Sunday, April 25, 2010

First Quarter FEC Report Round Up

1st Quarter FEC Reports

Okay, here we go again. First off, you can browse these reports yourself at As always I apologize in advance for any errors or misinterpretations. I am neither a lawyer nor an accountant, just an interested observer and these thoughts should be taken as such.

This quarter covers January – March, 2010.

Most candidates leave their reports in alphabetical order. That makes it easy to see who donated what when. Some arrange their reports chronologically so you can see the pattern of donations. Others scramble their reports so the names are not in alphabetical order or the donations on chronological order and that makes it darn difficult to keep track of them. Transparency, folks, a little more transparency please. Yes, this thwarts your opponent but it thwarts your constituents too.

If there are two numbers one is for the quarter, the other for the election cycle to date.

Watch the itemized (over $250 donations), unitemized (smaller donations), and PAC ratios. Generally, you will find unitemized to be about 10% the amount of itemized and PAC’s either a half or quarter the amount of the itemized donations., at least for incumbents. In open races or in challenger’s reports, there are usually fewer PAC donations. They like to stick with people they are fairly certain are going to win.

At this point in the election cycle it is easy to see who has donated the maximum amount possible. People can donate $2400 per “election,” which means $2400 for the primary and another $2400 for the general. Someone who donated $4800 cannot give that candidate any more money until after the November election. You can’t donate retroactively so if someone doesn’t start donating until after the primary they can only donate $2400. Everyone have that? No? I don’t blame you – it’s a little complicated, but we’ll do our best to keep it all straight.

6th Congressional District

This once open race is now more complicated. Current Republican Congressman Jim Gerlach has ended his campaign for governor and decided to run for re-election. Four other Republicans filed FEC reports this quarter and while I know that some of them have withdrawn from the race, I’m not sure of the status of all of them. Thus, their basic financial information is provided, though as a group instead of individual entries. The two Democrats in the race, Doug Pike and Manan Trivedi will have to duke it out in the primary election.

Doug Pike, Democrat
Itemized: 95,508.00
Unitemized 12,547.00
Total Of Contributions From Individuals 108,055.00 / 475,901.07
PACS 14,500.00 / 42,500
The Candidate 100,457.29 / 1,062,705.47
Total Contributions 223,017.83 / 1,581,112.08
Other Receipts 2047.77 / 4257.89
Total Receipts 225,065.60 / 1,585,369.97
Operating Expenditures 153,046.67 / 405,868.21
Refunds: 6,375.00 / 6,375.00
Total Disbursements 159,421.67 / 412,243.21
Cash Summary.
Cash On Hand At Beginning Of Reporting Period 1,107,482.82
Total Receipts 225,065.60
Total Disbursements 59,421.67
Cash On Hand At Close Of The Reporting Period 1,173,126.76

Quite a few of Pike’s donors are from out of state; my rough count is over a third and less than half, somewhere in that region. Six people have given him $4800 which means they cannot donate again at all. Another nine have donated over 2400, the maximum allowable in the primary. So if Pike does not win the primary he has to at least offer this money back to the donor. I didn’t recognize any big names. In with the usual doctors, lawyers, executives, he has a cluster of donors from the educational / non-profit world, and another cluster in writing and editorial work. One odd note, he received $5.54 as an in-kind donation from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee for fundraising services. I think that must be a typo. His PAC donations are primarily union; the exception is a $1000 donation from State Rep. Dwight Evans campaign. Note that Pike has given the campaign another $100,000, bringing his personal donations to just over a million dollars. In disbursements, he paid seven people some salary and an additional two received a stipend. I’m not sure what the difference would be but there must be one. He paid health insurance. In with usual campaign costs I see $25K for research. In the last report he paid nearly $4,000 for research. That’s a lot of research.

Manan Trivedi, Democrat

Itemized 125,075.55
Unitemized 31,531.79
Total of Contributions from Individuals 156,607.34 / 360,338.19
PACs 13,350.00 / 24,450.00
The Candidate: 1024.17 / 16,432.33
Total Contributions: 170,981.51 / 401,220.52
Total Receipts: 170,981.51 /401,220.52
Operating Expenditures: 98,249.27 / 217,777.72
Other Disbursements:
Total Disbursements: 98,249.27 / 217,777.72
Cash Summary.
Cash On Hand At Beginning Of Reporting Period 123,381.63
Total Receipts 170,981.51
Total Disbursements 98,249.27
Cash On Hand At Close Of The Reporting Period 196.113.87

Trivedi has really broadened his base. While you still see more Ravis and Sanjays in his list of donors than in most finance reports they are outnumbered by the more mainstream names. Of the direct donors less than a fourth are from out of state. Trivedi makes significant use of Act Blue, an online site that allows people to donate to Democratic candidates across the country. Some appear to make use of the feature that allows them to make regular donations; there are monthly donations for the same amount. Many are repeat donors without using that feature (differing donations from the same person). Roughly a third of his Act Blue donations were from out of state. Let’s say of the total a third came from out of state. Only one person has completely topped out at $4800 but nine have given $2400 and an additional four have donated over $2400. Trivedi’s donors are more varied occupationally. As a doctor he does, as one might expect, pull in a lot of money from fellow doctors and other health care researchers, etc. There are also the standard lawyers and executives. However he also has a tax coach, architect, accountant, ESL teacher, SAT tutor, farmer, and poet. A varied group. I see a few former political candidates but no big political names. His PAC donations seem evenly split between political campaign funds, unions, and issue related funds. In disbursements, Trivedi’s campaign had six people on the payroll at various times. He pays health insurance. The campaign paid $17K to a polling firm, hired a consultant and an email management firm.

Other Republicans Candidates

I’m not exactly certain of the status of Curt Schroder’s campaign but he brought in only $413.64 this quarter and spent $15,689.83, leaving him with $112,596.33 on hand. Steve Welch has a totalof $30,237.87 left in his campaign fund, after repaying himself the half a million he had loaned to the campaign earlier. Brian Gordon raised a total of $27,609 from individuals and $50.00 from political committees. He spent $35,310.60, leaving him with $27,373.40 on hand. Walt Hufford raised $3450.00, spent $12,173.35, and has $7,911.06 on hand. I could not find a report for Patrick Sellers. He might have filed a paper report instead of electronic; I didn’t check. Apologies but I’m not paging through a pdf of a campaign finance report. The electronic are mind-boggling enough.

Jim Gerlach, incumbent Republican

Itemized 203,927.99
Unitemized 21,756.50
Total Of Contributions From Individuals 225,684.49 / 396,961.38
Other Political Committees (such as PACS) 289,133.50 / 471,808.50
Total Receipts 515,150.43 / 890,645.26
Operating Expenditures 171,517.75 / 599,347.13
Refunds, other disbursements: 12,750.00 / 172,625.00
Total Disbursements 184,267.75 / 771,972.13
Cash Summary
Cash On Hand At Beginning Of Reporting Period 5,298.03
Total Receipts This Period 515,150.43
Total Disbursements This Period 184,267.75
Cash On Hand At Close Of The Reporting Period 336,180.71

In this quarter and for the election cycle overall, PAC donations are greater than individual donations. That may be a reason for concern. There are a number of donations from the employees of Bentley Systems. You also see varying occupations that normally mean lobbyist, including lobbyist. Very few of Gerlach’s donations are from out of state. His reports are arranged chronologically not alphabetically by name of donor so they are a little tricky to work with. A wide variety of occupations are represented. He did have over 30 donations of $2400 or more, with 11 of $4800. There are also several instances of donations either been given twice or recorded twice because people are listed as having given $9600 and then there is a note about a refund. I don’t know which is worse, listing a donation twice or the possibility that people will not have realized they already gave nearly $5000 and so they give it again. I myself have never lost track of that much money. His campaign must have been burning up the phones because he has a lot of PAC money. There are over 100 occupational or corporate PACs such as Bank of America PAC, American Bankers PAC, New York Life, and so on. There are a lot of doctor’s and medical organizations listed. There are about 20 political PACs such as Cohen for Congress in state and Eric PAC (I think is Eric Cantor’s leadership PAC) from out of state. Among the few cause oriented funds are the Turkish Coalition USA organization. In disbursements, there are two salaried employees, one of which was reimbursed for health insurance, several campaign functions were done by corporations. Over $30K was paid to a corporate name for finance director and another was paid for campaign work, including $18K for media work. He paid $23K for polling. A fundraising consulting received commissions on her work. Another fundraising firm was hired as well.

7th Congressional District

Bryan Lentz, Democrat

Itemized 135,618.00
Unitemized 27,301.08
Total Of Contributions From Individuals 162,919.08 / 530,048.08
Other Political Committees (such as PACS) 73,500.00 / 221,600.00
Total Receipts 236,419.08 / 751,648.08
Operating Expenditures 88,689.94 / 144,277.21
Total Disbursements 88,689.94 / 144,277.21
Cash Summary
Cash On Hand At Beginning Of Reporting Period 459,691.73
Total Receipts This Period 236,419.08
Total Disbursements This Period 88,689.94
Cash On Hand At Close Of The Reporting Period 607,420.87

Only about 20 of Lentz’s nearly 370 donors are from out of state. In this reporting period, five donors reached the $2400 level, an additional 10 donated more than $2400, and five above that donated $4800 and thus cannot donate to his campaign again before election day in November. As far as my estimation goes, he only received $3,100 via ActBlue. There are a lot of lawyers in his donor group, but also a cluster of educators, plus a steamfitter and a painter. I counted three elected officials or candidates donating their own money. One other person of note – the COO of the Kimmel Center. Of the PACs the majority, 19 were political in nature. Most of the campaign committees donating were local, Mike Gerber, Josh Shapiro, Dave Frankel. Lentz is personable and appears to have made a lot of friends. He received donations from eight union organizations, seven industry groups, and four cause-related groups (or were groups I couldn’t fit into the other categories. A number of the PAC donations were funneled through the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee as memo-ed items. Allyson Schwartz’s leadership PAC donated. In disbursements, there are a total of six employees, though some were probably part-time or short-term employees. He paid for insurance, though I am not sure what kind. He paid $10K for his website and $15K for a legal retainer.

Pat Meehan, Republican

Itemized 183,300.20
Unitemized 19,387.41
Total Of Contributions From Individuals 202,687.61 / 910,627.50
Political Party Committees 1,000.00 / 1,000.00
Other Political Committees (such as PACS) 139,050.00 / 222,500.00
Total Receipts 342,737.61 / 1,124,127.50
Operating Expenditures 161,308.80 / 255,091.55
Refunds: 600.00 / 4000.00
Total Disbursements 161,908.80 / 259,091.55
Cash Summary
Cash On Hand At Beginning Of Reporting Period 694,207.14
Total Receipts This Period 342,737.61
Total Disbursements This Period 161,908.80
Cash On Hand At Close Of The Reporting Period 875,035.95

Of his roughly 280 itemized donors, 17 were from out of state. A total of five reached the $2400 mark this quarter, an additional 12 donated more than that, and five more reached the $4800 mark. He has a lot of lobbyists among his itemized individual donors, a lot of lawyers, and a priest. There are a lot of PAC donations. I counted 29 politically oriented committees, including those of Mike Huckabee and Eric Cantor, plus a number of PACs with the word conservative in their name. He had 20 corporate PAC donations including Blue Cross and Highmark insurance companies. WaWa and McDonalds also like Meehan. There are 15 industry related PACs, a notable number are medical in nature. There are 16 issue related or otherwise uncategorized PACs. You can draw your own conclusions from all that. Among distributions he has two paid employees but like Gerlach pays retainers to groups that probably provide political services. He bought a digital camcorder. He paid for website hosting retainer, and an additional $20K for database management consulting.

8th Congressional District

Patrick Murphy, Incumbent Democrat (elected 2006)

Individual Itemized 383,708.00
Individual Unitemized 33,265.99
Total Of Contributions From Individuals 416,973.99 / 1,465,308.50
Political Party Committees 0.00 / 1,060.00
PACS 165,400.00 / 579,825.00
Total Contributions 582,373.99 / 2,046,193.50
Transfers from Other Authorized Committees 0.00 / 5,000.00
Offsets to Operating Expenditures (Refunds, Rebates, etc) 3,954.18 / 23,018.63
Other Receipts 2,194.31 / 5,583.07
Total Receipts 588,522.48 / 2.07,795.20
Operating Expenditures 116,535.15 / 1,059,583.20
Total Refunds 0.00 / 1821.20
Other Disbursements 0.00 / 45,502.36
Total Disbursements 116,535.15 / 1,106,906.76
Cash Summary
Cash On Hand At Beginning Of Reporting Period 847,753.64
Total Receipts This Period 588,522.48
Total Disbursements This Period 116,635.15
Cash On Hand At Close Of The Reporting Period 1,319,740.97

Of the 563 itemized donations I counted 196 as being from out of state. Fifteen donors gave $2400, the maximum allowed for the primary, 30 gave over $2400, and 27 more donated $4800 which means they cannot donate to his campaign again before the November election. Murphy’s donors include the standard doctors, lawyers, and Indian chiefs, including executives at both Urban Outfitters and J. Crew, which might get him some traction with the hipster crowd. There is a cluster of donations from employees of L-3, a cluster of higher education people (both administrators and professors), and a cluster of artsy types, artists, playwrights, agents, some with recognizable names. His PAC donations are a mix. There are about 40 corporate PACs, 12 union PACS, 10 political groups, 11 industry PACs, and 12 cause or unknown PACs. It is a diverse group. Murphy has the support of boilermakers, blacksmiths, and plumbers, and the Communication Workers union as well as Comcast. His disbursements are unremarkable. There are six paid employees at various times over the quarter; he pays for health insurance. He paid his fundraising consultant $13K. The campaign’s printer is local, in Levittown.

Mike Fitzpatrick, Republican

Individual Itemized 414,550.62
Individual Unitemized 35,883.00
Total Of Contributions From Individuals 450,433.62
Other Political Committees (such as PACS) 59,360.00
Total Contributions 509,793.62
Other Receipts 22.73 / 22.73
Total Receipts 509,816.35
Operating Expenditures 37,244.22
Refunds to Individuals/Persons 200.00
Total Contribution Refunds 200.00
Total Disbursements 37,444.22
Cash Summary
Cash On Hand At Beginning Of Reporting Period 0.00
Total Receipts This Period 509,816.35
Total Disbursements This Period 37,444.22
Cash On Hand At Close Of The Reporting Period 472,372.13

This report is arranged chronologically instead of alphabetically which makes it more difficult to work with. I counted 35 out of state donors from the 502 itemized individuals. There were 24 donations of $2400, 12 of more than $2400, and 26 gave the full $4800 allowed for the entire election cycle. There were quite a few executive positions listed as occupation. Among employment clusters I saw Crown Holdings / Crown Cork & Seal, Bucks County, and the building trades. He also had a geologist listed, which seemed unusual. Most of the PAC money came in through political campaign committees and most of those were local. He received money from several issue PACs, though some might be congressional leadership PACs, it is sometimes hard to tell from the names. There were only four identifiable corporate PACs. In disbursements, one employee is listed. Campaign Financial Services received nearly $8K. He used a Massachusetts printing firm and paid them $9K. Mr. Fitzpatrick has $21,748.89 in debt, a third of it to a country club for catering; this is likely a matter of a bill being held or having come in late and not paid before the report was due. There is another bill for catering. He also owes for telephone service and website development.

Other Republicans

I found reports for two other Republicans; there are or were others in the running but they might be filing their reports on paper instead of electronically. Apologies, dear readers, but I’m not sorting through the pdfs of reports unless someone appears to be a viable candidate. Of the electronic reports, Judith Algeo appears to be shutting down. She did not raise any money this quarter, spent a little over $5,000 had had $48.06 on hand at the end of March. Gail Carlineo fared a little better. She raised $29,978.51 and loaned herself $80,100, for a total of $110,078.51. She spent $16,676.38, and had $93,402.13 on hand at the end of the quarter.

13th Congressional District

Allyson Schwartz, Incumbent District (elected 2004)

Individual Itemized 225,281.84
Individual Unitemized 11,566.00
Total Of Contributions From Individuals 236,847.84 / 1,132,865.92
Political Party Committees 26.37 / 119.65
Other Political Committees (such as PACS) 120,100.00 / 652,152.68
Total Contributions 359,974.21 / 1,785,138.25
Offsets to Operating Expenditures (Refunds, Rebates, etc) 138.60 / 8,530.41
Other Receipts 7,283.20 / 44,141.31
Total Receipts 364,396.01 / 1,837,809.97
Operating Expenditures 151,736.32 / 562,873.09
Refunds to Individuals/Persons 1,000.00 / 2,175.00
Other Political Committees (such as PACs) 0.00 / 1,000.00
Total Contribution Refunds 1,000.00 / 3,175.00
Other Disbursements 950.00 / 240,070.00
Total Disbursements 153,86.32 / 806,118.90
Cash Summary
Cash On Hand At Beginning Of Reporting Period 2,840,475.29
Total Receipts This Period 364,396.01
Total Disbursements This Period 153,686.32 / 806,118.09
Cash On Hand At Close Of The Reporting Period 3,051,184.98

Around a quarter of Schwartz’s donors are from out of state. I counted three donations of $2400, 31 of more than $2400, and 15 additional donors reached the $4800 maximum amount for the election cycle. Occupationally I saw a cluster of health related professions, not just doctors but also heath care administrators, child psychologists, pharmacist, physical therapist, etc. Of course, there are lawyers (including one at NBC Universal), and executives (such as the one at a bicycle company), but there is also a teacher, a social worker, and a minister. The president of the Phillies is also a donor. Her PAC donations are somewhat unusual for a Democrat. There are only five unions represented and no discernible political committees. I counted 34 PACs connected with corporations, and 27 related to industries or occupational groups, many of these are medical in nature. There were seven cause or otherwise unidentifiable PACs. I may have miscategorized some of these – some of the PAC names are not very helpful. Her disbursements are unremarkable. There are two paid staffers and she pays for health insurance. The campaign uses a local printer. There are payments for software, website maintenance, polling ($27K), and so on.

Republican challengers

I found electronic reports for two candidates, though there may be others. Damian Dachowski has, I believe, ended his campaign. In this quarter he raised $1,209, spent $10,320.22, and had $13,569.55 on hand at the end of the quarter. Dee Adcock appears to be the favored candidate. He raised $43,006.00, loaned himself $70,000, spent $72,413.24, and had $44,956.45 at the end of the quarter.

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