McAuliffe Taps Dem Donors Across Country for Va. Gov. Race

Terry McAuliffe / AP

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe brought in more than $5.1 million in the first quarter of 2013, according to a quarterly campaign finance report filed Monday.

His political connections helped him bring in massive donations from major liberal financiers across the country.

Though McAuliffe last week bragged that 72 percent of his contributions came from Virginians, it is clear many of the largest donations are still coming from out-of-state sources.

McAuliffe’s largest contribution from an individual came from Haim Saban, creator of the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers series.

Saban, who lives in California, contributed $250,000 to McAuliffe’s Virginia campaign.

Saban contributed more than $1 million to Democratic candidates and liberal groups during the 2012 election cycle, including major donations to Super PACs such as Priorities USA, Majority PAC, and House Majority PAC.

Former president Bill Clinton has emerged as a major player in McAuliffe’s nationwide fundraising campaign. Clinton, who now lives in New York, made a contribution of $100,000 directly to the campaign.

Clinton also rallied the support of his employees.

Doug Band, a counselor to the William J. Clinton foundation who also lives in New York, contributed $100,000 directly to the campaign and spent an additional $7,161.25 on a McAuliffe campaign event he co-hosted with Clinton.

Employees of the Clinton Global Initiative, the William J. Clinton Foundation, and the chief of staff at the Office of President Clinton contributed an additional $7,800 to the McAuliffe campaign.

McAuliffe also got the support of Ron Burkle, a California billionaire who Clinton calls "Ron Air" and flies around on a custom-converted Boeing 757 privately referred to as "Air F—k One." Burkle made a $100,000 contribution to McAuliffe.

McAuliffe took in $100,000 from Chicago’s Fred Eychaner, who made himself a top Democratic campaign donor by contributing $14 million during the 2012 cycle.

Eychaner’s donation was long in the works for McAuliffe, who in 2000 traveled to personally meet with Eychaner in Chicago and came back with checks totaling $4 million for Democratic candidates.

Additional contributors to the campaign were Chicago’s J.B. Pritzker, principal owner of Hyatt Hotels, and Florida’s Richard Swann, who also happens to be McAuliffe’s father-in-law. Both contributed $100,000.

McAuliffe also received a donation from Kelly Craighead, who listed her occupation as president and managing director of the Democracy Alliance, the secretive dark money group bankrolling much of the progressive movement. Craighead lives in Washington, D.C.

The campaign has also secured donations from some of D.C.’s most powerful lobbyists.

Dick Gephardt and Steve Elmendorf co-hosted a fundraising event for McAuliffe last month.

According to the campaign filing, the Gephardt group contributed $25,000 and Elmendorf himself contributed $5,000.

Additionally, employees of lobbying firm Glover Park Group contributed a total of $6,250, and one of the left’s most powerful lobbyists, Heather Podesta, contributed $1,000.