State Sen. Cynthia Dill, the leading progressive in the race to succeed Olympia Snowe, said donations reported in the first quarter reflect the populist tone of her campaign and the economic hardships sustained by lower- and middle-income Mainers.
Working full time in the Legislature amid an ever-shifting slate of potential U.S. Senate candidates, Dill raised $24,908 from January, when she announced her candidacy, to March 31.
With the legislative session now adjourned, "We have the capacity to raise the money we need to win," Dill said. "And we will."
Dill -- who leads all Democrats in a statewide poll and this week garnered fresh national media attention -- noted her campaign raised in a quarter what an average Mainer earns in a year, mostly from working people, in increments of $20, $50 and $100. Her smallest donation was $4. "That's what democracy looks like," she said, "not the self-funding of a millionaire or mega-donations from special interests with cash in one hand and legislation in the other."
"The media equates money with viability," Dill said. "That's wrong. People are not as enthralled with money in politics as the pundits are. In fact, most people are disgusted at millionaires who buy seats in government. It's why members of Congress spend as much time with their hands out as they do making policy, and why average people are paying to clean up Wall Street's meltdown through cuts to services and lack of investment in job retraining and infrastructure.
"This election is about values and choices, not who has the deepest pockets," Dill said. "We'll raise the money we need to win, and from the right sources."