2:29 pm Oct. 25, 2012
Chuck Schumer isn't raising all that money for nothing.
Schumer collected $402,000 in the third quarter, despite not having another election until 2016, but he also gave away a whopping $1 million donation to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.
His junior colleague, Kirsten Gillibrand, gave $250,000 to the committee, making them two of the more generous donors to the Democratic effort to protect the party's majority in the Senate.
The DSCC raised a record-breaking $29.2 million in the third quarter.
Senators appear to have given according to ability, with senators in less lucrative states, or facing re-election battles, giving much less than their flush counterparts.
Schumer, for his part, is trying to protect his incumbent friends in the Class of 2006, who he helped elect as head of the DSCC six years ago, and to safeguard the party's majority in the process. He ended the quarter with $9.5 million on hand, even after his big gift.
For Gillibrand, it's an acknowledgement that she won't be needing the money for her own race, where her Republican challenger, Wendy Long, trails her badly in both fund-raising and the polls.
Gillibrand's generosity toward her colleagues has also ginned up speculation that she might be in line to head the DSCC during a future cycle, a job that relies heavily on raising money.