Porter attacked Schiff for taking dirty money. His response? “I gave that money to you.”

(Dania Maxwell/Los Angeles Times)

Porter attacked Schiff for taking dirty money. His response? “I gave that money to you.”

California politics, elections 2024, homepage news

Benjamin Oresces
Aida Ylanan

March 2, 2024

Irvine Rep. Katie Porter has attacked repeatedly


her main Democratic rival in California’s 2024 Senate race,


Representative Adam B. Schiff, for accepting campaign contributions from oil, pharmaceutical, financial and other influential special interest groups seeking to influence federal policy in Washington.

She has prided herself on not taking donations from corporate political action committees, unlike Schiff, who, along with Republican former baseball player Steve Garvey, is leading in the polls as Tuesday’s primary draws near.

“Representative Schiff may have sued big oil companies before he came to Congress, but when he came to Congress he cashed checks from companies like [British Petroleum] from fossil fuel companies,” she said during a debate in January.

“I have achieved results on climate in my few years in Congress.”

Schiff, who received a total of $2,000 from the BP North American Employee PAC

in 2004 and 2006,

responded curtly during that debate.


Chiff said he used some of the millions he raised over the years to help Porter in her congressional campaigns.

“I gave that money to you, Katie Porter, and the only response was thank you


Thank you


Thank you.”

The Times analyzed campaign finance reports from three election cycles in which Porter and Schiff overlapped in Congress to see if the candidate was a good fit


claims were true. Both have been prodigious fundraisers for their own campaigns, raising tens of millions of dollars while also creating political action committees that they used to support other candidates.

This is what we found:

Defense, technology and pharmaceutical companies donated money for shipping

According to a Times analysis, Schiff’s committees reported 377 contributions from corporate PACs. Schiff’s campaign committee for Congress received 357 contributions and Frontline USA, its leadership PAC, reported 20, totaling $636,625 and $75,000, respectively.

The more than 80 corporate PAC donors included defense, technology and telecommunications companies, the sectors that gave his committee the most.

The corporate PAC representing Comcast

Corporation Corp.

and NBCUniversal contributed

well more than

$40,000. Schiff also received money during his House elections from committees representing Wells Fargo and Amgen, among others.

“I didn’t realize how much dirty money you took until I ran into you,” Porter said during that same debate.

“You have to own your record.”

A majority of corporate PAC donations to Frontline USA came from groups representing defense companies, including Lockheed Martin, Raytheon and Northrop Grumman. Frontline also received donations from PACs representing Amazon, Universal Music Group and Centene

Corporation Corp.

a major insurer.

Ship donated more than $50,000 to Porter

A Times analysis of Federal Election Commission records found that Porter received $54,675 in campaign contributions from Schiff’s two committees during her election and reelection campaigns for the House of Representatives.

Most of this money came from individual donors

that who

used Frontline USA as a channel to donate to Porter’s campaign; the PAC gave

more than over

$33,000 in contributions to Porters races in 2018, 2020 and 2022.

In May


In 2020, Schiff texted Porter after a fundraiser about one donation, according to messages Schiff’s campaign shared with The Times.

“Hi Katie, I’m sending another $5,475 from my friends Dick and Lois Gunther. Keep up the good work and see you soon,” Schiff wrote on May 14, 2020.

“Thank you so much Adam. Your (sic) is amazing! I’m making handwritten thank you notes mentioning you to these people,” she wrote back days later.

“(I take a lot of handwritten notes and like to cite the source).”

Frontline USA reported two earmarked donations for


Porter of the couple in May 2020 for the total of the amount. The couple also sent $5,600 to Porter’s campaign three months earlier.

Schiff’s campaign estimates that Senate candidate Porter has helped raise nearly $240,000 since she first ran in 2018. Much of this money, according to Schiff’s campaign, came from fundraising requests he sent on her behalf and from fundraisers he organized.

It’s hard to avoid corporate money in politics

Schiff’s corporate donations, which Porter detests, flow into a much larger pool of money made up of individual donations. The money is indistinguishable when donated to Porter, but reflects how money from special corporate interests can end up in the accounts of someone who disapproves.

Porter’s congressional races were expensive affairs, and most of the millions she raised came from individuals


contributors. She has refused to accept campaign donations from corporate PACs throughout her political career. When Schiff entered last year’s Senate race, he promised not to take money from these groups



The majority of fundraising by Schiff’s committees also comes from individual contributions. For Frontline USA, contributions from non-political party committees, including corporate PACs, along with labor, trade and other groups, made up 11% and 3% of total revenues for the 2018 and 2020 election cycles, respectively.

“Part of my job was to help Democrats get re-elected,” Schiff said of his national fundraising work.

When asked about Schiff’s fundraising history, Porter didn’t see it as an effort


help the Democrats as a good justification for taking money from special interests who are actively trying to influence Congress.

After winning in 2018, Porter formed her own political leadership committee, called Truth to Power PAC, which has made a small contribution

about more thana

$1 million since inception. Most of the money came from individual donors, and nearly $630,000 was donated to candidates across the country competing in league races, according to Porter.

Senior advisor senior advisor

Nathan Click.

No money was needed from corporate political action committees.

“Katie didn’t have to reach out to BP oil or defense contractors or corporate lenders to help her Democratic colleagues, but Adam did.”






Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here


Hot Topics

Related Articles