Democrats

Georgia Dem Undermines Promise to Reject Corporate PAC Money, Taking Thousands From the Groups They Fund

LITHONIA, GA - OCTOBER 03: Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Rev. Raphael Warnock speaks to the media at a campaign event on October 3, 2020 in Lithonia, Georgia. Warnock is hoping to unseat incumbent Kelly Loeffler in November. (Photo by Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images)
Georgia Democratic Senate candidate Raphael Warnock has accepted more than $140,000 from Democratic leadership PACs funded by corporate PAC money he claims to reject.

Those donations to Warnock include $10,000 from Sen. Chris Coons's (Del.) Blue Hen PAC, Sen. Tim Kaine's (Va.) Common Ground PAC, Sen. Brian Schatz's (Hawaii) Hawaii PAC, and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse's (R.I.) Oceans PAC, all of which have been powered by corporate PAC money, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Corporate PAC-backed leadership PACs affiliated with Sen. Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.), Sen. Ed Markey (D., Mass.), Rep. Adam Schiff (D., Calif.), and more than a dozen other Democrats have also pumped thousands to Warnock.

Warnock has boasted on Twitter he will not accept corporate cash, and his campaign website also says he rejects it because of the influence of pharmaceutical and insurance companies in Washington. Those same leadership PACs that have donated to Warnock, however, have accepted more than $650,000 from PACs affiliated with the pharmaceutical and health product industries.

Warnock did not respond to a request for comment. He is the leading Democrat in the crowded jungle election for Sen. Kelly Loeffler's (R., Ga.) seat, which is likely headed to a runoff between the top two finishers on Nov. 3. The race is critical to determining party control of the U.S. Senate.

Fellow Georgia Democratic Senate candidate Jon Ossoff, who is running in a separate race against Sen. David Perdue (R., Ga.), has also campaigned on his opposition to corporate PAC money, but he too has accepted leadership PAC donations funded by corporate PAC cash.

Warnock raised $12.8 million in the third quarter of 2020 as he began to attract more national attention. Among his supporters are Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) and former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams.