Wealthy, Elites, Contribute to Sen. Udall’s Campaign

April 25, 2014

Actor Chevy Chase, pictured here in the movie “Fletch,” contributed to Sen. Mark Udall’s campaign.

Actor Chevy Chase, pictured here in the movie “Fletch,” contributed to Sen. Mark Udall’s campaign.

WASHINGTON — Ted Turner, George Soros, and Chevy Chase headed an all-star cast of liberal political donors to Sen. Mark Udall’s reelection campaign in the first quarter of the year, according to federal records.

Turner, the founder of the first cable news network CNN, wrote checks to the Colorado Democrat for $2,600, the international financier Soros gave $2,600, and actor Chase who starred in the popular 1985 comedy “Fletch” donated $500.

An A-list of Democrat and liberal Colorado donors also did their part for Udall’s campaign.

Rep. Jared Polis maxed out by writing $5,200 in checks for Udall’s reelection bid, and Fort Collins philanthropist Patricia Stryker gave $5,000. Polis and Stryker were two of the “Gang of Four” wealthy Democrats who helped the party retake control of the state House and state Senate in 2004 for the first time in more than three decades.

Norman Brownstein, a co-founder of the Denver law firm Brownstein, Hyatt, also donated $1,500 to Udall.

Udall’s campaign raised $1.98 million in the first quarter and has $5.9 million cash on hand, according to campaign financial records his treasurer submitted to the Federal Election Commission and the Senate Office of Public Records. Candidates for Congress are required to submit disclosure statements after the end of each quarter of the year.

Interestingly, hundreds of Udall’s donors also contributed to Democratic Senate campaigns in other states.

Udall and his cousin, Sen. Tom Udall of New Mexico, shared 242 donors in common, and Udall shared 238 donors with Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

“The donations of that size are from a fairly elite group of people,” Russ Choma, center spokesman said in an interview Thursday.

The center noted that only 0.02 percent of Americans have donated $2,600 to a federal candidate, political action committee, or party in the 2013-2014 election cycle.

Udall is locked in a tight race with Republican challenger Rep. Cory Gardner for the right to represent Colorado in the U.S. Senate. Underscoring the urgency of the contest, the donations from Turner, Soros, and Stryker were made after Gardner announced his intentions in late February.

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