Tom Perez, tapped today by President Barack Obama as his next labor secretary, has a national network of friends in Democratic donor circles and has shown a knack for both getting and giving campaign donations.
Records compiled by the National Institute on Money and State Politics and available via Sunlight's Influence Explorer show that Perez attracted more than $800,000 in campaign contributions from labor unions, members of Congress and a Cabinet member during a short-lived run six years ago for Maryland state attorney general.
For a complete list of donations to Perez in the 2006 campaign cycle, see here.
Officially, Perez was only in the race three months before being ejected on a legal technicality, but his fan base was impressive. Contributors included former Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala, who ponied up $3,000; the campaign committee of former Rep. Kendrick Meek, D-Fla., $2,000, and the campaign committee of Rep. Xavier Becerra, D-Calif., $1,000. He also received donations from Hispanic notables, including Mickey Ibarra and Janet Murguia.
Unions contributing to Perez included: SEIU local 1199, $4,000; SEIU local 500, $2,000; United Food and Commercial Workers, $4,000, Food and Allied Service Trades of Metropolitan Washington, $2,000, and the Maryland Teamsters, $1,000.
Also notable, the large number of out-of-state contributions Perez was able to attract: He raised money from 25 states, including more than $78,000 California donors and more than $26,000 from New York state. He also got a number of contributions from Hispanic organizations and leaders, such as
Perez' campaign committee, the Friends of Tom Perez, has also supported other Maryland Democrats, most recently in 2009 when it gave $4,000 to Luke Clippinger, a Baltimore Democrat who won a seat in Maryland's House of Delegates the following year. In 2006, the Perez committee gave $4,000 to support Martin O'Malley in his successful campaign for Maryland governor and $2,000 to his running mate, Anthony Brown. To see more contributions by the Friends of Tom Perez committee, click here.
Friends of Tom Perez ended 2010–the last year for which he reported major activity–with more than $127,000 in the bank. According to affidavits on file with the Maryland elections department, the committee has had no major financial activity since then.