Thursday, January 21, 2010

Duchy to Rivals: Who's Your Mommy?

Council Member Duchy Trachtenberg has made an emphatic, foot-stomping statement to her enemies on the County Council and elsewhere by raising more money than the other at-large candidates COMBINED.

In her new filing, Trachtenberg reported a net gain of $288,182 and finished with $289,198.16. Her fellow at-large incumbents plus declared challengers Becky Wagner and Jane de Winter reported a combined net gain of $175,103.85 and a combined final cash balance of $269,405.81. The other candidates did not all fare poorly: George Leventhal finished with $101,325.82 and Nancy Floreen had $89,161.97. Marc Elrich ($32,809.79) never has money and both Wagner ($29,798.82 - including a $15,000 loan from her husband) and de Winter ($16,309.41) underperformed.

Of Trachtenberg's $292,900 in contributions, only 19.6% came from Maryland. California accounted for 28.2%, D.C. accounted for 17.4% and New York accounted for 9.4% of her take. So there is no question that if the County Council were parachuted into California tomorrow, Trachtenberg would win an election there by a landslide. Fifty-three percent of Trachtenberg's fundraising was comprised of checks of $2,000 or more. Trachtenberg is able to raise this kind of money because of her background in NOW, and thankfully for her, her local problems were not known nationally prior to the filing deadline.

But this may just be kibbles and bits, folks. If Trachtenberg stops raising money altogether tomorrow, she has enough cash now to afford at least a half-dozen county-wide mailers. Her opponents would have to form a slate and pool their money if they want to match her financial power. No one knows if that will happen.

Does Trachtenberg have more enemies than dollars? Maybe. But those enemies are going to have to work VERY hard to get rid of her. And Trachtenberg's response, uttered from atop a mountain of out-of-state money, will be "Bring it on!"