Fundraising increased for Republicans who wanted to overturn the election

0
9

WASHINGTON – Republicans who most urged their supporters to come to Washington on January 6 to try to reverse the loss of President Donald J. Trump, pushing to call off the election and stoking the grievances that sparked the deadly riot on Capitol Hill, have benefited greatly in its aftermath, according to new campaign data.

Senators Josh Hawley of Missouri and Ted Cruz of Texas, who led the challenges of President Biden’s victory in their chambers, each brought in more than $ 3 million in campaign donations in the three months since the January 6 attack on the Capitol.

Republican Georgian Rep. Marjorie Taylor Green, who called the rampage a “1776 moment” and was then stripped of her powers on the committee for espousing sectarian conspiracy theories and endorsing political violence, raised $ 3.2 million dollars – far more than Rep. Kevin McCarthy, the Minority Leader, and almost every other member of the House leadership.

New York Times analysis of the latest Federal Election Commission revelations shows how leaders of the effort to overturn Mr. Biden’s election victory have capitalized on their supporters’ outrage to raise huge sums of money for the campaign. Far from being punished for encouraging the protest that has turned deadly, they thrived in a system that often rewards the loudest and most extreme voices, using the fury around the riot to build their political brands.

“The scandalizing machine is powerful in eliciting political contributions,” said Carlos Curbelo, a former Republican congressman from Florida.

Shortly after the storming of Capitol Hill, some big business and political action committees pledged to cut support for Republicans who had stoked the flames of anger and conspiracy that resulted in violence. But any return of financial strength from U.S. businesses appears to have been overshadowed by a flood of cash from other neighborhoods.

Rep. Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina, a rookie who urged supporters to “lightly threaten” Republican lawmakers to get them to challenge the election results, has raised more than $ 1 million. Representative Lauren Boebert of Colorado – who, like Ms. Greene, likened January 6 to the American Revolution – took in nearly $ 750,000.

ALSO READ  Shades of 2016: Republicans remain silent on Trump, hoping he disappears

The monies reflect an emerging incentive structure in Washington, where the biggest provocateurs can turn their notoriety into successes from small donors who can help them gain visibility. It also illustrates the appetite of a Republican electoral base that has endorsed Mr. Trump’s false allegations of widespread voter fraud and is eager to reward those who worked to undermine the outcome of a free and fair election.

Most of the dozens of companies that pledged to cut any Republican backing the overthrow of the election kept that promise, withholding donations from political action committees in the last quarter. But for the loudest voices on Capitol Hill, that didn’t matter, as a strong base of pro-Trump donors rallied behind them and more than made up for the shortfall.

“We are really seeing the emergence of small donors within the Republican Party,” said Alex Conant, a Republican strategist. “In the past, Democrats have benefited the most from small donations. We are seeing Republicans catching up quickly.

Lawmakers have long enjoyed divisive media coverage, especially around important events that play to the emotions of a rabid or fearful electoral base. But the new deposits illustrate a growing gulf between those who raise funds through an explosive profile – often backed by large fundraising expenses – and those who have focused their attention on serious political work.

While provocative freshmen like Ms Greene, Ms Boebert and Mr Cawthorn received high numbers, other more conventional members of their class in competitive districts – even those who were praised for their prowess in fundraising – were well overdue.

For example, Ashley Hinson of Iowa and Young Kim of California, who both opposed electoral challenges and worked on bipartisan bills, each brought in less than $ 600,000.

Ms Greene, Ms Boebert and Mr Cawthorn raised more money than leading Republicans on the most powerful committees of Congress, such as appropriations, budget, education and labor, foreign affairs and homeland security .

ALSO READ  Pence, suffering from a slow heartbeat, undergoes surgery for a pacemaker implant.

In many cases, Republican lawmakers who fanned the flames of the January 6 violence have since profited by presenting themselves as victims of a political backlash organized by the Washington establishment and appealing to their supporters.

“Pennsylvania wasn’t following its own state election law, but the establishment wouldn’t hear it. But that’s not who I work for, ”Mr. Hawley wrote in a January fundraising post. “I objected because I wanted to make sure your voice was heard. Now Biden and his awakened crowd are coming after me. I need your help.”

Ms Greene raised money through a successful effort to exile committees, led by enraged Democrats, furious at her past speech supporting the execution of President Nancy Pelosi and urging her supporters to “Stop the Steal” January 6th. raising $ 150,000 every day in the days before and after the unusual vote, she surpassed them every time.

“The DC swamp and fake media are attacking me because I’m not one of them,” one such solicitation read. “I’m one of yours. And they hate me for it.

But Mr. Trump’s polarizing nature has also helped some Republicans who criticized him for his behavior surrounding the events of January 6.

Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the No. 3 Republican in the House who voted to impeach Mr. Trump, cashed in $ 1.5 million, and Representative Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, who created an organization to remove the Republican Party for loyalty to Mr. Trump, has raised more than $ 1.1 million.

“It is evident that there is a strong market for Trumpism in the Republican base,” Curbelo said. “There is also a strong market to speak the truth and support the Constitution.”

Mr Conant questioned to what extent the fundraising push for some candidates was directly linked to the assault on Capitol Hill, which he said conservative news media had generally “abandoned” coverage.

ALSO READ  Submission to Brookings Institution, Durham focuses on Trump-Russia case

Instead, he said Republican voters were “very nervous” about running the Democratic-controlled country and were eager to support Republicans they saw as fighting a liberal agenda.

“It’s worth getting a lot of publicity,” Mr. Conant said. “It’s further proof that there isn’t a lot of grassroots support for milquetoast in the middle of the road. That doesn’t mean you have to be pro-Trump. It just means you have to take strong positions and then connect with those supporters. “

But while the Republican Civil War has paid campaign dividends for fighters on both sides, Democrats involved in prosecuting Mr. Trump for the riot in his impeachment trial have not reaped a similar windfall.

With her $ 3.2 million raised this quarter, Ms Greene brought in more money than the combined total raised by the nine impeachment officials – even though they were widely applauded in liberal circles for their case. against the former president. Three of the managers have raised less than $ 100,000 each in the past three months, the data shows.

As money rushes into the countryside, the assault on January 6 also resulted in a lot of security-related spending.

The Federal Election Commission expanded guidelines allowing lawmakers to use campaign contributions to install residential security systems in their homes, and senior Capitol Hill security officials have called on lawmakers to consider upgrading their home security systems to include panic buttons and key chains.

Campaign filings show that nearly a dozen lawmakers have made payments of $ 20,000 or more to security companies in the past three months, including Republican Senator Patrick J. Toomey of Pennsylvania, who has voted to condemn Mr. Trump; New York Democrat Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who gave a heartbreaking account of the riot; and Representative Eric Swalwell, Democrat of California and one of the arraigners against Mr. Trump.

Mr. Cruz and Mr. Hawley were also among the biggest spenders on security.

Lauren Hirsch and Jeanna Smialek contribution to reports.