Murkowski, Sullivan Among Congressional Leaders In Out-Of-State Campaign Cash

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Alaska’s two U.S. senators are among the members of congress most reliant on out-of-state campaign contributions, according to Opensecrets.org.

Both make the top 10 out of the 535 members of congress in that category. Sen. Lisa Murkowski gets 85.7% from her money outside Alaska, narrowly edging Sen. Dan Sullivan’s 85.4% out-of-state take.Screen-Shot-2016-07-08-at-3.33.35-PM

Here is what OpenSecret.org had to say about their list:

“In a political environment that increasingly emphasizes the national over the local, more and more members of Congress are depending on out-of-state contributions – with some bringing in nearly all of their money from outside the area they represent. In 2012, there were 16 senators and House members who received more than 75 percent of their contributions from out of state. That figure has nearly doubled so far in 2016, to 31.”

“And while no congressional campaign in recent years has received more than 90 percent of its contributions from out of state, there are currently five on track to do so.”

“This move away from depending on local money aligns with a broader shift that has seen many campaigns choose to focus more heavily on emphasizing a national profile, said Adam Bonica, a professor of political science at Stanford University.”

“Elections are becoming much more nationalized… politics is a little less local in this respect now,” Bonica said. “You can find a constituency of donors more easily than ever before, focusing more on broader national level policies than on bringing pork back to your district.”

“A changing political media environment, which has made it easier for members to stand out on the national stage, is one possible factor. Another is Congress’ 2011 ban on earmarks, Bonica said, which prohibited members from routing federal dollars to pet projects in their home districts. Campaigns can no longer boast as easily as they once could about the big bucks they have brought to their state.”

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About the Author

Casey Reynolds
Reynolds served as communications director for the Alaska Republican Party from 2008-2011. He left the Party in 2011 to host his own popular morning radio political talk show on AM750 / FM103.7 KFQD. Reynolds now runs The Midnight Sun (midnightsunak.com), crowned by the Anchorage Press as “Alaska’s best political blog.”