Tuesday, November 29, 2011

FEC Report Round Up: 1st Quarter 2011

The last FEC report round up I posted was the pre-general in 2010.  What happened to them? I do the quarterly FEC reports. The absence is in part this was because I didn’t have reliable Internet access, in part because life just got busy.  But I’m hoping to get caught up.  Since the post general and year end reports can be messy, I’ve left those off for now and just picked up with the first quarter of 2011.  I might go back later and pick up on specifics and unusual items in the post general and year end.  The other two 2011 quarterly reports should be along shortly.

1st Quarter 2011 FEC Reports

Okay, here we go again.  First off, you can browse these reports yourself at www.fec.gov.  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 report covers January – March, 2011.  Where there are two numbers in a category the first is for the quarter, the second is for the election cycle total.

All but one unelected candidates from the last election have terminated their campaign committees (Dee Adcock in 13th district,  Bryan Lentz in the 7th, and Patrick Murphy in the 8th), so I haven’t included any information about them here.  The 6th district challenger, Dr. Manan Trivedi has declared his candidacy for the 2012 election so his report is included.

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. 

Just about everyone posted reports in alphabetical order, which makes them easier to deal with.  My thanks to those preparing the reports for that.

6th Congressional District 

Manan Trivedi, Democrat 

Total of Contributions from Individuals 0.00  / 1,109.87
Offsets to Operating Expenditures (Refunds, etc.): 1,551.05  / 1,635.05
Total Receipts: 1,551.05 / 2,744.92
Operating Expenditures: 2,405.43 / 60,055.43
Other Disbursements: 500.00 / 500.00
Total Disbursements: 2,905.43 / 60,555.43
Cash Summary.
Cash On Hand At Beginning Of Reporting Period 23,521.58
Total Receipts  1,551.05
Total Disbursements   2,905.43
Cash On Hand At Close Of The Reporting Period  22,167.20

There is a $1,300 receipt on the list of receipts that is not reflected in the summary.  There may be a reason for this that I don’t understand but it does make me wonder if an amended report will be forthcoming.  Since refunds are listed here but none on the detailed listings it is possible that the amount was put on the wrong line.

Jim Gerlach, incumbent Republican

Itemized  76,700.00
Unitemized 8,786.00
Total of Contributions from Individuals 85,486.00  /  85,896.00
PACs  146,185.00 / 146,208.67
Total Contributions: 231,671.00 / 232,104.67
Offsets to Operating Expenditures (Refunds, etc.): 400.00 / 643.27
Other Receipts:  153.78 / 665.99
Total Receipts: 232,224.78 / 232,224.78
Operating Expenditures: 119,569.78 / 192,434.38
Other Disbursements: 2,950.00 / 39,650.00
Total Disbursements: 122,519.78 / 232,084.38
Cash Summary.
Cash On Hand At Beginning Of Reporting Period 128,070.33
Total Receipts  232,224.78
Total Disbursements  122,519.78
Cash On Hand At Close Of The Reporting Period  237,775.33

Of the 62 individual itemized contributions, 13 were from out of state.  Occupationally there were a lot of attorneys and corporate executives, as well as one prosperous farmer.  Seven people have maxed out their donations for the entire election cycle, three have donated $2500, two $2400 and one over $2400.   In the PAC donations, there were clusters in finance, medicine, and pharmaceutical groups.

Pat Meehan, Republican

Itemized  207,305.00
Unitemized 11,525.00
Total of Contributions from Individuals 218,830.00  / 238,180.00 
Other Political Committees 400.00 / 1,600.00
PACs  114,800.00 / 128.750.00
Total Contributions: 334,030.00 / 368,530.00
Transfers from Other Authorized Committees: 4,219.60 / 4,219.60
Other Receipts:  0.00 / 466.00
Total Receipts: 338,249.60 / 373,215.60
Operating Expenditures: 66,704.31 / 376,006.42
Contribution Refunds: 0.00 / 8,000.00
Other Disbursements:  /
Total Disbursements: 66,704.31 / 384,006.42
Cash Summary.
Cash On Hand At Beginning Of Reporting Period 44,941.68
Total Receipts  338,249.60
Total Disbursements 66,704.31  
Cash On Hand At Close Of The Reporting Period  316,486.97

Congressman Meehan is a red meat Republican.  About13 donors have maxed out at $5,000, which means they cannot donate any more during this election cycle, an additional 26 have donated $2,500.  Another 11 (or thereabouts) have donated more than $2400.  Only around 10% of his donors are from out of state.  One donor is listed as contributing more than $5,000, so an amendment may be in order.  The three Susquehanna Investment Group individuals who contributed so much to Anthony Hardy Williams’s gubernatorial campaign last year, and are strong proponents of charter schools, have donated to Meehan.  In PACS there are some notable GOP leadership and related PACS, two connection to Congressman Darrell Issa, Great Eight Committee and the Invest in a Strong and Secure America PAC.  Eric Cantor’s ERIC PAC, Mitt Romney’s Free and Strong America PAC.  Even the KochPAC donated, yep the Koch Brothers company gave Meehan money.  Congressmen Pitts and Gerlach donated.  The Wine and Spirits Wholesalers and National Beer Wholesalers donated.  One group that stood out was the Turkish Coalition NJ PAC; no idea what that’s about.  In disbursements you see the standard rent, fundraising expenses, accounting, etc.  A fundraising firm received over $12,000.  Meehan has hired Rick Santorum’s former communication person, or at least her firm.  Oddly, he paid Charlie Dent $225.00 in dues.  It doesn’t say what the dues are for.  The campaign is making car payments.  One item that jumped out at me – The Academy of Music is given a contribution of $4,400.  That might have been an event expense.  It was paid on January 26 so it might have been a thank you party, but it is listed as a contribution not an event.      

8th Congressional District

Mike Fitzpatrick, Republican

Itemized  93,000.00
Unitemized 27,819.00
Total of Contributions from Individuals  120,819.00  / 157,739.00 
Political Party Committees:  1,000.00 / 1,000.00
PACs  86,676.88 / 149,376.88
The Candidate:   /
Total Contributions: 208,495.88 / 308,115.88
Offsets to Operating Expenditures (Refunds, etc.): 256.30 / 256.30
Other Receipts:  17.60 / 41.21
Total Receipts: 208,769.78 / 308,413.39
Operating Expenditures: 91,204.80 / 252,632.29
Contribution Refunds: 0.00 / 2,960.00
Other Disbursements: 0.00 / 100.00
Total Disbursements: 91,204.80 / 255,692.29
Cash Summary.
Cash On Hand At Beginning Of Reporting Period  28,060.03
Total Receipts  208,495.88
Total Disbursements  91,204.80
Cash On Hand At Close Of The Reporting Period  145,625.01

Congressman Fitzpatrick raised less money than the other incumbents in the first quarter, and has only one maxed out donor at $5,000.  His report is chronological not alphabetical so it is difficult to see how many others donated $2,500, etc, but glancing through the donations I don’t think he has had very many large amount donors.  Of the 124 individual donations listed, only 16 were from out of state.  Occupational clusters include finance and lawyers.  He has also won the support of a Lutheran minister.  Among the PAC donations there are clusters in insurance, banking and finance.  Like Meehan he received contributions from the Tuesday Group and Free & Strong America.  Rep. Spencer Baucus’s PAC, Growth & Prosperity PAC donated $5k.  The Mortgage Bankers Association also donated.  The Log Cabin Republicans contributed.  In disbursements, Mr. Fitzpatrick really used the plastic.  A lot of disbursements were put on Amex.  There are a lot of catering expenses.  A few other things that jumped out at me are an over $1,000 lodging expense at the Intercontinental Hotel in NY, but that may be associated with the Pennsylvania Society meeting.  In February the campaign spent $7k on catering and $4,600 on lodging at the Hyatt Regency in DC.  How many people are you putting up at a hotel to spend over $4K on lodging?   There is a $11K catering expense at the Temperance House and $12K on catering at Spring Mill Manor.  That’s not all of the catering expenses.  The campaign paid nearly $2k for photography and then another $200 to another photographer.  For a fiscal conservative Mr. Fitzpatrick has a lot of debt.  He owes $10K for polling, $15K for consulting, $16K for advertising, $20k to one fundraiser, and $13K to another fundraiser.   

13th Congressional District

Allyson Schwartz, Incumbent District (first elected 2004)

Itemized 301,765.63 
Unitemized  8,089.00
Total of Contributions from Individuals  309,854.63 / 317,504.63 
Political Party Committees 11.85 / 11.85
PACs  84,500.00 / 85,900.00
Total Contributions:  394,366.48 / 403,416.48
Offsets to Operating Expenditures (Refunds, etc.):  31.37 / 194.26
Other Receipts: 2,169.94 / 3,638.39
Total Receipts:  396,567.79 / 407,249.13
Operating Expenditures:  74,184.04 / 213,565.25
Contribution Refunds: 0.00  / 2,100.00
Other Disbursements: 300,770.00 / 303,295.00
Total Disbursements: 374,954.04 / 518,960.25
Cash Summary.
Cash On Hand At Beginning Of Reporting Period 1,405,093.07 
Total Receipts  396,567.79
Total Disbursements  374,954.04
Cash On Hand At Close Of The Reporting Period 1,426,706.82 

Of the over 280 itemized individual donations, roughly a fourth were from out of state.  About 40 people have maxed out contributions for the primary election, an additional 11 have maxed out donations for the primary and the general.  There are no celebrities or notable names in the donor list other than some political names that frequently show up (Connie Williams, Bob Borski). There are occupational clusters in the arts and the healthcare industry.  Among the interesting occupations in the list are horse trader, metal trader, and scrap dealer.  In PAC donations there are a lot of $1,000 to $5,000 donations from healthcare industry groups.  Other clusters are labor and finance.  The one donation that is larger than the others is a total $10,000 donation from a bipartisan group that promotes the relationship between the US and Israel.

In disbursements, Schwartz has paid $300K to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.  The campaign paid $17K to a DC fundraising firm, $1,200 to a website hosting firm, $3,000 to the PA Democratic Party for a voter file, $2,000 for postage, health insurance for her staff, city, state, and federal taxes, and continuing payments on a car for campaign use. 

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