Monday, May 03, 2010

A Look at Jack Wagner's Campaign Finance Reports

Jack Wagner has a separate account for his governor’s race but it has something like $300 in it, so we’ll deal with his Friends of Jack Wagner account, and look at the last report for 2009 and the first of 2010 (the most recent available. For that time period he started with $585,908.45, raised a total of $390,710.82, spent $303,491.98, which leaves him with $675,127.25 on hand.

Of the money raised, over half, $192,692.13, came from PAC’s. Of the other (individual) contributions, around $30K came from close to 210 donations in amounts of $50 to $250. Those donating over $250 contributed a total of $165,284.20. The number of donations from out of state was negligible. Looking at the PAC donations, there were more whose name indicated a corporate donor, followed by unions, then a smaller number of donations from industry. There were fewer donations from political candidates / elected officials than I would have expected for someone with Mr. Wagner’s lengthy political resume. The rest of the PAC donations are from issue or otherwise unidentifiable organizations. Looking at those who donated larger amounts I see a $10K and a $5K from the IBEW (electrical workers), $25K from AFSCME, two $5K from energy related PACS (Range Resources Energy and First Energy). There may be others that I can’t identify. As education is a hot topic in this election it is worth noting that he received $10K from the PFT Committee to Support Public Education. Mr. Wagner does have an interest grouping – he is supported by the PA Alliance of Massage Practitioners and the PA Fraternal Order of Police. Among individuals, I counted a total of 4 donations of $10K, and four of $5K, plus one of $6K. These did not seem to be in any occupational cluster.

His disbursements are orderly but nothing significant. No polling costs are evident but those might have been done earlier. He’s a traditional pol, buying calendars and gift baskets, as well as signs. There are four paid employees in one report and seven on the other, with overlap in the two lists. He paid about $20K to a direct mail firm with a PA office.

Mr. Wagner doesn’t’ have the big money donations that set off alarm bells, though his PAC to individual ratio is a little out of whack. There’s nothing unusual in the disbursements, other than that he either can’t afford or has decided not to hire the expensive consultants that usually take up a lot of campaign money. I kind of like that.

[blogger's note: reports available at]

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