Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Third Quarter Campaign Finance Reports

Okay, our congressional buddies from the general suburban Philadelphia area have filed their third quarter fundraising reports. Remember that these reports are often amended (you can throw stones if you have ever prepared one, otherwise keep any snark on that topic to yourself).

If there are two sets of numbers in a category the first is for this past 3 months (July – Sept), the second is for the campaign cycle total. I did not break down individual contributions by itemized and unitemized (large vs small amounts). I also did not include a category of there were no numbers in it, just to keep this from being any more blindingly difficult to work with than it already is. If you are interested in itemized / unitemized numbers or more information on any of the finance reports, check them out at www.fec.gov

This time I romped through the reports individually and took note of assorted things. Some campaign finance software will let you scramble the report so it isn’t listed in alphabetical order. This is to make it difficult for your opposition to see what you are up to. It is, to be sure, annoying if you are trying to get a sense of the campaign via the reports. I also looked to see how many donors were already maxed out for both the primary and general elections. Generally speaking about 7 contributor records will fit on my screen at a time so I kept a general mental tally of how many of the seven were usually from out of state. Those are not reliable numbers as I didn’t write it down or keep close track – it is a general gist/guess. I counted how many people are being paid to work on the campaign and whether or not there is evidence of the campaign paying their health insurance. What software and other campaign vendors do they use? Paychex seems to be the universal vendor for payroll. For campaign software there are a variety of products. NGP seems to be the most popular and is bipartisan to boot(update: NGP is used by Democratic candidates) (note to campaign finance wannabees – in PA it would be a good idea to try to get trained on NGP). Most campaign consultants (and these often take up more money than the salaries) are from out of state. Note to candidates: Buy local! If I contribute to a campaign I don’t want a goodly percentage of that money going to some hired gun in DC or MD or elsewhere.

A few odd tidbits – Rep. Sestak’s campaign pays for TiVo. Rep. Schwartz’s campaign is making car payments. Rep. Dent is receiving money from the Sharp Pencil PAC (a GOP leadership PAC) which brings a number of jokes to mind but I will spare you.

So, in district order, here we go!

6th Congressional District

Incumbent Republican Jim Gerlach

Individuals 146,216.38 / 457,519.47
Political Party Committees 220.50 / 976.82
Other Political Committees (such as PACS) 90,500.00 / 429,000.00
Total Contributions 26,936.88 / 88,7496.29
Transfers From Other Authorized Committees (none this quarter)
Offsets to Operating Expenditures (Refunds, Rebates, etc) 239.75 / 4,685.30
Other Receipts 2,718.06 / 4,531.10
Total Receipts 239,894.69 / 900,136.99

Operating Expenditures 177,767.91 / 599,258.46
Refunds of Contributions 3,800.00 / 4600.00
Other Disbursements 350.00 / 1,850.00
Total Disbursements 181,917.91 / 605,708.46

Cash On Hand At Beginning Of Reporting Period 342,489.88
Total Receipts This Period 239,894.69 / 900,136.99
Subtotal 582,384.57
Total Disbursements 181,917.91 / 605,708.4
Cash On Hand At Close Of The Reporting Period 400,466.66
Debts and Obligations 18,388.47

Personal observations: Debt is a bill for direct mail expenses. Rep. Gerlach has his reports scrambled so they are not listed alphabetically. I counted 6 maxed out contributors; most contributors from PA. Paychex, Complete Campaigns software, 3 salaried (one reimbursed for health insuranced). DC webhosting & fundraising, TX direct mail, NJ media consultant. For this cycle, almost even amounts from individuals and PACS

7th Congressional District

Incumbent Democrat Joe Sestak

Individuals: 337,407.50 / 966,560.65
Political Party Committees (less than $10.00 this quarter)
PACS 88,551.70 / 404,051.89
Transfers From Other Authorized Committees (none this quarter)
Refunds, Rebates, etc ($.500 this quarter)
Total Receipts 425,973.99 / 1,413,330.91

Operating Expenditures 67,287.63 / 286,348.67
Total Contribution Refunds 5,750.00 / 6,110.00
Total Disbursements 73,037.63 / 292,458.67

Cash On Hand At Beginning Of Reporting Period 1,072,436.82
Total Receipts This Period 425,973.99
Subtotal 1,498,410.81
Total Disbursements This Period 73,037.63
Cash On Hand At Close Of The Reporting Period 1,425,373.18

Personal observations: scrambled,15 maxed out contributors, roughly 1 out of 7 out of state, from ActBlue $96,777, 3 on payroll (2 named Sestak), wired for change – dc, online campaign tools, TiVo, NGP, paychex. Almost twice as much from individuals as PACS

8th Congressional District

Incumbent Democrat Patrick Murphy

Individuals 158,084.49 / 836,801.23
Political Party Committees (none this quarter)
Other Political Committees (such as PACS) 72,000.00 / 546,020.33
Total Contributions 230,084.49 / 1,389,877.59
Transfers From Other Authorized Committees (none this quarter
Other Receipts 1,883.34 / 37,784.04
Total Receipts 231,967.83 / 1,463,282.11

Operating Expenditures 133011.58 / 464,684.01
Contributions Refunds 1,749.00 / 3,377.00
Other Disbursements 3,000 / 3,000
Total Disbursements 137,760.58 / 471,061.01

Cash On Hand At Beginning Of Reporting Period 963581.53
Total Receipts This Period 231,967.83
Subtotal 1,195,549.36
Total Disbursements This Period 137,760.58
Cash On Hand At Close Of The Reporting Period 1,057,788.78
Debts and Obligations: 44,972.83

Personal observations: His report is not scrambled, only 4 maxed out, 3 salaried employees, health care expenses listed, roughly 1 or 2 out of 7 from out of state, a lot of candidate travel, looks like around $30K for legal services?, NGP software, website in MA. Doing better in the individual / PAC ratio

13th Congressional District

Incumbent Democrat Allyson Schwartz

Individuals 156,173.98 / 810,139.33
Political Party Committees 113.28 / 397.42
Other Political Committees (such as PACS) 99,750.00 / 366,650.00
Total Contributions 256,037.26 / 1,177,186.75
Refunds, Rebates, etc (none this quarter)
Other Receipts 6,201.20 / 10,601.46
Total Receipts 262,238.46 / 1,207,782.09

Operating Expenditures 63,700.04 / 296,284.45
Refunds of Contributions (none this quarter)
Other Disbursements 155,110.00 / 217,910.00
Total Disbursements 218,810.04 / 516,894.45

Cash On Hand At Beginning Of Reporting Period 1,298,880.31
Total Receipts 262238.46
Subtotal 1,561,118.77
Total Disbursements 218,810.04
Cash On Hand At Close Of The Reporting Period 1,342,308.73

Personal observations: not scrambled, 10 maxed out, 3 salaried employees, 2 out of 7 contributions from out of state, pays health insurance, 3 car payments?, NGP, Paychex, DC fundraising consultants. more than half from individuals as opposed to PACS

15th Congressional district

Incumbent Republican Charlie Dent (R)

Individuals 63,578.00 / 288,918.44
Political Party Committees 98.00 / 294.00
PACS 93,324.00 / 277,674.00
Total Contributions 157,000.00 / 566,886.44
Rebates, Refunds, etc 228.00 / 2,857.00
Other Receipts 1,006.20 / 1,392.71
Total Receipts 158,234.20 / 571,136.15

Operating Expenditures 66,963.06 / 382,276.33
Other Disbursements 3,800 / 3,800
Total Disbursements 70,763.06 / 386226.33

Cash on hand at beginning of reporting period 371,462.69
Total Receipts 158,234.20
Subtotal 529,696.89
Total Disbursements 70,763.06
Cash on hand at close of reporting period 458,933.83

Personal observations: scrambled with pac and individual together (annoying), none maxed out, one salaried employee, VA and NH fundraising, one PA fundraising consultant, Aristotle software, a student and retiree at same address in NH each gave $2300. Almost as much from PACS as individuals

Democratic Challenger "Sam" Bennett

Contributions from individuals: 22,942.15 / 61,964.71
PACS 5,000 / 29,000
Total Contributions: 27942.15 / 90,964.71
Other Receipts: 250 / 250
Total Receipts: 28,192.15 / 91,214.71

Operating Expenditures 39,631.17 / 58,288.42
Other Disbursements 365 / 365
Total Disbursements 39,996.17 / 58,653.42

Cash On Hand at Beginning of Reporting Period: 44,330.31
Total Receipts: 28,192.15
Total Disbursements: 39,996.17
Cash on Hand at Close of the Reporting Period: 32,526.29

Personal Observations: not scrambled, a third or more out of state, none maxed out, 1 employee, local web host, a lot of money going to TeamBlue Politics in MD, NGP software


Anonymous said...

To clarify NGP is not a bipartisan firm. We only serve Democratic and progressive campaigns and organizations. Thank you for the positive recognition, and we are proud to be working with the campaigns of Reps. Schwartz, Murphy, and Sestak as they head toward re-election in 2008.

Christopher Massicotte
NGP Software

AboveAvgJane said...


Thank you very much for the clarification and I apologize for the error

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