Senate colleagues open wallets for Cochran in Mississippi Senate race

Sen. Thad Cochran’s Republican Senate colleagues are stepping up for their old friend.

According to an analysis by the Center for Responsive Politics, between June 9 and 12 “Cochran received a huge influx of money from fellow Republican lawmakers, who gave a combined $77,600 to his campaign.”

The maximum a senator can give is $5,000, and the roster of generous Republicans is lengthy: Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, Richard Shelby of Alabama, Susan Collins of Maine, Chuck Grassley of Iowa, John Cornyn of Texas, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Orrin Hatch of Utah, Jerry Moran of Kansas, John Barrasso and Mike Enzi of Wyoming, Dan Coats of Indiana, John Thune of South Dakota, Saxby Chambliss of Georgia.

The biggest contribution, though, came from former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.  Before the June 3 primary, the Center reported, he gave Mississippi Conservatives, a Super PAC that’s helping Cochran, $250,000.

The center also found “Another unexpected donor chipped in weeks before the primary: Sean Parker, the founder of Napster, who also gave $250,000. Parker has a history of funding progressive causes: In the past, he has given large amounts to liberal groups.

State Sen. Chris McDaniel, Cochran’s rival in the June 24 primary, “overall received more smaller donations than his rival, with few contributions from political action committees” prior to the June 3 primary, the center said.

But, it added, “ Many individual contributions to his campaign, however, originated from outside Mississippi and had been bundled by Club for Growth and the Senate Conservatives Fund.”

David Lightman/McClatchy Washington Bureau