Person

Margot Milliken

Margot Milliken is a Maine-based major left-of-center donor and activist. She is the wife of Roger Milliken Jr., who is the son of major conservative donor Roger Milliken. Milliken also sits as the chair of Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, which is the Maine affiliate of Planned Parenthood. She is also a founder and former chair of the Maine Women’s Fund, which is a funder for feminist and other women-related organizations. [1]

Milliken is a major donor to Democrats both nationwide and in Maine. In 2014, she was the fifth largest donor to political campaigns in the state of Maine, and nearly all of her contributions went to Democratic candidates and officials. [2]

In 2020, Milliken supported the failed attempt to unseat U.S. Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), writing an op-ed criticizing Sen. Collins over her votes in favor of judges appointed by former President Donald Trump. [3]

Early Life and Career

Milliken was born in 1952. She credits the rise of feminism and her upbringing in that time for helping to increase the opportunities available to her. “I was part of the first generation to benefit from the doors that were opening,” she told the Maine Women’s Fund in 2010. [4]

At age 20, Milliken got pregnant while in college and had an abortion, claiming that she was not ready to become a parent. [5] She met and eventually married Roger Milliken, Jr., while he was studying in Hawaii. Milliken Jr. is the son of major conservative donor and businessman Roger Milliken. [6]

She first participated in grantmaking with her family and as a member of the left-of-center Threshold Foundation, which was run by her husband. [7]

Women’s Activism

Feminism and women’s issues are a major focus of Milliken’s activism. In 1987, she helped found the Maine Women’s Fund, which provides grants to a number of left-of-center feminist and women-related organizations. She later became chair of the fund. [8]

Aside from philanthropy, Milliken is heavily involved in left-of-center political activism, working as

as chair of Planned Parenthood Northern of New England and its PAC, the Planned Parenthood Maine Action Fund. [9] In 2012, Milliken herself donated $25,000 to Planned Parenthood Votes PAC. [10] In 2013, she was awarded Philanthropist of the Year by Planned Parenthood of Northern New England. [11]

In 2014, the Planned Parenthood Maine Action Fund announced that it would spend $500,000 in Maine’s legislative and gubernatorial races. In the past 5 elections combined, the fund had spent just $48,000. That year, the fund spent most of its pledged funds on field operations and digital advertisements, with the most of spent in the gubernatorial race. Milliken donated $5,000 to the fund and donated another $50,000 to Planned Parenthood Votes PAC, which also donated to the fund. She later donated $30,000 in total to the Planned Parenthood Maine Action Fund. [12]

In 2016, Milliken donated $5,000 to Ultraviolet, a left-of-center feminist political action committee. She also donated $5,000 to Planned Parenthood Action Fund. [13] The following year, Milliken donated $25,000 to Ultraviolet PAC. [14]

Since 2018, Milliken has focused much of her political giving on Planned Parenthood-related causes. In 2018, Milliken donated $50,000 to Planned Parenthood Votes PAC. She also donated $5,000 to the Planned Parenthood Action Fund. [15] In 2020, Milliken donated $25,000 to Planned Parenthood Votes PAC. [16]

Campaigning Against Susan Collins

In January 2020, Milliken wrote an op-ed attacking moderate, pro-abortion-rights Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) for her votes in favor of judges nominated by then-President Trump, especially for her vote to confirm U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. [17]

Milliken wrote that Planned Parenthood could no longer trust Sen. Collins because of her vote for Justice Kavanaugh and President Trump’s other judicial nominees. [18]

Milliken later donated $5,600 to former Maine State Representative Sara Gideon (D-Freeport), who was Sen. Collins’s Democratic opponent in 2020. [19]

Other Political Donations

Milliken is a major contributor to Democratic Party causes and politicians. In 2014, Milliken was the fifth-largest single donor to campaigns in Maine, donating $118,200 during the election cycle. Nearly all of the donations went to Democrats. [20]

In 2008, she donated $28,500 to the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and $28,500 to the Obama Victory Fund. She also donated $4,600 to former President Barack Obama’s first campaign. [21]  In 2012, she increased these donations, donating $61,300 to the DNC, $66,300 to the Obama Victory Fund, and $5,000 to President Obama’s second campaign. [22]

In 2016, she donated $10,000 to the DNC and $5,400 to Democratic presidential nominee and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. [23]

In 2020, she donated $22,200 to the DNC and $25,000 to the Biden Action Fund. She also donated $2,800 directly to President Joe Biden’s presidential campaign. Earlier in the election cycle, Milliken donated $500 to the presidential campaign of U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D—NY). She also donated $5,000 to the Fair Fight PAC, which is led by Democratic activist Stacey Abrams. [24]

Other Organizations Supported

In 2016, Milliken and her husband were donors to the Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project, a Maine-based immigration law firm supporting expanded immigration. The firm represents immigrants and asylum seekers. [25]

In 2019, Milliken and her husband donated to the Brennan Center for Justice, a left-of-center legal advocacy group. [26]

In 2020, Milliken and her husband were donors to Justice Aid, a left-of-center civil rights organization. [27]

References

  1. “The ‘Gatekeepers’: Ten Wealthy Mainers Giving $3.95 Million To This Election”. 2014. The Maine Monitor. https://www.themainemonitor.org/maines-10-big-money-elite-giving-3-95-million-to-this-years-elections/. ^
  2. “The ‘Gatekeepers’: Ten Wealthy Mainers Giving $3.95 Million To This Election”. 2014. The Maine Monitor. https://www.themainemonitor.org/maines-10-big-money-elite-giving-3-95-million-to-this-years-elections/. ^
  3. Milliken, Margot. 2020. “Commentary: Real Leadership Needed To Protect And Advance Reproductive Rights”. Press Herald. https://www.pressherald.com/2020/01/18/commentary-more-than-ever-outcome-of-maines-u-s-senate-race-matters-to-planned-parenthood/. ^
  4. “The ‘Gatekeepers’: Ten Wealthy Mainers Giving $3.95 Million To This Election”. 2014. The Maine Monitor. https://www.themainemonitor.org/maines-10-big-money-elite-giving-3-95-million-to-this-years-elections/. ^
  5. News Source. 2014. Ebook. Planned Parenthood of Northern New England. https://www.plannedparenthood.org/files/5214/0389/1161/14-spring_and_summer_paginated.pdf. ^
  6. Austin, Phyllis. 1992. “Building Trust In The Maine Woods.”. The Free Library. https://www.thefreelibrary.com/Building+trust+in+the+Maine+woods.-a012109856. ^
  7. Austin, Phyllis. 1992. “Building Trust In The Maine Woods.”. The Free Library. https://www.thefreelibrary.com/Building+trust+in+the+Maine+woods.-a012109856. ^
  8. “The ‘Gatekeepers’: Ten Wealthy Mainers Giving $3.95 Million To This Election”. 2014. The Maine Monitor. https://www.themainemonitor.org/maines-10-big-money-elite-giving-3-95-million-to-this-years-elections/. ^
  9. Milliken, Margot. 2020. “Commentary: Real Leadership Needed To Protect And Advance Reproductive Rights”. Press Herald. https://www.pressherald.com/2020/01/18/commentary-more-than-ever-outcome-of-maines-u-s-senate-race-matters-to-planned-parenthood/. ^
  10. “Browse Individual Contributions”. 2021. Federal Election Commission. Accessed July 19. https://www.fec.gov/data/receipts/individual-contributions/?contributor_name=Margot%20Milliken. ^
  11. News Source. 2014. Ebook. Planned Parenthood of Northern New England. https://www.plannedparenthood.org/files/5214/0389/1161/14-spring_and_summer_paginated.pdf. ^
  12. “The ‘Gatekeepers’: Ten Wealthy Mainers Giving $3.95 Million To This Election”. 2014. The Maine Monitor. https://www.themainemonitor.org/maines-10-big-money-elite-giving-3-95-million-to-this-years-elections/. ^
  13. “Browse Individual Contributions”. 2021. Federal Election Commission. Accessed July 19. https://www.fec.gov/data/receipts/individual-contributions/?contributor_name=Margot%20Milliken. ^
  14. “Browse Individual Contributions”. 2021. Federal Election Commission. Accessed July 19. https://www.fec.gov/data/receipts/individual-contributions/?contributor_name=Margot%20Milliken. ^
  15. “Browse Individual Contributions”. 2021. Federal Election Commission. Accessed July 19. https://www.fec.gov/data/receipts/individual-contributions/?contributor_name=Margot%20Milliken. ^
  16. “Browse Individual Contributions”. 2021. Federal Election Commission. Accessed July 19. https://www.fec.gov/data/receipts/individual-contributions/?contributor_name=Margot%20Milliken. ^
  17. Milliken, Margot. 2020. “Commentary: Real Leadership Needed To Protect And Advance Reproductive Rights”. Press Herald. https://www.pressherald.com/2020/01/18/commentary-more-than-ever-outcome-of-maines-u-s-senate-race-matters-to-planned-parenthood/. ^
  18. Milliken, Margot. 2020. “Commentary: Real Leadership Needed To Protect And Advance Reproductive Rights”. Press Herald. https://www.pressherald.com/2020/01/18/commentary-more-than-ever-outcome-of-maines-u-s-senate-race-matters-to-planned-parenthood/. ^
  19. “Browse Individual Contributions”. 2021. Federal Election Commission. Accessed July 19.https://www.fec.gov/data/receipts/individual-contributions/?contributor_name=Margot%20Milliken. ^
  20. “The ‘Gatekeepers’: Ten Wealthy Mainers Giving $3.95 Million To This Election”. 2014. The Maine Monitor. https://www.themainemonitor.org/maines-10-big-money-elite-giving-3-95-million-to-this-years-elections/. ^
  21. “Browse Individual Contributions”. 2021. Federal Election Commission. Accessed July 19. https://www.fec.gov/data/receipts/individual-contributions/?contributor_name=Margot%20Milliken. ^
  22. [1] “Browse Individual Contributions”. 2021. Federal Election Commission. Accessed July 19. https://www.fec.gov/data/receipts/individual-contributions/?contributor_name=Margot%20Milliken. ^
  23. “Browse Individual Contributions”. 2021. Federal Election Commission. Accessed July 19. https://www.fec.gov/data/receipts/individual-contributions/?contributor_name=Margot%20Milliken. ^
  24. “Browse Individual Contributions”. 2021. Federal Election Commission. Accessed July 19. https://www.fec.gov/data/receipts/individual-contributions/?contributor_name=Margot%20Milliken. ^
  25. Annual Report. 2016. Ebook. Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project. https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5af48320e74940b55a6583bb/t/5b732e8ac2241b707dd6cf51/1534275212356/AnnualReport16_for_web.pdf. ^
  26. Annual Report. 2019. Ebook. Brennan Center for Justice. https://www.brennancenter.org/sites/default/files/2020-04/2019__AnnualReport.pdf. ^
  27. Impact Report. 2020. Ebook. Justice Aid. https://justiceaid.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/JA_ImpactReport_2020.pdf ^
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