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Schumer cutting monster checks to help out fellow Senate Democrats

Schumer cutting monster checks to help out fellow Senate Democrats

Sen. Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerFive takeaways from the final Tennessee Senate debate Schumer rips Trump 'Medicare for all' op-ed as 'smears and sabotage' GOP senator suspects Schumer of being behind release of Ford letter MORE (D-N.Y.) has gone on a late-season spending spree to help Democratic candidates.

A new campaign finance report shows Schumer cut two checks to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) worth $1 million each in September.

He has also poured money from his campaign account into state parties around the country. Friends of Schumer gave $250,000 to the Nevada State Democratic Party on Sept. 7, a crucial boost to embattled Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidSenate heads home to campaign after deal on Trump nominees GOP has always been aggressive in trying to weaponize the system of judicial nominations Republicans come full circle with Supreme Court battle to the end MORE (D-Nev.).

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Schumer's donations are sure to raise eyebrows because he himself is up for re-election this year, albeit against weak opposition. He is also widely expected to run for Senate Democratic leader if Reid loses his race in Nevada.

The gifts cement Schumer’s position as the Senate Democrats' biggest financial backer, and could make a difference if he makes a bid to lead Senate Democrats in the 112th Congress. Senate Majority Whip Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinDurbin opposes Saudi arms sale over missing journalist Noisy democracy, or rude people behaving like children? Kavanaugh tensions linger after bitter fight MORE (D-Ill.) is seen as the other favorite to succeed Reid.

Schumer’s campaign also gave $25,000 to the Alaska Democratic Party, $50,000 to the Colorado Democratic Party, $50,000 to the Democratic Party of Wisconsin and $50,000 to the Washington State Democratic Party, according to a report filed Wednesday.

The contributions were all made at the end of September and will help incumbents in tough races such as Sens. Michael BennetMichael Farrand BennetEagles player sits out national anthem Trump administration denied it has ‘secret’ committee seeking negative information on marijuana: report Overnight Health Care: Senators target surprise medical bills | Group looks to allow Medicaid funds for substance abuse programs | FDA launches anti-vaping campaign for teens MORE (D-Colo.), Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) and Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurrayOvernight Health Care: House passes funding bill | Congress gets deal on opioids package | 80K people died in US from flu last winter Wilkie vows no 'inappropriate influence' at VA Dems push back on using federal funds to arm teachers MORE (D-Was.).

Schumer also gave generously to help incumbents who are not considered in danger, such as Sens. Barbara MikulskiBarbara Ann MikulskiAthletic directors honor best former student-athletes on Capitol Hill Dems ponder gender politics of 2020 nominee Robert Mueller's forgotten surveillance crime spree MORE (D-Md.), Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph LeahyOvernight Defense — Presented by The Embassy of the United Arab Emirates — Missing journalist strains US-Saudi ties | Senators push Trump to open investigation | Trump speaks with Saudi officials | New questions over support for Saudi coalition in Yemen Senators trigger law forcing Trump to probe Saudi journalist's disappearance Justice Kavanaugh will be impartial, not political like his opponents MORE (D-Vt.) and Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenCollusion judgment looms for key Senate panel Hillicon Valley: Facebook deletes accounts for political 'spam' | Leaked research shows Google's struggles with online free speech | Trump's praise for North Korea complicates cyber deterrence | Senators want Google memo on privacy bug On The Money: Jobless rate hits 49-year low | Officials face legal obstacles to pursuing tax charges against Trump | Tax story prompts calls to revise estate rules MORE (D-Ore.).

In late September, Schumer's campaign gave $50,000 to the Democratic State Central Committee of Maryland, $25,000 to the Democratic Party of Oregon, and $20,000 to the Vermont Democratic Party.

He has given a total of $3 million to the DSCC this cycle.

A fundraising report filed Wednesday shows that Schumer gave the committee a $1 million gift from his campaign account on Sept. 14 and a second $1 million gift on Sept. 29.

DSCC Chairman Robert MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezTrump lowers refugee goal to 30,000, he must meet it Blame Senate, not FBI, for Kavanaugh travesty Dems urge tech companies to remove 3D-gun blueprints MORE (D-N.J.) announced in mid-September that Schumer had made the Sept. 14 donation.

Schumer transferred the first $1 million from Friends of Schumer in August.

The New York senator reported $23.2 million in his personal campaign war chest at the end of Aug. Friends of Schumer reported $19.3 million in cash on hand at the end of September.

Speculation over a potential race for leader between Durbin and Schumer, the vice chairman of the Democratic conference, has intensified in recent days.

“While the public chatter of succession battle has died down, there’s a lot of scheming behind the scenes,” said a Democratic lobbyist who focuses on the Senate.

“It’s very possible that Reid could lose,” said the lobbyist. Reid is tied in the polls with his conservative challenger, Sharron Angle.

Reid didn’t help his cause by turning in what political experts viewed as a mediocre performance during his debate with Angle last week.

While Reid has focused on his race with Angle, Schumer and Durbin have taken the lead on helping Senate Democratic candidates around the country this fall.

From this past weekend through Election Day, Durbin is scheduled to host, headline or appear at campaign events in California, Delaware, Kentucky, Missouri, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Washington and Wisconsin. His scheduler is trying to lock down another four events.

Both Durbin and Schumer have lavished hundreds of thousands of dollars in political contributions on Senate colleagues and candidates this election cycle. 

The gifts are highly appreciated in a campaign year when Democratic candidates have seen a record number of corporate-funded attack ads because of the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. FEC.

Durbin has doled out $400,000 to Senate candidates and the state parties working to help them through his leadership political action committee, Prairie PAC, according a review of fundraising records going back to Election Day 2008. The most recent report covered the period from Oct. 1 to Oct. 13.

He has given the DSCC $30,000 from his leadership PAC and transferred $430,000 to the committee from his personal campaign account.

Durbin has also hosted nearly a dozen events for Senate Democratic candidates and the DSCC in Chicago this year.

Schumer has given $390,000 from his leadership PAC, Impact, to help Senate Democratic candidates this cycle, according to reports covering the period from Election Day 2008 to Oct. 13 of this year.

These contributions will be among the factors Democratic senators weigh if Durbin and Schumer square off in a race for Senate majority leader.

Talk of a potential race between Durbin and Schumer quieted over the summer after Angle won the Nevada GOP primary in June. Political experts thought Angle would be a weak opponent because of her penchant for controversial statements, but Reid has struggled to boost his approval rating much above 40 percent.

Conservatives have poured money into Nevada to defeat Reid. Angle reported raising a jaw-dropping $14 million in the third quarter of this year.

Reid’s debate against Angle gave his supporters more cause for concern.

“Sharron Angle won The Big Debate,” Nevada political analyst Jon Ralston wrote in the Las Vegas Sun. “She won because Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid looked as if he could barely stay on a linear argument, abruptly switching gears and failing to effectively parry or thrust."