Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) might just have more support in Birmingham, England, than Birmingham, AL.
As first reported by Alabama Media Group, Jones raised more last reporting period from Americans overseas than from Alabamians. In fact, he almost raked in more from people in the United Kingdom alone than Alabama.
From October to December 2018, Jones raised only $55,000 from inside the Yellowhammer State while reporting over $2.1 million cash-on-hand at the end of the year. During that same three-month period, he received $48,000 from the UK, $17,270 from France, $5,500 from Belgium, $5,400 from Hong Kong, $1,000 from Germany and $75 each from Canada, New Zealand and Thailand.
These contributions included Jones holding a high-dollar fundraiser in Switzerland on December 7. One of the three co-hosts, Charles Adams, served as the American Ambassador to Finland under former President Barack Obama. Adams previously served as co-chair of Americans Abroad for Obama and on the Obama campaign’s national finance committee in both 2008 and 2012.
Records also show that Jones’ campaign spent thousands of dollars in Europe during the reporting period, including more than $1,600 at “The Beaumont,” an exclusive five-star hotel in London’s West End.
Alabama Media Group advised, “Courting donations from American citizens living abroad, while legal, is an anomaly. For example, Republican Richard Shelby, Alabama’s senior senator, has not taken a penny from Americans abroad in his 31 years in the Senate, campaign finance records showed.”
Jones also received more from PACs than Alabamians in the reporting period, when the junior senator from Mountain Brook raised approximately $435,759.79 more total from out-of-state than inside it.
The number of donations rather than the amounts were lopsided, too. For example, Jones received 93 contributions from Alabama, 764 from California and 571 from New York over the time span.
In a statement to Yellowhammer News, Congressman Bradley Byrne (AL-1) said, “This story shows what we have known all along: Doug Jones is a pawn for liberal elites, not a fighter for Alabama.”
“All the money in the world isn’t going to buy this election for him because the people of Alabama have him figured out and are ready for a Senator who will put Alabama and our values first,” he added.
Byrne is the only Republican so far to have officially announced candidacy against Jones.
In a statement, a spokesman for the Senate Leadership Fund (SLF), the mission of which is to protect and expand the Republican Senate majority, also slammed Jones’ geographic priorities.
“Nothing screams ‘re-elect me, Alabama’ like a fundraising schedule jam-packed with glass-clinking European junkets. If you didn’t think Doug Jones was out of step with Alabama before, the composition of his campaign war chest leaves no doubt,” SLF Communications Director Jack Pandol said.
Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn