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Receive financial support from Munchkin and Cinema GOP donors

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Receive financial support from Munchkin and Cinema GOP donors

WASHINGTON — During the summer, as he was working to pitch President Biden’s domestic agenda, Senator Joe Manchin III of West Virginia traveled to an $18 million mansion in Dallas for a fund-raiser that helped Republican and attracted corporate donors, who have cheered their efforts. ,

In September, Senator Kirsten Cinema of Arizona, who, along with Mr Manchin, has been a major obstacle in the White House’s efforts to pass its package of social and climate policy, barred the same house from raising funds from the same cast of donors. Given. treasures of his expedition.

Even though Ms. Cine and Mr. Manchin, both Democrats, have drawn fire from the left for their efforts to downplay and reshape Mr. Biden’s proposals, they have in a scintillating showdown with conservative-leaning donors and business executives. Received increasing financial aid from How can party affiliation prove secondary to particular interests and ideological motivations when the stakes are too high?

Ms. Cinema is winning more financial support from Wall Street and constituencies on the right for her opposition to raising personal and corporate income tax rates. Mr Manchin has attracted new Republican-leaning donors as he battles against his own party to reduce the size of Mr Biden’s legislation and limit new social welfare components.

It is not unusual for wealthy political activists and business interests to circulate cash across party lines. Republican of Wyoming Representative Liz Cheney collected some checks this year from major Democratic donors, as she addressed former President Donald J. Helped defend Trump’s own party leadership.

But the cash stream for Ms. Cinema and Mr. Manchin’s campaigns from outside the usual Democratic channels stands out because many donors have little history with them. The financial aid is also notable for how closely it is tied to their power over a piece of legislation, whose fate largely rests with two senators as their party is equally divided in any of their votes. Can’t afford to lose one. Senate.

His influence has been profound. The domestic policy bill, which would expand the social safety net and efforts to fight climate change, started at $3.5 trillion and has been reduced to about $2 trillion – mainly at the urging of Mr. Manchin; It could be shortened as the Senate takes up the version passed by the House on Friday. The new spending measures were originally to be paid for through tax-rate increases on the wealthy and corporations – a component of the plan that had to be rewritten largely due to opposition from Ms.

This month, billionaire Wall Street investor Kenneth G. Langone, a longtime Republican megadonor who has not contributed to Mr. Manchin before, praised him for showing “gut and courage” and vowed to throw “one of the biggest fund-raisers I’ve ever seen.” have ever taken.’

In a statement to The New York Times, Mr. Langone, who has given an overwhelming majority of his millions of dollars in federal political donations to Republicans, said, “My political contributions have always been in support of candidates who stand tall. are interested. In principle, even if it means defying one’s own party or the press.”

Stanley S. Hubbard, a billionaire Republican donor, wrote his first check to Ms. Cinema in September and said he was considering doing the same for Mr. Manchin because of his efforts to trim the sails of the Democrats’ agenda. “Those are two good people – Munchkin and Cinema – and I think we need more of those people in the Democratic Party,” he said.

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Cash has also poured in for Mr Manchin and Ms Cinema from political action committees and donors associated with the finance and pharmaceutical industries, who opposed proposals initially included in the domestic policy bill, which lawmakers called to help scale back, including changes to Medicare. has helped. The tax rate increases.

Ms. Cinema spokeswoman John LaBombard dismissed any suggestion that the campaign was involved in their approach to cash policymaking. She was a key negotiator on the bipartisan infrastructure deal that Mr Biden signed last week, and during her time in the Senate, she has positioned herself as an ideologically resilient centrist who can support her party. Ready to dress up to represent a purple kingdom.

“Senators make decisions based on one consideration: what’s best for Arizona,” Mr. LaBombard said.

Mr Manchin’s office did not respond to requests for comment. But he has long expressed concern that if the law is not rolled back to the level he wants, the budget deficit will increase and inflation could be fueled.

The lawmakers shared a campaign finance advisor who helped organize fundraising sweeps through Texas for both lawmakers receiving cash from Republican donors, as well as for Ms. Cinema in Washington in late September. With commercial lobbying groups opposing a fund-raiser. domestic policy bill

Nelson Peltz, a billionaire investor who brought a Republican-heavy group of CEOs to lunch with Manchin in Washington a few months ago, said the senator “understands you can’t spend, don’t spend.” Can do, can spend and feel that there is no recourse. For this.”

Mr Peltz, who donated to Mr Manchin in 2017, did not give to Ms Cinema, but said he had requested a meeting, which would take place in a few weeks.

Individual donors like Mr. Peltz, who have donated nearly three times as much to Republicans over the years as they have to donate to Democrats at the federal level, offer two Democratic senators a way to restore their campaign coffers – Both are up for re-election in 2024 – at a time when they are unlikely to receive an enthusiastic reception from some of the more traditional Democratic donors.

Mr Manchin has long been on the right of his party on litmus-test issues such as abortion rights and fossil fuels, while Ms Cinema began her political career as a liberal activist before moving to the centre. A Wall Street executive joked that in her industry, Ms. Cinema – who as a young politician once likened political donations to “bribes” – is now opposed to Mr. Biden’s proposed most taxes on the wealthy. Known as “St Cinema”. (However, it has backed a 15 percent corporate minimum tax and other revenue-raising measures that would help pay for Biden’s legislative spending.)

Progressives are less happy and have accused both senators of diluting their party’s agenda at the behest of special interests.

Wealthy liberals recently began an effort to lay the groundwork for a primary challenge to Ms. Cinema in 2024, and the liberal group Demand Progress wrote in a petition that “a small group of right-wing Democrats backed by corporate cash, including Joe Manchin and Kirsten Cinema are trying to destroy Mr. Biden’s legislative agenda.

This year, Mr. Manchin and Ms. Cinema have received donations from major Republican donors who have never given them before, including Cleveland Browns football team owner James A. Haslam III and Dallas real estate developer Harlan Crowe, who served as the Supreme Court judge. Justice Clarence is close to Thomas.

Several other major Republican donors who supported Mr Trump also wrote Manchin their first checks over the past few months. They include Oklahoma oil and gas billionaire Harold Haim, who pushed the former president to deregulate the energy industry; Dallas-based lobbyist and investor Roy W. Bailey, who helped raise funds for Mr. Trump’s inauguration and a pro-Trump nonprofit group; and banker Andrew Beale, who donated a total of $3 million to the Super PACs that supported Mr. Trump from 2018 to last year.

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Goldman Sachs executives, including the firm’s president, John Waldron, donated tens of thousands of dollars to Ms. Cinema in the spring and summer. In July, he attended a meeting and greeting at the offices of the Blackstone Group, which is led by a major Republican donor; Some Blackstone employees donated around the same time. A handful of employees of investment firm Apollo Global Management, including the chief executive officer and Mark J. Rowan, a major donor to mainly Republican candidates and causes, died in late September after the firm sent a petition to industry contacts. donated to. donation for him.

Credit…Business Wire, via The Associated Press

Yes. Brint Ryan, the Republican donor who hosted a fund-raiser in Dallas for Mr. Manchin and Ms. Cinema, said the senator was “out of step with his party, but I believe he is right.”

Mr. Ryan had not previously donated to Ms. Cinema and did not hold a fund-raiser for anyone before this year, although he did donate $1,000 to Mr. Manchin’s 2018 re-election campaign.

The website of Mr. Ryan’s tax consulting firm says it works to “free our clients from the high tax burden”.

According to the disclosure filing, the firm’s lobbyists are monitoring the debate in Congress over the tax implications of the domestic policy bill. Mr Ryan, who said in an email that the measure would “make a bad tax code worse and kill economic growth,” has ties with Republicans who have helped oppose it.

He advised Mr Trump on tax policy during his presidential campaign in 2016. One of the partners in Mr. Ryan’s tax consulting firm is Jeff Miller, a corporate lobbyist, and California Representative Kevin McCarthy, a close political adviser to the House Republican leader.

Mr. Miller, a top Republican fund-raiser, helped guide Mr. Ryan’s team to people who could help plan the fund-raiser for Ms. Cinema and Mr. Manchin. And Mr. Miller’s wife gave to Ms. Cinema’s campaign.

During his at-home fundraising days, Mr. Ryan, his employees, his company’s political action committee and a relative’s law firm donated nearly $80,000 to Ms. Cinema’s campaign and more than $115,000 to Mr. Manchin.

The $2.6 million raised by Ms. Cinema’s campaign in the first nine months of this year was two and a half times more than what she raised in the same period last year, while the $3.3 million raised by Mr. Manchin’s campaign was more than 14 times. Was. As much as his race was till the end of September last year.

In total, Ms. Sinema’s campaign took in nearly $6.1 million in donations between the beginning of 2019 and the end of September, and has $4.5 million in the bank and took her three years to face voters in Arizona. Mr. Munchkin’s campaign raised approximately $3.8 million and had $5.4 million in hand.

Kenneth P. Vogel reported from Washington, and kate kelly from New York. Jonathan Weisman Contributed to reporting.

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