published Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

U.S. Sen. Bob Corker far ahead in campaign fundraising

Senator claims more campaign money than seven presidential candidates


by Chris Carroll
U.S. Senator Bob Corker is seen in this file photo.
U.S. Senator Bob Corker is seen in this file photo.
Photo by John Rawlston /Chattanooga Times Free Press.
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CAMPAIGN COLLECTIONS

U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., has attracted three opponents in his quest for re-election. Here are their campaign totals as of Sept. 30:

  • Bob Corker (R) -- $6.5 million
  • Zach Poskevich (R) -- $7,034
  • James Durkan (R) -- $3,756
  • Larry Crim (D) -- $779

Source: Federal Election Commission

On Feb. 28, U.S. Sen. Bob Corker's campaign spent $14,115 on event invitations and envelopes.

Seven months later, Corker's three registered 2012 challengers filed campaign finance documents. The grand total among Larry Crim, James Durkan and Zach Poskevich: $11,569.

The comparison illustrates the distance between three under-the-radar hopefuls and Corker, a man who claims more campaign money than seven presidential candidates, including Herman Cain and Ron Paul.

Over the last three months, Corker has raised $1.2 million in campaign donations, swelling his balance to more than $6.5 million, finance records show.

In an emailed statement, Corker Chief of Staff Todd Womack said the campaign is "very grateful" to Tennesseans who appreciate the senator's "common sense [and] business approach to issues, particularly his work to force the federal government to live within its means."

Henderson technology consultant Poskevich has called Corker's campaign "corporate-driven."

Durkan, a Chattanooga merchant whose campaign business card says "Donations Readily Accepted," echoed populist themes on his website: "I do not expect the wealthiest citizens will do much in funding this campaign."

Both Poskevich and Durkan are tea party challengers.

Special interest money has flowed to Corker, while nearly 30 percent of donations to Durkan and Poskevich came from various people named Durkan and Poskevich, records show.

Corker has reported more donations from general contractors, the automotive industry and commercial banks since last November than anyone else in Congress, according to the Tennessean.

A member of the Senate's Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, Corker has received $204,400 from commercial-bank employees and political action committees linked to those banks, including $4,000 from SunTrust and $4,500 from Bank of America.

The Republican and former Chattanooga mayor voted for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, which allowed the government to purchase bank assets and equity at the height of the 2008 financial crisis.

Corker also wants to repeal the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, legislation that imposed tighter regulations on banks and lowered debit card overdraft fees.

Records show Crim, Durkan and Poskevich have collected no money from PACs.

"There's no doubt it's a money issue," Poskevich said.

Crim could not be located for comment. So far he's the only Democrat who has entered the race.

"I fully expect there to be a Democratic primary in the Senate race," said Brandon Puttbrese, spokesman for the Tennessee Democratic Party.

Contact staff writer Chris Carroll at ccarroll@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6610.

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nucanuck said...

Corker is tight with the bankster crowd, his cup will runneth over.

November 8, 2011 at 1:06 a.m.
onetinsoldier said...

Now you know why BOA needed more money from its customers. Politicians aren't usually cheap. CORKER is bought and paid for.

November 8, 2011 at 1:47 a.m.
EaTn said...

Guess we know what crowd Corker runs with. Maybe they can afford to upgrade the cheap "call me Harold" commercials the next go round.

November 8, 2011 at 5:40 a.m.

Wow, it looks like Corker has been bought and paid for in advance for sure! He must really be delivering for those who can pony up $6.5 million to keeep him in office and I assure you it is not your neighbors down the street. Think this guy has YOUR best interest at heart? Hint: He doesn't.

November 8, 2011 at 7 a.m.
LibDem said...

This is good news. I've been worried about his chances of reelection. Tennessee has become such a Liberal Democratic stronghold.

November 8, 2011 at 7:24 a.m.
ldurham said...

Wow, we have hard-working people in dire financial straits through no fault of their own, yet fat-cats are lining up to throw money at Mr. Moneybags himself, Bob Corker. How screwed up is that?

November 8, 2011 at 8:19 a.m.
falcons22 said...

"Special interest money has flowed to Corker, while nearly 30 percent of donations to Durkan and Poskevich came from various people named Durkan and Poskevich, records show."

Now that's comedy. Also, tragic.

November 8, 2011 at 8:29 a.m.
eeeeeek said...

Bob sucks

November 8, 2011 at 9:19 a.m.
JustOneWoman said...

Oh, how I wish Bredesen would run.

November 8, 2011 at 9:49 a.m.
cildawg1 said...

I could really get behind Bredesen.

November 8, 2011 at 3:28 p.m.
riverman said...

So it doesn't bother you goobers that Obama raised $70 million in the third quarter. So it's OK for incumbent Dems to raise money but not Republicans. Bredesen was a great governor but he is not going to run with for the Senate with Harry Ried hanginf around his neck.

November 8, 2011 at 4:29 p.m.
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