Long before U.S. Rep. David Wu donned a tiger suit and emailed photographs of himself in the Halloween costume to staffers just days before the November 2010 election, the Democratic lawmaker was better known in Oregon for a couple of other reasons.
One was Wu's reliance on out-of-state donors to fund his seven successful election campaigns in Oregon's 1st Congressional District.
The first quarter of 2011, in which Wu raised $219,000 but failed to retire almost $50,000 in debt, offers no exception. Of the $219,000 Wu collected post-election, 72 percent (or almost $160,000) came from out-of-state contributors. Oregonians gave only 28 percent (or just over $60,000).
There's another interesting way to look at Wu's figures, which the congressman called a demonstration of "broad support and confidence" in his leadership. Wu collected money from some big donors for both the 2012 primary and general elections. Federal campaign rules say Wu can't use money earmarked for his general election (should he win his party's nomination in the primary next year) in the primary election. Close to $25,000 of Wu's $219,000 falls into that category.
For more wonkery, check out the Center for Responsive Politics' handy database on Wu's fundraising history. In the previous election cycle, Wu got 60 percent of his money from out-of-state donors and 40 percent from Oregonians, the database shows.