Nunnelee enjoys huge edge in campaign donations

October 30, 2012 11:11:01 AM

Sarah Fowler - [email protected]


As election season comes to a close, politicians are still hoping for last minute donations that will give their campaigns a final push to the finish.  


Locally, residents of the Golden Triangle have been more than willing to open their wallets and donate to the candidate of their choice.  


Incumbent U.S. Rep. Alan Nunnelee, R-Tupelo, has raised $1.3 million, dwarfing the amount raised by his Democratic challenger, Brad Morris of Oxford, whose donations total just over $100,000. 


A list of campaign donors released by the Federal Election Commission showed only one Columbus resident donated to Morris' campaign.  


Local attorney Wil Colom donated $1,000 to Morris.  


By contrast, nearly two dozen people in Columbus contributed to Nunnelee's campaign.  


Local executive John Correnti contributed the maximum $5,000 to Nunnelee as did Correnti's wife, Dawn.  


Individuals can donate up to $2,500 per candidate per election. In Correnti's case, he and his wife each donated $2,500 to Nunnelee's campaign for the primary and $2,500 for the general election, even though Nunnelee ran unopposed in the primary.  


In addition to those in the Golden Triangle who have donated to Nunnelee such as local businessmen Bill Russell and John Bean, people from all over the country are writing checks to the congressman.  


In fact, Nunnelee's campaign money from out of state sources ($96,050) almost matches Morris' total contributions. 


In the presidential race, hundreds across the Golden Triangle have showed their support financially for both Barack Obama and challenger Mitt Romney. 


Edward Clynch also made a series of small donations to the Obama campaign. Clynch, who is listed as a retired college professor from Starkville, has made 37 donations ranging from $30 to $1,000. 


Columbus resident Charles Perkins and former owner of Charles O. Perkins Frame Shop also donated $250 to Barack Obama.  


Realtor Hilbert Williams of Columbus also made a donation to the Obama campaign in the amount of $500.  


Representative Gary Chism has contributed $1,000 to the Romney campaign.  


Restaurateur John Bean of The Eat With Us Group contributed to Romney's campaign as well as Nunnelee. Bean made two different donations to the Romney campaign, totaling $1,500.  


Bean's mother, Myrrl Bean donated a total of $650 to Romney.  


Boyce Adams, who ran unsuccessfully for Northern District Public Service Commissioner in the last election cycle, donated $300 to Romney.  


The FEC has guidelines and limits to campaign donation. According to the FEC, candidates may not accept donations from foreign nationals, federal contractors or corporations or labor unions.  


For example, while John Correnti personally donated to Nunnelee's campaign, he could not have given money on behalf of his company, Severstal. 


The FEC also notes that married couples are considered separate contributors. 


Candidates are also prohibited from receiving over $100 in cash.  


Individuals may also only donate up to $5,000 per year to political action committees, $10,000 per year to state, district & local party committees and $30,800 to national party committee, for a maximum of $117,000 in donations to the candidate or party of their choice.

Sarah Fowler covered crime, education and community related events for The Dispatch.