Sen. Joe Manchin III, D-W.Va., and Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., are facing off in the November election, and the two Senate candidates are drawing from the same pool of wealthy, Republican donors.
According to OpenSecrets.org, Mr. Manchin received $12,500 from two companies that have done business with the federal government in recent years. His personal finance reports show he’s also the largest individual contributor to his family.
Bloomberg reports that a white-water rafting company that operates in West Virginia received a $100,000 Department of Homeland Security grant in June 2012. The money was used for training and safety practices. American White Water Rafting LLC has received $47,916 in federal money since 2013.
White Water Group LLC, another company that operates in West Virginia, received a $240,000 Homeland Security grant in August 2015. The company has since received $9,488 in federal money.
The 2016 federal election cycle’s most generous political donor to Mr. Manchin was coal miner and entrepreneur Bill Glass, who gave $2,700. Also among his top donors is former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, a Mississippi Republican.
Mr. Glass funded much of the Democratic super PAC, West Virginia Strong, which backed the senator’s 2014 election. It is unclear whether Mr. Glass will fund this year’s campaign. He ran unsuccessfully for Congress against Mr. Manchin in 2014.
Much of Mr. Manchin’s money was raised through direct mail, which has been in high demand since the beginning of 2016. Earlier this year, Mr. Manchin’s office dismissed allegations that a $60,000 mailer from Vote Smart, a political transparency group, included political talking points instead of an actual bid for contributions.
Perhaps the closest the senator came to standing against the sort of spending was when President Donald J. Trump unveiled the “Buy American, Hire American” executive order. Mr. Manchin said he was “more than willing to see if our country can have that promise” and noted that his state was home to thousands of manufacturing jobs.
Another good-government group, Democracy Forward, filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission about a mailer Mr. Manchin’s campaign sent to West Virginians. The complaint alleged that the senator “allegedly misrepresented his role in investigating charges of wrongdoing against President Donald Trump’s former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn” by sending “copy-paste-like endorsements and descriptions of his role.”
Mr. Manchin has also raised funds through super PACs, but super PACs can raise unlimited amounts of money, unlike federal campaign committees that must disclose all their donors.
According to the FEC filings, none of Mr. Manchin’s top 50 donors through his super PACs have given more than $150,000 to his campaign. The money has come from Mr. Glass, the Lott family, the voteSmart super PAC, the West Virginia Coal Association, and Governor Earl Ray Tomblin, a West Virginia Democrat.
Ms. Sinema is also getting her financial support from established Republicans. She received $80,900 from the Fairholme Fund in March 2016, the largest contribution her campaign has received to date, as well as the title of Chief Justice of the Delaware Supreme Court. She’s also received a combined $66,875 through 2018 super PACs and political action committees.
The most generous political donor to Ms. Sinema so far is Tim Leininger, a retiree who lives in Arkansas. He gave $150,000 to her 2015 Congressional campaign.
A large campaign contributor has also been businessman Charles F. Graham of Washington. He also donated $50,000 to United 4 West Virginia PAC in 2014.
Ms. Sinema started up her first PAC shortly after entering the Senate race in 2017. That PAC has received $160,000 from Mr. Graham and other corporate and individual donors, the Center for Responsive Politics reports.