Big donors were scarce, but the Connecticut Democratic Party still managed to raise $133,636 in its workhorse federal account last month, the ninth straight month the party has raised more than $100,000 in preparation for the 2014 elections. The state GOP raised $37,366.

Since the start of the two-year election cycle Jan. 1, 2013, Democrats now have raised $2.3 million to $648,036 for the Republicans, according to reports filed this week with the Federal Election Commission.

Democrats recorded only two maximum individual donations of $10,000 in February: One from a billionaire hedge-fund manager, Stephen F. Mandel of Greenwich; the other from Neil Mellen of East Haven, the president of Town Fair Tires. The Republican Party had none.

Of the $1.7 million in itemized individual donations to Democrats since the start of 2013, 36 percent came from 61 donors who wrote checks for $10,000.

Of the $451,773 in itemized individual donations to Republicans, 27 percent came from 12 donors who wrote checks for $10,000.

Democrats received $20,000 donations last month from Ballard Spahr, a law firm in Philadelphia. Two of the firm’s lawyers gave $5,000 each, while the firm itself gave $10,000.

The party also got $10,000 from a political action committee that once supported the ambitions of former U.S. Sen. Chris Dodd, the state’s longest-serving senator.

Dodd did not seek re-election in 2010, but his PAC still had $134,551 at the end of 2013. Dodd now oversees the trade association of the U.S. movie industry, the Motion Picture Association of America.

The entertainment business sent some cash to the Democrats.

Three executives at Blue Sky Studios, an animation studio in Greenwich, gave a total of $4,000. A political action committee at Walt Disney Productions gave $5,000, while six executives from Disney’s sports network, ESPN, gave a total of $3,000.

Blue Sky and ESPN both have expanded its Connecticut facilities with financial help from the state.

Bob Eick, a candidate for state treasurer, was among the biggest donors to the GOP last month. He was one of three people who gave $5,000.

Both state political parties file monthly reports to the FEC. They also raise money through separate state accounts, whose reports are filed quarterly with the State Elections Enforcement Commission.

Mark is the Capitol Bureau Chief and a co-founder of CT Mirror. He is a frequent contributor to WNPR, a former state politics writer for The Hartford Courant and Journal Inquirer, and contributor for The New York Times.

Leave a comment