DENVER – What do Andrew Romanoff (D-Aurora), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and perennial liberal Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) have in common? They all funnel millions of dollars per year through a Democrat-run political action committee. Unlike the others, however, Romanoff claims he does not accept PAC donations in an effort to keep “special interests” out of politics.
But Romanoff accepted $76,764 from a Massachusetts political action committee in August, according to a September 23 report in the Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call.
The September Roll Call report comes on the heels of a similar report in July.
The Observer examined Romanoff’s campaign finance report in August and found that not only was Romanoff accepting PAC money, but the campaign was fundraising high-dollar donations throughout the legal and governmental affairs industry – many of the same people who constitute the bulk of influence-peddling PAC contributions.
Neither Romanoff’s campaign nor the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee responded to a request for comment about the quarterly disclosure.
Massachusetts based PAC ActBlue raised $43 million in 2013, making it one of the largest and most influential Democrat backed organizations in the nation. Since 2004, the online-based fundraising platform has raised and contributed nearly $400 million to candidates, state parties, and political non-profits.
Last year, the group fundraised $136,000,000 from donors across the nation.
According ActBlue’s blog, “[we] sent the money in 200,917 checks. That stacks up to about 629 feet. That’s taller than the Washington monument!”
The organization allows progressive candidates, who may not be able to garner local support for fundraising, to use a national, online platform to attract out-of-state donors.
ActBlue’s website states that since 2004, the top donor states have been California ($76,000,000), New York ($42,000,000), and Massachusetts ($24,000,000).
The group received criticism earlier this year from The Observer because it does not disclose the names, addresses, or occupations of certain donors.
However, according to the group’s blog, that information “is disclosed in a way voters and reporters can access” and “is hardly a corrupting influence.”
Yet, the group does not disclose, nor is it required to, that information to the Federal Election Commission (FEC).
And despite similar criticism from MSNBC’s Chris Matthew’s during the 2010 Senate primary, Romanoff continues to sing his own praises of refusing money from “special interest groups.”
“I hope you’ll continue to contribute your time and your talent and your treasure. Because if a campaign like ours can win a race like this without a dime of special interest money, our victory in itself will send a shock wave to a town that needs one,” Romanoff said on August 24 at his birthday fundraiser.
The former state house speaker and attorney will face Republican incumbent Mike Coffman next November.