Kyrsten Sinema raises over $1.5 million in fourth quarter while opposing key pieces of Biden agenda
- Sen. Kyrsten Sinema's campaign raised over $1.5 million toward the end of 2021 as she opposed key elements of her own party's agenda, according to new filings.
- Sinema, like her fellow centrist Democrat Joe Manchin, has resisted important pieces of President Biden's goals, including filibuster reform. She is up for reelection in 2024.
- Sinema's donors in the fourth quarter included wealthy investors who had supported ex-President Donald Trump, including Ken Langone and Nelson Peltz.
Sen. Kyrsten Sinema's campaign raised over $1.5 million toward the end of 2021 as she opposed key elements of her own party's agenda, according to new Federal Election Commission records.
Sinema, who represents Arizona and is up for reelection in 2024, with a possible primary challenge on the way, raised the amount during the October-December period. Her campaign had just over $5.7 million on hand going into the New Year. Her fourth-quarter fundraising haul eclipsed what she pulled in during the previous quarter.
The centrist lawmaker raked in the campaign cash while she fought crucial parts of President Joe Biden's agenda. She has objected to changing the Senate filibuster rule, which would enable Democrats to pass more legislation, and opposed raising some tax rates. Sinema has worked to shrink Biden's climate change and social safety net bill, which has hit a dead end in the Senate. She was also one of eight Senate Democrats who voted against including a $15 minimum wage in the coronavirus relief package. Sinema has said that she supports raising the minimum wage.
Sinema's donors in the fourth quarter included wealthy investors who had supported ex-President Donald Trump.
Home Depot co-founder and billionaire investor Ken Langone donated $5,800. Langone backed Trump in 2016 and supported several of his economic policies.
The Sinema campaign received an identical amount from another billionaire investor, Nelson Peltz, who hosted a 2020 Trump fundraiser at his Florida home. Tickets for the event went up to over $580,000 per couple and was expected to raise $10 million for Trump's then-joint fundraising committee, which also helped raise cash for the Republican National Committee.
Real estate executive Harlan Crow also donated to Sinema's campaign. Crow has given six figure checks to GOP super PACs, including over $500,000 to the Congressional Leadership Fund in 2018.
Sinema also picked up donations from major corporations and business groups including from The Carlyle Group, Gilead Sciences, Microsoft, Cigna and the American Petroleum Institute.
Her separate leadership political action committee, which is called Getting Stuff Done PAC, raised over $470,000 in the second half of 2021, FEC records show. Peltz donated another $5,000 in December to the committee. George Roberts, the co-founder of investment juggernaut KKR and a prolific Republican donor, wrote a check for the same amount a month earlier.
Democratic megadonors also flooded her PAC's account, including Jonathan Gray, the president of private equity giant Blackstone, as did corporations. The committee received $5,000 from Fox Corp. PAC, the political action committee for Fox News' parent company. That donation came in October. The Fox PAC is financed by Rupert Murdoch and his son Lachlan. The elder Murdoch contributed $5,000 to the corporate committee in December.
The Sinema campaign told CNBC after publication that nearly 85% of contributions came from individuals and nearly 75% of contributions were less than $100.
Though Sinema has said she backs the voting rights bills that came before the Senate, she and conservative Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia voted against an effort to change the filibuster rules to pass the elections plans without Republican support. Those votes effectively ended any chance to approve legislation that Democrats argue will boost access to the ballot box.
Manchin has also received a wave of support from wealthy financiers and corporations, including Langone. Manchin's campaign also previously saw contributions from the Fox Corp. PAC.
Manchin's campaign raised a similar amount to Sinema's during the fourth quarter, including nearly $300,000 from executives and companies after he spoke against Biden's $1.75 trillion social and climate spending package known as Build Back Better. Like Sinema, Manchin is not up for reelection until 2024.