Gaunce, King, Otten: Some highlights from campaign fundraising reports

The latest campaign finance numbers are trickling in for candidates in Maine’s U.S. Senate and House races. Reports were due to the Federal Election Commission on Thursday.

The primary story line on the Senate side is that former Gov. Angus King appears to have opened a fundraising lead in the race among all candidates for the pre-primary filing period that began April 1 and ended May 23, raising $295,000.

On the Republican side, it looks like State Treasurer Bruce Poliquin has the fundraising lead over his five rivals vying to take on King in the general election. Poliquin’s campaign said it raised $229,000 between April 1 and May 23. The campaign didn’t release the full FEC filing and it’s still not available on the FEC website, however, leaving us to wonder how much Poliquin contributed to his own campaign. During his 2010 run for governor, Poliquin kicked in nearly $300,000 of the $754,000 he raised.

On the Democratic side, the only number I’ve gotten so far is from former Secretary of State Matt Dunlap’s campaign, which says it’s raised about $99,000 to date. That means Dunlap added $59,000 to his war chest during the past two months.

A couple tidbits of interest from the filings available:

  • Earlier this week, Republican Rick Bennett’s campaign touted the support of Charles Gaunce, owner of Central Maine Motors in Waterville and a prominent LePage supporter (he hosted LePage’s victory rally at his auto dealership). It turns out, Gaunce contributed $1,000 to one of Bennett’s rivals — Secretary of State Charlie Summers — in early May, according to Summers’ filing with FEC.
  • Of King’s $295,000 in contributions, $8,000 came from political action committees, not individuals. Of that amount, $5,000 came from Google’s political action committee, Google NetPAC. According to its website, Google NetPAC supports “federal officeholders and candidates who share Google’s goal of promoting the Internet as a free and open platform for communication and innovation, to the benefit of our users.”
  • Other King contributions from PACs include: $1,165 from the Council for a Livable World Candidate Fund, a group that supports mostly Democrats and favors “reducing the danger of nuclear weapons and increasing national security;” $1,000 from timber giant Plum Creek’s Good Government Fund; and $500 from Politics 180, a Massachusetts-based group that wants to “tone down the partisanship in politics.”
  • On the spending side, King’s campaign finance filing shows he has contracted with Edie Smith for some political and field management consulting. Smith managed Les Otten’s 2010 campaign for governor. Otten, meanwhile, has endorsed Republican William Schneider and given the attorney general’s campaign $2,500.