Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Joe Hoeffel's 2009 Campaign Finance Report

The most recent campaign finance reports for the governor’s race still aren’t up on the state’s website (www.campaignfinance.state.pa.us) but while we wait let’s look at some of the previously filed reports.

This post reviews the first campaign finance report for Joe Hoeffel’s gubernatorial campaign, for the last 2009 reporting cycle. He starts with nothing in the bank, raised $347,054.18, spent $117,975.47 and had $229,078.71 cash on hand at the end of the reporting cycle (remember, this is 2009 data).

Contributions are divided into those under $50, $50 to $250, and over $250. Itemized donations are divided into those from political committees and other. Hoeffel raised $8,828 in donations of less than $50.00. For the $50 to 250 range, he received three donations from political committees, for a total of $450. He raised $44,940.91 from a total of 331 donations. In the over $250 categories there are 13 PACs for a total of $60,309.87 and $232,525.40 from 166 others. Of the larger PAC donations, a little over $30,000 came from another of his campaign committees; I think it is the fund from his Montgomery County Commissioner campaign. A business PAC donated $10,000; the rest of the PAC donations are smaller.

Trends in occupations of individuals and the focus of PACs include a larger than expected showing from engineers firms. I’m not sure what significance that has. There were fewer attorneys than I usually see on these reports, even though Hoeffel is an attorney himself. There were only a handful of out of state donations. One of the individuals donating is the VP of the Phillies. There were fewer donations from other campaigns than one might expect from such an experienced politician. However perhaps there are more on the most recent report.

There are no limits on donations in Pennsylvania, which can lead to very large donations. Hoeffel seems to get more of the smaller donations. The largest individual donation came, as previously mentioned, from another of his committees. Other than that there is one $15,000 donation from a partnership that is known more for donating to Republican candidates and organizations than Democrats. There were three donations for $10,000, one from a woman (you go, girl!). Of the other two one is from someone who works in construction; the other is from a law partnership. That partnership includes Pennsylvania pensions and the PA Turnpike Commission among its clients. It also took a company to court on behalf o the shareholders in response to a large executive budget. I like them for that alone. There are nine $5000 donations, here we see attorneys and construction interests predominate. All other donations are smaller.

In expenditures, Hoeffel invests in people not gadgetry or media. He had seven employees, though not all of these are likely to have been full-time. He also made health insurance payments. In addition he paid $10,000 to the firm which has been providing campaign management. In addition he has other consultants. There is a pollster, website expenses, postage, and fundraising costs.

This is a clean and intriguing report, showing a broad base of support, sensible expenditures, and no real surprises.

I look forward to reviewing his newer report when it is available.

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