Progressives Raise Over $100,000 for Warren

Progressives Raise Over $100,000 for Warren

By Caitlin Huey-Burns - August 25, 2011

Elizabeth Warren, though not yet an official U.S. Senate candidate in Massachusetts, has formed an exploratory committee, launched a state "listening tour" and is organizing volunteers. And on Thursday, progressives will deliver her campaign a check for $105,657.

The Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC) has been raising money for the "Draft Elizabeth Warren" fund since the Harvard law professor was passed over by the president to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau she developed (it was clear she wouldn't garner enough Senate votes to be confirmed as director).

In July, the progressive campaign enlisted ActBlue to administer the Warren fund. ActBlue, an online political fundraiser, said the PCCC “shattered all records for the largest and fastest growing draft fund in our history,” raising over $100,000 from 7,000 supporters before Warren launched her exploratory committee last week.

The Washington Post first reported news of the campaign donation.

"Elizabeth Warren is a bold fighter who has already proven that she has what it takes to stand up for regular people against big corporate interests," Stephanie Taylor, co-founder of the PCCC, said in a statement. "This early influx of small-dollar contributions proves that, when she decides to run for Senate and take on Scott Brown and his corporate backers, an unprecedented grassroots army of regular people will be standing with her."

Warren is expected to announce her Senate plans after Labor Day, and she will continue to teach a course at Harvard through the fall. Earlier this month, she enlisted two veterans of Gov. Deval Patrick’s campaign to help her explore a bid. She will join a crowded Democratic primary field, but she is considered a viable match for Brown, who made history two years ago by winning the seat Edward Kennedy held for several decades.

Brown currently sits on a $10 million war chest, and whoever emerges at the Democratic nominee will need to be a competitive fundraiser. The haul from the PCCC certainly helps Warren, but it doesn’t automatically place her ahead of her would-be Democratic rivals in terms of fundraising. For instance, Alan Khazei, founder of the service organization City Year, hauled in $4 million as of June, and has $627,000 on hand.

But Warren may have trouble seeking money beyond her grass-roots supporters. Her reputation as a Wall Street watchdog could deter campaign contributions from the financial community, The Hill reported. This is a donor bloc that, according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics, has given large donations to Brown. 

Caitlin Huey-Burns is a congressional reporter for RealClearPolitics. She can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @CHueyBurnsRCP.

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