Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A Look at Todd Stephens Campaign Finance Reports

A few weeks ago I ran a blog post on one state rep’s campaign finance reports. It was intended as the first in a series. Today we continue, this time looking at the reports of Republican Todd Stephens. He ran against Rick Taylor in the 151st state house district and is running again this year. There are five reports for 2008 and three for 2009.

In 2008, Stephens raised a total of $227,433.69. His campaign had expenditures of $221,701.18, which is a fairly equal number, leaving him with $5732.51 to start with the next year for the 2010 campaign. However, he also received $184,361.97 in in-kind donations. Breaking down the 2008 donations, $106,192.14, not quite half of his total, came from political committees or political action committees. Looking at donations in depth, his PAC donations came in from other campaigns, such as that of Stewart Greenleaf, Bruce Castor, Jim Matthews the Friends of [Jim] Cawley. The Friends of John Perzel donated the most -- $7,000. State and county Republican organizations also donated. The House Republican Campaign Committee (HRCC) donated a cash total of $24,500; the county party $31,000, and the state party $2,000. Other interests donating PAC money include housing and construction, and insurance. His individual donors show similar interests with some notable Republican names, such as former Congressman Jon Fox, Mario Mele, and those involved in property development, construction, and engineering, along with the usual mix of lawyers and executives.

The 2008 disbursements show a pattern I have noticed in other reports, with payments to party organizations, including $40,000 to the HRCC. The campaign paid for postage, google ad words, printing, and about $45000 for media buys.

The in-kind donations are significant, and are a little more than three fourths the amount he received in cash donations. This includes office space from a building firm, and $99,556 from the state Republican party for campaign literature and postage. The HRCC paid $42,000 for an employee’s salary. The Friends of John Perzel also made in-kind donations totaling $27,269.38, most of which was also for salaries.

In 2009, which appeared to be a slow year, between election years, Mr. Stephens brought in a total of $2414.09. He spent $5793.93, which left him $2166.56 to start gearing up for the 2010 election. There were no in-kind donations. He paid website fees and an inexpensive robocall in late 2009.

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