COURTING OVERSEAS DONORS


Gary Peters

Democrat Gary Peters, one of Michigan’s two U.S. Senators, took to the international skies in mid-October to raise party funds in Europe as chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. While he worked the expatriate donor circuit, Peters headlined an October 13 invitation-only dinner in London at which the contributing levels went as high as $36,599, the maximum allowed from American citizens living abroad. GOP critics may want to hold off – late Arizona Senator John McCain worked the expat crowd across the big pond as as part of his 2008 presidential effort. American citizens living the life of an expatriate, a growing community with the globalization of the economy, can cast absentee ballots thanks to legislation in 1975 and 1986 and have become an important part of donations to U.S. candidates and political parties. It’s common nowadays for both the major political parties to have branches or committees in other nations, both to keep citizens abroad active in the election game and to collect political donations. Democrats Abroad has committees in 42 countries and boasts a membership from 196 countries. Not to be outdone, the GOP has Republicans Overseas, with organization tentacles in 50 countries.

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