Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Mike Fitzpatrick Closes Leadership PAC

Roughly a year ago, on July 12, 2010, I wrote a blog entry on Mike Fitzpatrick’s leadership pac, the Keystone Leadership PAC. He had set it up in 2005 but it had been running a deficit since April, 2008, and carried a debt of $6,326.94 or more from March 2009 until May 2010, the latest report available at that time.

Perhaps it is time to check in and see how Congressman Fitzpatrick’s pac is doing. The pac had $28.27 cash on hand in May, 2010, with the aforementioned debt of $6,326.94, to two firms, Campaign Financial Services, a Bethesda, MD based firm for bookkeeping consulting, and Complete Campaigns, in San Diego, for software. Each month the debt was carried, and $5.00 was spent, until September, 2010, when only $8.27 remained. In September, donors contributed $3313.67, and the debt increased by $1,000. The donations came from two sources – from the Saul Ewing law firm, with a note that none of the partners reached the threshold that would require their individual names to be listed, and $2313.67 from the Philadelphia-based Leadership for Tomorrow PAC. The additional $1000 in debt was, again to Campaign Financial Services. The October 2010 report shows no receipts or disbursements. In November, however, the PAC received another $4000 in donations, another $3,000 from Saul Ewing, and $1,000 from Walter J. Kernaghan, and paid $2,576.94 to Campaign Financial Services toward the amount owed them. Kernaghan had already donated $4,800 to Fitzpatrick’s congressional campaign in February, 2010. After the November, 2010 election the pac filed a termination report, listing payments for the remaining debt. The termination report was accepted in February, 2011.

Congressman Fitzpatrick was affiliated with Saul Ewing from 1995 to 2004, while he was a Bucks County Commissioner which might explain their donations. Mr. Kernaghan is clearly a supporter. That leaves the Leadership for Tomorrow PAC. Let’s take a look at that, because it’s interesting. For instance, it’s a relatively new PAC, having been registered with the FEC in July, 2010. The original filing papers had to be amended because the original application misspelled the organization’s name (tommorrow not tomorrow). Only four reports have been filed, October quarterly, pre-general, post-general, and year end. So there have been no reports in 2011, as the pac files less often in off-years. It is listed as a multi-candidate pac. The treasurer is Aaron Cohen, president of Arena Strategies, a Pennsylvania consulting firm. The chairman and custodian of records for Leadership for Tomorrow is William Waldman. From July through the end of Sept., 2010, the fund raised $11,000 from two sources, $6,000 from our friends at Saul Ewing, and $5000 from William Waldman (same name and address as the pac chairman). Saul Ewing received a $1,000 refund as they can only legally donate $5,000. The only disbursement was the $2313.67 to Fitzpatrick’s Keystone Leadership PAC. In the post-general report the organization received two $1,000 donations, from the Bucks Co GOP and the Friends of Chuck McIlhenny. There were no disbursements. At present there is no way to tell what activity the pac has had in 2011.

Arena Strategies lists two other political funds or pacs as its clients. One is the Keystone Alliance PAC, registered at the federal level, and the other is the PA Future Fund, registered at the state level. Both are associated with PA GOP powerbroker Bob Asher.

Circling back where we began, Congressman Fitzpatrick has shut down his leadership pac, and his debts there have been paid. It will be interesting to check back with the Leadership for Tomorrow PAC and see if they are a force in the 2012 congressional races.

To double check my numbers and facts please review the reports at The information on Fitzpatrick's employment history is from "Cancer-free, Mike Fitzpatrick works on a political comeback," by Larry King,, October 19, 2010

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