Posts about the original sin of politics.

Money Story

Gannett's Larry Wilson has filed a story on the out-of-state donors who give to the candidates in the 29th race. Both Kuhl and Massa have raised significant funds from out-of-state and out-of-district contributors.

One factor that isn't mentioned in the story is Act Blue, a Democratic site that allows donors from across the nation to funnel money to competitive races. Massa has raised over half a million dollars in his two races via Act Blue.

The Money Story

The convention and Palin announcement have overshadowed the most important story of the month in the 29th. With a little more than two months left in the race, Eric Massa is out-raising and out-spending Randy Kuhl.

In July and August, Massa took in almost twice Kuhl's haul. He spent that money on TV ads and office staff. Massa spent almost three times the amount that Kuhl did on advertising. He has double the staff on his payroll.

Massa's fundraising was aided by a fundraiser held for him and other New York candidates by Charlie Rangel [NY-15]. He also benefits from netroots involvement via the Act Blue fundraising network.

Kuhl has relied on his standby funding channels: individuals in and around the district, and corporate PACs. About half of his haul came from PACs. He received no obvious help from his colleagues in Congress, presumably because things are tough all over.

Having and spending a little more cash than the incumbent doesn't guarantee anything, but in this district, it's a significant accomplishment that shouldn't be lost in the noise being made by the national contest.

Kuhl Raises $117K in 6 Weeks

Randy Kuhl has filed his pre-primary money numbers. He raised $117K in that period, and now has $571K cash on hand.

Massa outspent Kuhl 3 to 1 in the last 6 weeks, including a fairly large media buy (over $200K) for his first commercial. Though Kuhl released a campaign commercial earlier this month, his total media expenditures were around $69K. Kuhl also paid roughly $2,000 to paid signature-gathers to get his name on the ballot.

Update: Exile at Rochesterturning notices that a fair amount of Kuhl's spend ($25K) was for fundraising, $16K of that to fundraising consultants.

Massa Raises 207K in 6 Weeks

The Massa campaign has announced their pre-primary fundraising numbers. Massa raised $207K (after a $3K refund not shown in the filing), and has $534K on-hand.

Kuhl's filing hasn't hit the FEC website yet.

DCCC Reserves Major Time in WNY

The Washington Post reports that the new DCCC planned ad campaign includes a major Western New York buy of $2.7 million. That buy is split between the three contested seats in NY-25, NY-26 and NY-29.

(via The Albany Project)

Jim Walsh's Money

The Politico reports that Jim Walsh [NY-25] cut a $1,000 donation to Edolphus "Ed" Towns, a Democrat from NY-10. Towns has been in Congress for 25 years, representing a district that's been Democratic since the 1940's.

In other words, Ed's not only a Democrat, he doesn't need the money. Yet, as far as I can tell, Walsh has given nothing to Randy Kuhl. I think that says more about Walsh than it does about Kuhl, but what, exactly, it says about Walsh is beyond my ken.

Hard Money

The Messenger-Post's money story gets it about right: this is a close race. I've looked through the Massa and Kuhl fundraising reports, and both reflect tough realities for each candidate.

Massa's hard reality is that his nut is much bigger than Kuhl's. He is running two fully-staffed campaign offices, and his payroll is bigger than Kuhl's. One of the many benefits of incumbency is that Kuhl can have a presence throughout the district without spending a penny. Massa doesn't have that luxury, and he spent $120K more than Kuhl this cycle, mainly on office expenses.

Kuhl's burden is that PACs aren't going to cut it. Last cycle, he got twice as much money from PACs as he did from individuals. This quarter, those numbers were almost even. At this point in 2006, he had almost $100K more in PAC money than he did at the end of June.

Kuhl is almost even with where he was last cycle, and he's had to make up the PAC shortfall by soliciting big-money donors in the district. Though his effort there is impressive, he doesn't seem to be able to match Massa's volume of small-money donors. This quarter, 30% of Massa's donors gave less than $250, versus 15% of Kuhl's. Massa gets a number of contributions via ActBlue, a clearinghouse for Democrats who want to give to a number of different candidates.

Overall, Kuhl is almost exactly where he was in 2006. Massa has raised almost three times what he did in 2006. If the trend continues, Massa will surpass his $3 million goal, which is double what Kuhl raised in 2006.

Kuhl Numbers: $333K Raised

The Kuhl campaign has issued a press release stating that they raised $333K last quarter. His numbers have not hit the FEC website as of this post.

Kuhl's cash on hand at the end of the last quarter was $365K, so Kuhl probably ended the quarter with less cash on hand than Massa.

Update: Kuhl's report has been posted. According to the FEC, Kuhl raised $334K last quarter, spent $81K, and ends the quarter with $619K cash on hand.

Massa Money Numbers: $290K Raised

The Massa campaign's fundraising report just hit the FEC website. Massa raised $290K last quarter, spent $203K, and has $652K on hand.

Leader Energy Story

Reader Elmer sends today's Corning Leader front-page [pdf] story (jump [pdf]), which contains Kuhl's reaction to a DCCC press release about energy.

The DCCC claims that Kuhl is a friend of big oil, and uses two facts to back that up. First, it claims that Kuhl has received $29,600 from oil companies. Second, it claims that Kuhl voted against a bill that would end taxpayer subsidies for big oil.

Kuhl questioned the accuracy of the first charge, but according to OpenSecrets, he received $29K from energy and natural resource companies in the 2006 cycle. In the current cycle, he's received a tenth of that, but the real arm-twisting hasn't started yet.

The vote that the DCCC is talking about happened this Spring, on the Energy Bill. The summary from non-partisan Project Vote Smart, includes this:

-Prevents tax deductions to major integrated oil companies for income resulting from the domestic production of oil and gas (Sec. 301).

Kuhl also supports a cut in the gas tax and drilling in ANWR, both of which aren't solutions, as I've discussed earlier.

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