Chandler raises more than $264,000 in quarter, Whitfield buoyed by Vail fundraiser

04/18/2011 09:25 AM

Leaving little time to bask in his 648-vote victory in last fall’s election, Democratic U.S. Rep. Ben Chandler raised more than a quarter of a million dollars in the first three months of this year.

Chandler, the 6th District congressman from Versailles, collected $264,855 in the quarter and has $358,515 on hand, according to his latest filing with the Federal Election Commission.

According to the Sunlight Foundation’s Political Partytime site, Chandler was helped by three fundraisers:

  • a March Madness Lunch reception on March 17 at the UPS Townhouse
  • a lunch hosted by the lobbying firm for UPS called the C2 Group
  • and a luncheon for Chandler and 14 other Democratic representatives — including Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords — at the Democratic National Headquarters.

Chandler narrowly defeated Republican challenger Andy Barr in November. Barr hasn’t announced whether he plans to try again in 2012. He didn’t raise any money in his campaign account this quarter but still has $18,698 left over.

Skiing for PAC money

The next most prolific fundraiser of the Kentucky delegation in the first quarter of the 2012 election cycle was Republican U.S. Rep. Ed Whitfield of Hopkinsville.

Whitfield, in January, became chairman of the energy and power subcommittee of the key House Energy and Commerce Committee.

He raised $168,750 and has $1,172,732 on hand after having to spend little money in the 2010 election, which he won with 71% of the vote over a Democratic candidate who ran a limited campaign.

Whitfield spent about $43,000 between January and April 1. That included about $12,900 in plane tickets for the quarter. It also included more than $3,300 in charges at the Four Seasons Resort in Vail, Colo., as well as about $500 in other charges in Vail.

The trip was for a Jan. 7-8 fundraiser Whitfield held at the ski resort for political action committees to give to his campaign at $2,500 a pop,
according to Political Partytime.

About $156,000 of the $168,750 Whitfield raised last quarter was from PACs, Whitfield’s first quarter fundraising report shows.

Most of those PACs are connected to companies and industries that have business before Whitfield’s Energy and Power subcommittee. They include Alliance Coal, LLC, PAC ($2,500), American Electric Power PAC ($1,000), Cloud Peak Energy Resources LLC ($1,000), DTE Energy Co. PAC ($1,000), Duke Energy Corp. PAC ($7,500), Exelon Corp. PAC ($1,000), FirstEnergy Corp. PAC, ($1,000), Nextera Energy, Inc. PAC ($1,000), NRG Energy Inc. PAC ($2,000), Occidental Petroleum Corp. PAC ($1,000) and Petroleum Marketers Assoc. of America PAC ($1,000).

Other Ky. congressional fundraising

Republican U.S. Rep. Brett Guthrie of Bowling Green brought in $154,675 during the quarter, including from a fundraising lunch aimed at health care industry donors held Jan. 19 — the morning before the House voted to repeal the national health care reform bill passed in 2010, according to Political Partytime.

Guthrie, the 2nd District congressman, has $381,056 in his 2012 warchest.

The other finance reports showed:

  • U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers, the Somerset Republican who now chairs the House Appropriations Committee, raised $98,602 in the quarter and has $768,862 on hand.

  • U.S. Rep. Geoff Davis, a Republican from Hebron representing the 4th District, raised $98,250 and has $473,195 on hand.
  • U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, a Louisville Democrat representing the 3rd District, collected $14,960 and has $181,997 on hand.

- Ryan Alessi

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