Posts about the original sin of politics.

FEC Reports

Tom Reed passed the million dollar mark in total fundraising with his latest report, and he has almost $300K cash on hand. Reed raised $173K in the latest reporting period. Zeller raised $113K this period, and has $90K cash on hand.

Zeller's numbers are actually somewhat competitive this period, though his late start puts him far behind Reed in overall fundraising.

Pre-Primary Fundraising

The pre-primary FEC reports are in. They cover the roughly 8 week time period between July 1 and August 25. During that time, Reed raised $123K and spent $99K. He has $361K in the bank. Zeller raised $94K, spent $130K and has $50K in the bank.

The anonymous commenter who pointed this out says that Zeller is "hemorrhaging cash", but keep in mind that he's only been raising cash for a few months. It's just tough to get a campaign off the ground -- Reed's been raising money for more than a year, so he's got a good head start.

Reed's fundraising is unimpressive. By this time in the last cycle, Massa had raised $1.3 million, twice Reed's total, and he had $180K more in the bank than Reed.

Mediocre Fundraising All Around

Tom Reed raised $150k [pdf] and banked $53K in the last three months. Matt Zeller raised $138k [pdf] and banked $86K. Neither of those numbers are big for this time of year. But, because Zeller is starting so late, his cash on hand is dwarfed by Reed's $350K.

Janice Volk hasn't filed a campaign finance report, which means that she hasn't raised $5,000 yet.

Massa's Trainwreck

If you're the kind of person who stops when you see an auto accident, or follows fire trucks to the fire, don't miss Eric Massa's first quarter fundraising report.

Other than $112K of refunds, it's interesting to note that his chief of staff, Joe Racalto, received $40K the day after Massa resigned. I assume that was because Racalto had signed on to lead Massa's campaign, with a contract that had a termination bonus.

Reed Fundraising Numbers

Tom Reed's first-quarter filing is in. He raised $151K this quarter, bringing his cash-on-hand to $287K. Reed also loaned his campaign $100K this quarter, and spent $86K.

These numbers are nothing to write home about. For comparison purposes, Eric Massa raised $277K in the first quarter of 2008.

Reed's Crew

Elmer sent me a short item from the Leader, which listed Tom Reed's new hires over the last week.

  • Former Congressman Bill Paxon, who used to represent Erie County, is co-chair of his campaign. Paxon's an "advisor" at Akin, Gump, a power DC law firm.
  • Former Commerce Secretary Wayne Berman is his new DC fundraiser. Berman, a Rochester native, is a long-time Republican fundraiser.
  • John Potter, Jr., is Reed's in-district fundraiser. He's an Elmira businessman.

With this crew, Reed is set to raise some serious cash.

Reed Fundraising Letter

A Republican reader who wishes to remain anonymous sent Tom Reed's latest fundraising letter [pdf]. It's a two-page appeal, chock full of attacks on Eric Massa. My Republican correspondent doesn't like it -- he wants to see some ideas from Reed, not just attacks.

In case you're not on a mailing list for either candidate (lucky you), here's Massa's latest fundraising email [pdf] for comparison.

2009 Money Numbers

Both Tom Reed and Eric Massa filed their FEC fundraising reports yesterday.

Reed raised $87K and has a total of $122K cash on hand. His report shows that he raised about $60K from individuals, chipped in $16K himself, and got a little over $10K from PACs and party.

Massa's haul was $261K, with $222K of that total from individuals, and the rest from party and PACs. Massa's report shows that he has $643K cash on hand.

Massa has raised a little over a million dollars this cycle. Reed has raised less than a quarter of that amount ($222K). Almost all of Reed's contributions have come from individual donors. Massa's gotten about 60% of his total from individuals. In other words, even if you subtracted out PAC financing, Massa would have almost a 3:1 fundraising advantage over Reed.

Buffalo News Financial Roundup

In a piece headlined "Masa [sic] used campaign funds to pay himself and wife", Jeremy Zremski of the Buffalo News reports that Eric Massa took a $15,000 salary from his 2008 campaign. Massa's wife Beverly was also paid $18,000 as campaign treasurer.

Mrs. Massa's salary was a minor campaign issue last year. I doubt if Mr. Massa's salary has legs as an issue, but we'll see for sure next Fall.

Will Contributions Become an Issue?

Tom Reed's campaign has a press release out dinging Eric Massa for taking corporate PAC money. Reed's point is that Massa's a hypocrite since he pledged not to take PAC money in his first two races. Also, though Massa often claims that he's not popular with his party's leadership, Reed says that donations from Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer and others prove the opposite.

I predict that neither of these issues will have traction in the 2010 campaign.

Unless you can tie a campaign contribution to a specific bad act ("pay for play"), voters don't seem to care much about where a politician's money comes from. More importantly, if Reed plans to run a real campaign, he's also going to take some corporate PAC money, so he'll be open to the same charge of hypocrisy that he's leveling at Massa.

Nancy Pelosi didn't give Eric Massa money because he's her favorite. Pelosi could well be quite irritated with Massa, who has voted against his party at a couple of important floor votes. But Nancy Pelosi would rather be pissed at Massa than lose her position as Speaker, so she and the rest of her leadership group will be throwing money towards all of the Representatives in tight races.

The fact that Massa can get money from Pelosi without bending to her will is another benefit of living in a contested district -- a Member of Congress facing a tight race is more likely to vote with his district than with his leadership. It's the complacent safe-seat Member who tends to kow-tow to leaders in order to curry favor.

Reed's press release is included after the break:

Syndicate content