Monday, September 13, 2010

Campaign Finance Fun Facts

Here’s a few tidbits from the immense State Board of Elections campaign finance database!

1. Marc Elrich has long disavowed development industry contributions and Duchy Trachtenberg told Progressive Neighbors that she was also turning them away. But Elrich took $3,000 from the Maryland Realtors PAC on 8/13/10 and Trachtenberg took $3,000 from them on the same day. Aren’t realtors part of the development industry since someone has to sell all those buildings the developers put up?

OK, reasonable people can disagree on that question, but Trachtenberg also took $1,000 on 5/11/10 from HBW Group of Rockville, a “commercial real estate and construction company.”

Now that is indisputably development money. So Trachtenberg snowed Progressive Neighbors and got away with it since they endorsed her. Do they have the balls to retract their endorsement or are they just going to lie down and get played?

2. Our informants are baffled by Duchy Trachtenberg’s spending. She started the year with $289,198 – far more than any other candidate and mostly raised out-of-state in four-digit checks. Since then, she has spent more on tracking polls and consulting ($35,000) than she has on printing, direct mail and postage ($33,817). Contrast her printing, mailing and postage total to those of Senator Mike Lenett ($129,378) and Delegate Saqib Ali ($104,876), each of whom is running in a district that is one-eighth of the county. Trachtenberg’s ads in Bethesda Magazine, Washington Jewish Week, Leisure World News and Takoma Park Voice – purchased for a combined cost of just $7,230 – have been no substitute for the robust mail program she could have afforded. She has done just one mass mailing and was, incredibly, beaten to the mailbox by Becky Wagner.

As of August 29, Trachtenberg was sitting on $209,629 with just sixteen days left to spend it. Television could consume that amount of money rapidly, but we have seen no sign of any such ads. And it’s getting late – VERY late. Some sources are speculating that she is so sure of victory that she is saving the money for a County Executive run. Unless she has a grand strategy that has not shown up in her finance reports, she could very well be the richest loser in MoCo history.

3. County Executive Ike Leggett and Marc Elrich have long been political allies even if they have had occasional disagreements. So Ike kicked in $2,500 to his campaign account on 8/19/10.

Well, just twelve days later, Elrich filed an affidavit to help 9:30 Club owner Seth Hurwitz obtain a temporary restraining order against Ike’s pet project, the Fillmore in Silver Spring. The Executive Branch was blindsided and immediately began investigating whether Elrich broke the ethics law by aiding a lawsuit against the county.

How’s that for gratitude? Is it too late for Ike to get his money back?

4. Speaking of the County Executive, he may not have a Democratic primary opponent or a slate, but he has given money to a number of candidates this year. They are:

Vanessa Atterbeary: $300 on 4/21/10 (given as an individual)
Bo Newsome: $6,000 on 7/8/10
Craig Rice: $3,000 on 7/12/10
Judy Docca: $1,000 on 8/2/10
Jay Hutchins: $1,000 on 8/3/10
Martin O’Malley: $4,000 on 8/10/10
Pat O’Neill: $1,000 on 8/11/10
Bonnie Cullison: $1,000 on 8/15/10
Marc Elrich: $2,500 on 8/19/10
Craig Rice: $250 on 8/22/10 (from Catherine Leggett)
Rona Kramer: $3,000 on 8/23/10
Mark Winston: $2,500 on 8/27/10
Bo Newsome: $250 on 8/29/10 (from Catherine Leggett)

One curiosity: A month after contributing to Atterbeary, Leggett endorsed the District 18 Democratic Team.

Another curiosity: Bo Newsome contributed $600 in “rent” to Leggett on 8/19/10.

5. Kyle Lierman reported having just $6,298 in the bank on 8/29/10. Ariana Kelly, his principal rival for the District 16 open Delegate seat, reported having $51,025. (That’s what self-financing can do for you!) Lierman had to replenish his coffers somehow, and we won’t find out how until after the election.

6. Senator Nancy King (D-39) paid $8,000 to Momentum Analysis of Washington, DC, the same polling firm that worked for Big Daddy’s tobacco-financed slate, on 8/12/10 as a “consulting fee.” The timing is interesting since the payment was made about two weeks before King launched her attack website against Ali. If this payment was indeed for a poll, did it say something that prompted King to go negative?

7. Here are the biggest recipients of campaign contributions (excluding loans) this year in MoCo.

Council Candidates
Hans Riemer: $171,392
Nancy Floreen: $146,838
George Leventhal: $111,338
Marc Elrich: $87,435
Craig Rice: $84,173

Senate Candidates
Nancy King: $116,105
Saqib Ali: $76,866
Brian Frosh: $54,623
Roger Manno: $53,769
Jamie Raskin: $51,251

Delegate Candidates
Kyle Lierman: $106,191
Mark Winston: $62,580
Hoan Dang: $56,723
Heather Mizeur: $55,718
Craig Zucker: $49,054

8. Here are the biggest spenders of campaign money this year.

Council Candidates
Becky Wagner: $126,119
Hans Riemer: $122,241
George Leventhal: $112,418
Nancy Floreen: $105,047
Duchy Trachtenberg: $94,709

Senate Candidates
Saqib Ali: $180,591
Mike Lenett: $174,185
Rob Garagiola: $134,139
Cheryl Kagan: $87,152
Nancy King: $84,322

Delegate Candidates
Vanessa Atterbeary: $129,780
Kyle Lierman: $99,893
Dana Beyer: $98,825
Hoan Dang: $89,195
Craig Zucker: $69,906

9. Here are the biggest self-funders of the cycle. This statistic includes contributions and loans to self from 2007 on, but does not include self-funding for the 2009 special election.

Council Candidates
Becky Wagner: $95,000 (from husband)
Hans Riemer: $50,000
Robin Ficker: $22,358
Jane de Winter: $17,115
Ilaya Hopkins: $12,500

Senate Candidates
Mike Lenett: $200,713
Rich Madaleno: $30,000
Michael Griffiths: $6,200

Delegate Candidates
Vanessa Atterbeary: $107,250
Ariana Kelly: $85,381 (includes $6,266 from husband)
Dana Beyer: $75,000
Charlie Chester: $55,000
Jay Hutchins: $47,772 (includes $2,635 from wife)

We’re sure there is a WHOLE lot more, but it’s time to go back to posting negative mail!