restaurant with top donors asked to raise $10,000. The lowest donation requested is $1,000, according to an invitation for the event obtained by CNN.

A Coakley spokesman said the fundraiser will be attended by members of the Massachusetts congressional delegation and will help the Democratic nominee answer attacks being made by third-party groups and individuals heading into the closing days of the campaign.

"Shadowy outside groups funded in secret by national Republicans with ties to Swift Boaters and the folks who did the Willie Horton ad have flooded Massachusetts with hundreds of thousands of dollars in false smears against Martha Coakley," said spokesman Hari Sevugan, who also serves as spokesman for the Democratic National Committee. "The Coakley campaign is meeting with members of the Massachusetts delegation to have the resources to fight back."

There's an election coming up in just a week. CNN Political Editor Mark Preston and CNN's John Lisk with more:


Follow Mark Preston on Twitter: @prestoncnn


Sevugan would not say how much money the Coakley campaign hoped to raise at the event, or who would be attending other than members of the state congressional delegation.

A recent poll conducted on behalf of The Boston Globe shows that Coakley has a 15-point lead over her Republican opponent Scott Brown. But Democrats, concerned the race is tightening, are taking steps to try to bolster her campaign. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee sent out a fundraising plea Tuesday titled "Dead heat."

"The next five days will decide the fate of Ted Kennedy's seat," Sen. John Kerry, D-Massachusetts, writes in the e-mail. "Do we elect Martha Coakley – who will fight for jobs, our families and our communities as my Massachusetts colleague and the state's first woman senator, or Republican Scott Brown, whose allies in the right wing dream of holding a 'tea party' in Kennedy country?"

The DNC's Sevugan, along with Massachusetts and respected DC-based Democratic operative Michael Meehan, have both been recently dispatched to Massachusetts to help the Coakley campaign.

A spokeswoman for Brown said that his campaign raised $1.3 million Tuesday in an Internet fundraiser. Brown has helped energize the Republican Party, which views this election as a way to stop Democrats from getting President Obama's health care bill approved in Congress. Democrats control the chamber by a 58-40, margin with two independents aligning themselves with the Democratic caucus. These two additional votes provide Democrats with the power to overcome Republican filibusters.

Evan Tracey, president of Campaign Media Analysis Group, said that the candidates and those seeking to influence this election are pouring money into television advertising.

Just in the last week, alone, Tracey estimates that Coakley has spent $310,000 on television ads, while Brown has dedicated $430,000 to TV commercials since Christmas Day. American Future Fund, an outside group opposing Coakley, has spent $160,000 in the past week, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Massachusetts Democratic Party just began airing ads on Tuesday. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee will also be airing television ads in the final stretch.

"The sudden competitiveness of this race is giving us a look ahead at what the 2010 election likely to resemble where money and outside groups will seek to influence races that have both state and national consequences," said Tracey, CNN's consultant on political advertising.


Filed under: Martha Coakley
soundoff (31 Responses)
  1. Dems Hate the Truth

    Here is a list of the lobbyists attending tonight’s Coakley fundraiser and the big drug/medical firms they represent. They all plan to get rich under ObamaCare, and they need Coakley to get it done:

    Thomas Boggs, Patton Boggs: Bristol-Myers Squibb
    Chuck Brain, Capitol Hill Strategies: Amgen, BIO, Merck, PhRMA
    Susan Brophy, Glover Park Group: Blue Cross, Pfizer
    Steven Champlin, Duberstein Group: AHIP, Novartis, Sanofi-Aventis
    Licy Do Canto, Raben Group: Amgen
    Gerald Cassidy, Cassidy & Associates: U. Mass Memorial Health Care
    David Castagnetti, Mehlman, Vogel, Castagnetti: Abbot Labs, AHIP, Astra-Zenaca, General Electric, Humana, Merck, PhRMA.
    Steven Elmendorf, Elmendorf Strategies: Medicines Company, PhRMA, United Health
    Shannon Finley, Capitol Counsel: Amgen, Astra-Zeneca, Blue Cross, GE, PhRMA, Sanofi-Aventis.
    Heather Podesta, Heather Podesta & Partners: Cigna, Eli Lilly, HealthSouth
    Tony Podesta, Podesta Group: Amgen, GE, Merck, Novartis.
    Robert Raben, Raben Group: Amgen, GE.

    If Brown wins, they lose. If Coakley wins, they cash in. Like I said, what else do you need to know?

    Courtesy of Michael Graham

    January 12, 2010 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  2. miken

    when not blaming bush the liberals blame "Shadowy outside groups" – hey how about this... we're just not into you! your ruining our economy and socializing our great country!

    January 12, 2010 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  3. Franky, Land of Lincoln

    I agree, is a blue print to what's going to happen later on. But I will say something.

    I don't live in Massachussets, never been there and never met the people who originate from there but I'm sure is as lovely as any other state in the country. But I find it difficult that advertisements and marketing is gonna influence people's vote. These advertisements are only 10-20 seconds long, is a sublimal message, is a tactic, etc. Advertisements are meant to change attitudes towards a behavior, which in this case, the product. First of all, they don't frame them well and second of all, they don't articulate them as well too. And by the way, that's important. Unless is a 1-2 minute ad then is another story.

    I doubt it will have any impact, people want questions or answers or solutions. Not dough influencing their own attitudes. Want some evidence? Then stop wasting money on people who don't deserve it, then ads may be as importanrt.

    My representative came over here by the hood, Dan Burke. I even talked to him about the issues, problems, etc that plague my city. I gave him props, it means a lot, it does. I gave him props because he had time and effort to come over here and talk to the neighbors who are having trouble. And yes, that's a true story. And no question he's gonna take the election against "Chuy." By the way, we know who Chuy is but he's the underdog here(a big one too).

    It may have been for a short period of time I talked to him but he gave a good impression, that's impression. Self-impression is important you know.

    January 12, 2010 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  4. Mike

    DC fundraiser, I thought she was running for the Senate seat in Massachusetts? Enough of career politicians, time to take back our country.

    Signed,
    Disgruntled Middle American, clinging to my Bible & guns....

    January 12, 2010 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  5. Sniffit

    Nobody buys the crap about Brown not being negative. When people speak for you in a negative manner and you don't make them stop, it's as good as coming out of your own mouth...and if you live in MA, you've seen and heard all the nonsense coming out of Brown's supporters. I guess the most recent round of strategery memos out of the RNC have said "pretend to take the high road while our sponsors and corporate backers do the dirty work." Yep, that sure sounds like the anti-establishment change Brown is claiming to promise....load of chunky political vomit is more like it.

    January 12, 2010 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  6. Karen

    Mark Preston writes:

    The DNC's Sevugan, along with Massachusetts and respected DC-based Democratic operative Michael Meehan, have both been recently dispatched to Massachusetts to help the Coakley campaign.

    Respected DC-based Democratic operative? Who is he respected by, Mr. Preston? You? As a far-left liberal pretending to give an unbias view, you attach an adjective to a political operative - who respects him, not republicans, so it must be you and the liberals!

    More disgraceful partisanship from the radical extremists at CNN

    January 12, 2010 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  7. Mike Syracuse, NY

    Sorry, but as Brown pointed out, it's not Ted Kennedy's seat, or a Democratic seat, it's the people's seat. The people will be heard. Running scared Democrats? Good, this is just a preview of 2010.

    January 12, 2010 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  8. terry,va

    Coakley is an idiot and an Obummie clone plain and simple. The intelligence of MA voters will show up in a few days. I'm not sure which way it will go. Obummie and his higher taxes and wealth redistribution or pull yourself up by your boot straps and contribute or don't complain. There is no such thing as Obummie dollars.

    January 12, 2010 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  9. gt

    use the money and buy a spell check....

    January 12, 2010 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  10. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    "Shadowy outside groups?"

    Are these people really as paranoid as they sound?

    January 12, 2010 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  11. OhioGirl82

    One outside group ran an ad for Scott Brown, and he spoke up and said this should be local.

    Meanwhile, MoveOn.org has been sending emails. SEIU funded a negative push-polling attack via McGuire Research in Colorado. Bill Clinton is coming to town on Friday. And as noted above, a number of national democratic groups have entered the fray. The woman is desperate.

    For the record, at the start of the campaign, Coakley had $7Million. Brown had $250K. Coakley and Brown entered early January with matching bank accounts thanks to Coakley's outrageous spending.

    She will take this same spending approach to Washington we fear.

    January 12, 2010 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  12. HAWK TEXAS

    Why is it that the republicans can never play on a level playing field? is it that they can not run on their merits? like when bush stole the presidency from the american voters. they had to have the consertive side of the supreme court level the field for them. americans should allways remember that you cannot expect a republican to be honest. moderate that cnn. i hardly ever get any thing posted and me a seventy one year old disabled veteran.

    January 12, 2010 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  13. Ken

    With donations between $1K and $10K, it seems rather obvious that the Democrats are the "party of the people". That is, the rich people.

    January 12, 2010 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  14. Dar

    All I can say is a vote for Brown is a vote for freedom. The Dems are and will bankrup the country if we the people dont stop them NOW! Then you will see big goverment like you would have never dreamed of.

    Your rights as you have it now will be gone, taxes will raise beyond all thoughts to pay for the new goverment.

    There is only one country in the world that has the freedom that we currently have and they have a lady standing in a harbor 24/7 that reminds everyone that comes to her shore " WE ARE FREE"

    2010/2012 Change is coming

    January 12, 2010 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  15. Fair is Fair

    Oh, this is funny!!!

    Coakley is getting nervous – and the people of Massachusetts (note the CORRECT spelling) are going to send a loud, unambiguous message.

    "The Shot Heard 'Round the World" – 1774, Lexington and Concord, to the British. 2009 to the Democrat party.

    P.S. to John "Live Shot" Kerry – as Scott Brown eloquently said, it's NOT Ted Kennedy's seat – it's the PEOPLE'S seat.

    January 12, 2010 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  16. Ohio

    This doesn't surprise me. Unfortunatly there are some who will never like President Obama regardless if he accomplishes anything or not. Not everyone is judging him on his deeds.

    January 12, 2010 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  17. southerncousin

    Wouldn't you really think she would want to be closer to her constituents and the voteres rather than hanging out with the left wing nuts and union bosses in Washington. Perhaps she by going to Washington, she really is hanging out with her constituents and voters, the same scum that selected the bozo president we now have.

    January 12, 2010 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  18. Monster Zero

    I'm sure all those special interest lobbyist groups will donate their full pocket full to make sure that tort law reform stays a moot point!

    January 12, 2010 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  19. dave

    re-hashing ....swift boat? Willie Horton????seriously?

    I thought democrats were about change....

    except when they are losing then its cry foul/whine

    January 12, 2010 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  20. Bob in Pa

    The only fundraising allowed should be within the borders of Massachusetts and attended by only people residing in Massachusetts. This type of fund raising makes our representatives more loyal to the donors than to their constituents once elected.

    It's time to take the government back from the few and give it back to the many. Say it with me "Term Limits and Real Campaign Finance REFORM"

    January 12, 2010 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  21. All the news that is fit to omit

    This is the most biased posting CNN has ever put up and you ought to be ashamed.

    This fundraiser you post of BUT DON'T REALLY REPORT ON, is ALL lobbyists from drug companies and well connected hacks.

    Brown raised 1.3 MILLION dollars yesterdayy ONLINE from small donors, where WAS THAT POSTING CNN?

    This Liberal stepford loser is a rubber stamp for all that is wrong in this Country and will only win because she is a woman , a liberal and the SEIU and ACORN are getting involved.

    Time for real change in MASSACHUSETTS – see Martha, I CAN SPELL MY STATE'S NAME.

    Scott Brown for Senate.

    January 12, 2010 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  22. Go Democrats

    I hope she wins. I hope her message is one that will carry on the legacy and the torch of the Lion of the Senate. Massachusetts is a beacon to the world that democracy works.

    January 12, 2010 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  23. Sea.gem

    ooooohhhhhhhhh...conspiracy theories abound..."Shadowy groups".lol...like George Soros and others on the left?...funny how she goes stright for thh national and International money..Dems have no shame in showing they aren't for their home states and are more for winning at all cost!...unless you are from Nebraska..then you just make sure you don't have to pay for any of the waste and trash being proposed by this admininstration.

    January 12, 2010 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  24. Mike

    Does she know how to spell DC?

    January 12, 2010 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  25. Sniffit

    "There is only one country in the world that has the freedom that we currently have "

    Wrong. People in some other countries are, in fact , freer than we are. For example, Canada allows gay marriage. The problem for you guys is that you're unwilling to admit we're falling behind, hardcore, and it's only accelerating as people like you and your GOPer masters fight tooth and nail to maintain the status quo in hopes that it will magically become the 1800s all over again.

    January 12, 2010 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
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