January 14th, 2010
12:12 PM ET
5 years ago

Big bucks battle in Massachusetts

(CNN) – The political fistfight in Massachusetts to fill the last three years of the late Sen. Ted Kennedy's seat is also turning into a big bucks battle.

With five days left until Bay State residents vote in Tuesday's special election, both sides are publicizing the campaign cash they've raised in the past few days.

A Wednesday on-line fundraising pitch by the late senator's widow, Vicki Kennedy, for the Democratic candidate, Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley, has brought in more than $600,000 as of early Thursday, according to a source close to the campaign.

The campaign of Republican candidate Scott Brown, a state senator, announced Tuesday that a fundraising pitch raised $1.3 million over a 24-hour period.


Coakley has spent $605,000 to air campaign television ads since Friday, according to Evan Tracey, president of Campaign Media Analysis Group and CNN's consultant on political advertising. Brown has spent $550,000 since Christmas. And those figures don't include the massive amount of ad dollars shelled out by national and state political party organizations and independent groups in the past few weeks.

Why the surge in fundraising and spending? Because the Democratic Party's supermajority in the Senate's at stake.

If Brown pulls an upset and defeats Coakley, the Democrats will lose their 60 seat filibuster-proof coalition in the chamber, which could severely threaten their chances of passing a health care reform bill to hand to President Barack Obama for his signature.

Brown is hoping to become the first Massachusetts Republican to win a U.S. Senate seat since 1972. Independent Joseph Kennedy, a third party candidate who is not related to the late senator, is also in the race.

The 77-year-old Kennedy died of brain cancer in August. Democrat Paul Kirk, a long time adviser and friend to Kennedy, is serving as his interim replacement.

Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @psteinhausercnn


Filed under: Massachusetts • Senate Race
soundoff (24 Responses)
  1. Callahan says...God still speaks

    It's not just about the money...people want 'real' representation.

    January 14, 2010 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  2. Adam

    PRAYS for Brown.

    January 14, 2010 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  3. MatthewDetroit

    POOR TEDDY is rolling over in his perverted little coffin....

    Good. The man for the people was a joke.

    Just a rich guy who sheltered his family and his families money from taxes and the real world.

    It is about time that someone for real ran in Mass.

    January 14, 2010 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  4. Jack

    This highlights one of the biggest issues I have with the current election funding; why should money raised by a political party in say, Mississippi or California be allowed to be spent in Massachuetts to elect their senator or congressman? Shouldn't only money raised in Massachuetts by citizens of Massachuetts be used to elect their officials? I certainly don't want my money sent there from Texas. But I suspect that no matter where the money comes from there will be enough to buy the votes needed for the winner.

    January 14, 2010 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  5. Rick McDaniel

    Good luck to Mr. Brown. At least he wasn't the political machine's choice.

    January 14, 2010 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  6. Tom in Delaware

    If you think the Earthquake in Haiti was bad just wait til Scott Brown wins this race!

    January 14, 2010 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  7. Loup Garou 782

    I can think of no better gift than to have the Republican candidate Scott Brown win the vacant seat of Senator Kennedy and finally break the Kennedy's control in the Senate.

    January 14, 2010 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  8. DJ

    CNN,
    It's not Ted Kennedy's seat, It belongs to the poeple of Mass.!!!

    January 14, 2010 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  9. gt

    why donts she use some of that money to help those people in hati .. instead of just thinking about herself...very sad..

    January 14, 2010 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  10. Massachusetts Conservative

    Since comments are closed on the other article (shocking, I know) let me clarify a point or 2 made by Coakley's supporters in the disgusting attack ad.

    Regarding the comment "he will deny emergency contraception for rape victims".

    First...the facts...he voted in support of this bill in the Massachusetts Senate. He did, however, simply ask a question on the Senate floor about CATHOLIC HOSPITALS (yes, private hospitals) being excused from having to provide this and instead giving those hospitals the right to direct these victims to clinics where they could receive the emergency contraception. Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the Separation of Church and State something that Liberals and Democrats are in favor of?

    Second...the other fact...it was Martha Coakley, when serving as District Attorney of Middlesex County, who decided NOT to pursue charges against a former police officer for RAPING a 23-month old child with a curling iron. Her succesor did take up the case and that man is now serving 2-consecutive life-terms for rape of a child.

    Do your own research and debate me if you want. These attack ads are visious lies and mis-represent exactly who the candidates really are. The people of Massachusetts will shock the world on Tuesday. Enough is Enough.

    January 14, 2010 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  11. stevegee

    Hey Democrats, money can't buy lackeyness.

    Donate all you want to Coakley's campaign, but she's going to lose big time! The people of Massachusetts are fed up with Obama, Reid, Pelosi and all the liberal gang in Washington. And so is the rest of America. We don't want Socialism. We want freedom and liberty.

    Go Scott go!

    January 14, 2010 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  12. The Lonely Libertarian of Liverpool NY

    Yup thats right our government representitives bought and paid for by GlobalCorporations.
    Both of these parties are bought and paid for by the Special interest groups, PACs, Unions, Wall Street, banking, global Corporations are all contributing billions to re-election funds that undermine the people's representation.

    January 14, 2010 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  13. Obamashrugged

    The fact that this race is even close, never mind that Brown is probably going to win, is a mandate that the even the People's Republic of Massschusett(e)s are not happy with the performance of The Chosen One and his senate minions.
    And as Brown told Gergen, who should tell his bosses, it's not Ted Kennedy's seat, it is the people of Massachusetts' seat!

    January 14, 2010 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  14. Jane/Seattle

    Isn't this what we can always expect from Capitalism – Competition and MONEY? Elementary! People starve as the rich give some few dollars, pat their guilt trips (EGO) on the back for being so very Christian, then go back to robbing this planet AS MILLIONS SUFFER and DIE IN POVERTY! One could say that earthquakes are an act of GOD, but I don't buy this LIE. The LIEs ARE the Stories men wrote to control the Gullible Who are waiting for the Heaven that we could have NOW if the majority were NOT Buying into the LIES! Maybe these rich folks are just noticing that large members of PLANET EARTH are suffering and dying in a mass Sorrow induced by selfishness and GREED!

    Now what was this about BIG Bucks spent in American Politics? Massachusetts and all the rest...when your gods are found in money, Iguess this IS WHAT you find VALUE in and WHERE YOU PUT IT! Peace

    January 14, 2010 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  15. Kevin in Ohio

    It is time for the conservatives in Massachusetts to be heard. There is more to the state of Massachusetts than the liberal elite of Hyannisport and Martha's Vineyard and the freeloaders of Boston.

    January 14, 2010 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  16. A True Centrist

    As a Massachusetts resident (by the way, that's the correct spelling Martha), this is the first true race I have seen in the state. With that said, I find it very telling that while Scott Brown was in dowtown Boston shaking hands with those passing by, Marth Coakley was in Washington DC at a fundraiser dinner with healthcare lobbyists. Yes, she was collecting money from the same lobbyists she says she is prepared to fight as the junior senator from our state. I also wonder where she has been the past five years when she says there are no terrorists in Afghanistan. Really Martha? I wonder if you could look into the faces of the families that lost loved ones over there and tell them that there are no terrorists. She had this election in the bag and she blew it. Each day that passes, she just opens her mouth and makes it worse. She very well may be the female George Bush.

    January 14, 2010 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  17. James A.

    Donations for these special elections are coming from all over the country. This will not be so much the case come mid-terms.

    January 14, 2010 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  18. aware

    Bring wisdom and sanity back – vote for Scott Brown! :)

    January 14, 2010 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  19. This is not Ted Kennedy's seat......

    as Scott Brown pointed out, it is the people's seat.........and the people (Tea Partiers) are about to take back their government from the Obama socialist establishment........no more back room deals...no more bribes to Senators.....no more ignoring desires of constituents......back to basics...back to the Constitution.....

    January 14, 2010 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  20. John D.

    Scott Brown for US Senate!

    January 14, 2010 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  21. Nathaniel C.

    I find it odd that CNN seems to post links to every "new" video the Democrats release attacking Scott Brown or in support of Martha Coakley, yet they have yet (as far as I've seen) posted any videos produced by Republicans attacking Coakley or in support of Brown. Apparently, to get the Republican side of the story, we must visit "fair and balanced" land.

    January 14, 2010 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  22. this black liberal hates Obama

    I can't believe it. Little unknown Scott Brown is able to raise 1.3 million dollars in just 24 hrs. alone and the worlds most famous political family known as "The Kennedy's were only able to raise about what only less than 700,000 dollars in 2 days?

    Boy it that isn't a total embarassment from the Kennedy's, I don't know what the hell it is.

    January 14, 2010 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  23. Luke

    Martha needs to win.....for the good of MA ad the USA.
    Brown is more than just a step backwards, he is a danger to everything that we in MA hold near and dear to us.

    January 14, 2010 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  24. aneanderthal

    How much have the unions given to Coakley? That would be an interesting story. Unfortunately this is CNN, we will have to watch Fox in order to find out.

    January 14, 2010 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |