The Fighting 29th - Money Posts about the original sin of politics. en 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.

]]> Money Tue, 19 Oct 2010 14:19:47 +0000 Rottenchester 6480 at
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.

]]> Money Sat, 04 Sep 2010 12:26:20 +0000 Rottenchester 6465 at
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.

]]> Money Sat, 17 Jul 2010 11:48:53 +0000 Rottenchester 6452 at
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.

]]> Money Fri, 16 Apr 2010 13:50:56 +0000 Rottenchester 6255 at
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.

]]> Money Fri, 16 Apr 2010 13:41:51 +0000 Rottenchester 6254 at
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.

]]> Money News Thu, 11 Mar 2010 15:13:00 +0000 Rottenchester 6187 at
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.

]]> Money Thu, 04 Feb 2010 17:32:03 +0000 Rottenchester 6092 at
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.

]]> Money Mon, 01 Feb 2010 21:26:28 +0000 Rottenchester 6085 at
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.

]]> Analysis Money News Sun, 15 Nov 2009 16:29:37 +0000 Rottenchester 5992 at
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:


Congressional candidate Corning Mayor Tom Reed today decried Eric J.J. Massa’s flip flop on accepting corporate PAC money. Massa’s most recent filing with the Federal Election Commission showed that he has accepted more than $133,000 from corporate PACs from the insurance, health care, and banking industries since taking office.

“It is well documented that during his 2008 campaign Eric Massa said very clearly that he would not accept corporate PAC money,” Reed said. “Then he went to Washington and literally immediately began playing the political game in accepting corporate donations. The troubling thing is how quickly he went back on his word. Only nine months into his term he has collected more than $133,000 from corporate PACs.”

“This isn’t about him getting money from banking, insurance and health care PACs,” Reed explained. “It’s about Congressman Massa telling us here at home that he would not accept corporate money and then going to Washington with his hand out to them. Eric Massa is another sad case of the politician saying one thing at home and doing the opposite in Washington.”
Overall, Massa has accepted more than $819,000 from PACs since he was elected, with labor organizations and left wing ideological PACs making up most of the $686,000 that was not corporate PAC money.

Prominent Democratic Party leaders such as Speaker Nancy Pelosi ($4,000), Majority Leader Steny Hoyer ($4,000), Ways and Means Chairman Charlie Rangel ($2,000), and White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel ($2,000) made contributions to Congressman Massa, who also collected tens of thousands from other congressional Democrats and national Democratic organizations. “So much for Massa telling everyone that Democratic leadership is upset with him,” Reed said of the money from Democratic leaders.

]]> Analysis Money Sat, 17 Oct 2009 13:03:57 +0000 Rottenchester 5946 at
Official Reed Numbers Tom Reed's FEC report is out. It shows that Reed raised $136K and has $117K cash on hand. Reed contributed $13K to his own cause.

Reed's financial report is remarkable because it's almost entirely contributions from individuals and political committees in the area. There are no national party contributions, so Reed could still go to that well in the future.

This is a decent first effort by Reed, and it shows that he should be able to finance a credible challenge to Massa in 2010.

]]> Money Fri, 16 Oct 2009 10:50:59 +0000 Rottenchester 5944 at
Massa Raises Almost $300K Eric Massa's money report is in. He raised $289K this quarter, bringing his cash on hand to a little over $500K. $179K of Massa's total came from individuals, and $110K came from PACs.

Reed's numbers haven't hit the FEC website yet, but his campaign claimed $130K, less than half of what Massa raised this quarter.

]]> Money Fri, 16 Oct 2009 01:09:55 +0000 Rottenchester 5943 at
Reed Preliminary Numbers The Reed campaign announced that they've raised $130K so far, and have more than $120K on hand.

FEC quarterly reports won't be out for another week, so we'll see about the details then.

]]> Money Wed, 07 Oct 2009 16:32:23 +0000 Rottenchester 5928 at
Kuhl Fundraising Letter Reader Richard sends Randy Kuhl's fundraising letter for Tom Reed [pdf]. Here's a sample:

Specifically, Massa is on the record in favor of a single-payer government administered healthcare system that would ration healthcare, and has voted to support the Presidents so-called "stimulus" package that funded liberal pet projects without any boost to our economy.

The whole thing is worth a read.

]]> Money News Sun, 20 Sep 2009 14:35:19 +0000 Rottenchester 5893 at
Massa Has Another Good Quarter Eric Massa's FEC report for the second quarter shows that he raised $282K, which leaves him with $336K cash on hand. About $130K of his total came from individuals, and about $150K came from corporate, union and party PACs.

]]> Money Thu, 16 Jul 2009 02:26:45 +0000 Rottenchester 5742 at
Massa First Quarter Report Reader Stan wrote to say that Eric Massa's Q1 FEC filing is in. Massa raised a respectable $213K this quarter, which puts him on track to have a solid warchest for 2010.

A little over one-third of Massa's funding came from individuals. The rest came from labor and corporate PACs. Notable corporate donations include one from Corning, Inc., as well as some defense contractors. Massa's position on the House Armed Services Committee will no doubt lead to more funding from that source.

Time-Warner donated another $128 to Massa in January - I assume that's the last he's going to see of their money.

]]> Money Thu, 16 Apr 2009 16:14:22 +0000 Rottenchester 5591 at
Massa's Earmarks Eric Massa's office has posted his earmark requests for the Fiscal Year 2010 budget.

]]> Money News Sun, 12 Apr 2009 11:55:44 +0000 Rottenchester 5579 at
Money Doesn't Always Buy Influence In addition to his statement about Internet monopolies in this morning's press conference, Eric Massa has issued a press release saying that he "will be taking a leadership role in stopping this outrageous, job killing initiative."

One of Massa's first corporate donations was $1,000 from Time-Warner Cable. Apparently, TWC's donation had little impact on Massa's decision to fight their broadband cap, and that's worth noting.

]]> Analysis Money Tue, 07 Apr 2009 18:59:18 +0000 Rottenchester 5569 at
Massa Took $2550 From Billionaire Swindler Reader Stanley writes to point out that Eric Massa's October financial statement has a $2550 donation from Allen Stanford, the billionaire bank owner who is accused of running a Ponzi scheme.

Stanford's donation was channeled to the Massa campaign via Charlie Rangel [NY-12], who announced last week that he's donating $10,800 (the amount of Stanford's donations) to charity.

I have a request for comment in to the Massa press operation and will publish it when I get it. Here's the word from Massa's Communications Director, Jared Smith:

Last week, we received a notice from a court appointed authority informing us that the case against Mr. Stanford was developing. In that Rep. Massa did not want to return the contribution to someone that would likely not return it to his investors, and since we do not yet know the legality of giving it to charity or turning the money over to a court receiver, Rep. Massa sent the notification letter to the legal authorities at the Democratic National Committee to see what the legal options are. Because the books are long closed on the FEC's 2008 3rd quarter filing, Rep. Massa has been very careful to ensure that everything is done correctly. Rep. Massa will act upon the recommendation of the DNC authorities. He also mentioned that this is yet another reason why America needs Clean Money/Clean Elections reforms. In our current campaign finance system, this sort of thing can happen to anyone and then the campaign bears the burden of unraveling someone else's mess.

]]> Money News Tue, 03 Mar 2009 02:58:24 +0000 Rottenchester 5472 at
Massa Takes Corporate Money An anonymous commenter who read Eric Massa's most recent FEC filing noted that Massa has started accepting donations from corporate political action committees (PACs).

In the last filing, Massa accepted a total of $7,000 from local companies Genentech, Harris and Time-Warner. Massa's long-standing position in the past two campaigns was that he only accepted money from individuals and Union PACs.

Jared Smith, Communications Director for Massa, confirmed that this is a change in Massa's policy. Smith said that Massa had financed his last two campaigns from individual donations, and that he didn't believe it was fair in this economic climate to expect individuals to donate to his campaign.

Smith also said that Massa continues to support Clean Money/Clean Elections (CMCE), and will co-sponsor CMCE legislation. Massa has also delegated the decision of whether to accept or reject corporate donations to a kitchen cabinet of supporters who will vet each donor.

]]> Money News Tue, 10 Feb 2009 16:42:52 +0000 Rottenchester 5403 at