Mikulski Raking in Re-Election Cash
They are not be eyepopping numbers, by current campaign finance standards, but Maryland's senior senator, Barbara A. Mikulski, is actively raising money for her unannounced (and, for now, unopposed) try for a fifth six-year term next year.
The Democratic veteran collected more than $160,000 in the three-month period that concluded at the end of last month. Most of those donations came in chunks of $1,000 or more from Washington lobbyists and the PACs of corporations, labor unions, liberal interest groups, government contractors and trade associations, including a number from the health care field.
Mikulski, 72, is a member of the Senate Health committee and is heading up a task force this year on health care reform, a top priority of the Obama administration and congressional Democrats. She also is a longtime member of the Senate Appropriations committee, one of the most lucrative perches for political money-raising purposes.
Mikulski began the 2009-2010 election cycle with $874,487 in her campaign account, according to her recently filed Federal Election Commission disclosure report. That's not a huge amount of dough for a statewide race, but it's decent seed money for a popular incumbent who is unlikely to draw serious opposition.
In Mikulski's last re-election race, in 2004, she spent $6.5 million. Her Republican challenger, E.J. Pipkin, spent $2.2 million--most of it his own money--for the privilege of getting trounced by nearly two-to-one.