Thursday, September 09, 2010

Campaign Finance Reports, Pre-Primary 2

On September 3, all campaign finance reports for the period of 8/10 through 8/29 were due. These are the last reports available before the primary. Here’s a quick roundup by race.

County Council

In District 1, challenger Ilaya Hopkins was not that badly outclassed by incumbent Roger Berliner. Hopkins had $79,986 in receipts for the year, while Berliner had a combined $135,553 in starting cash balance and new receipts. But Berliner’s combination of incumbent status, name recognition and endorsements along with his financial advantage will prove to be too much for Hopkins. In District 2, Craig Rice has big edges in every finance metric against Royce Hanson and destitute Sharon Dooley. The Teachers are also going to work hard on his behalf.

In the at-large race, the incumbents and challengers Becky Wagner and Hans Riemer all have enough money for at least four county-wide mailers to regular primary voters each. Elrich may just be able to do three, while Floreen may be able to do five or even six. Alternatively, the candidates could do more targeted mailers going to selected groups of voters. As of this writing, the decisions have been made and every campaign is merely executing.

Our sources are puzzled by Duchy Trachtenberg’s spending decisions. We’ll have more on that tomorrow.

District 14

We have always assumed that Senator Rona Kramer would draw on her family’s fortune to overwhelm challenger Karen Montgomery in a tidal wave of mail. So far, that has not happened. Kramer has not loaned her campaign any money after giving herself $105,000 in her first run back in 2002. As a result, Montgomery has outraised and outspent Kramer and had a larger cash balance on 8/29. Montgomery is getting serious help from liberal groups who have told us that they have knocked on 5,300 doors and made 7,500 phone calls on her behalf. Kramer is now hitting Montgomery hard with negative mail, but is it too late?

In the Delegate race, Anne Kaiser and Craig Zucker look solid and Eric Luedtke appears to have done enough to win the third seat. The other candidates got in late and have not done enough to compete.

District 15

Senator Rob Garagiola has no primary opponent and is moving his money to other parts of the state. Delegates Brian Feldman and Kathleen Dumais will be reelected and will likely take teammate Aruna Miller with them.

District 16

Senator Brian Frosh has no primary opponent and will crush any Republican challenger. Delegate Bill Frick has good financing, Delegate Susan Lee has great financing and both have every endorsement that counts. Kyle Lierman and Ariana Kelly are in a real dogfight for the third seat, with Lierman raising more non-self financed money than any other Delegate candidate in the county and Kelly tossing herself $75,000. This race may come down to how active MCEA is in poll coverage for Kelly, since they have priorities in other parts of the county.

District 17

Senator Jennie Forehand and challenger Cheryl Kagan both have enough money to run good races. Their contest will be decided on other factors. The Delegates have no Democratic challengers.

District 18

Challenger Michael Griffiths has not been able to mount a credible race against Senator Rich Madaleno despite having the same campaign manager as Delegate challenger Dana Beyer. The main thing going for the two serious House challengers is the gigantic amount of self-funding they have each poured into the race. Beyer has put in $75,000, about the same amount as she spent last time, and newcomer Vanessa Atterbeary has put in $107,250. Atterbeary is the leading self-funder of any House candidate in MoCo in this cycle. Her money comes from her father, who employs her at his company. (Disclosure: The author is the Treasurer of the District 18 Democratic Team.)

District 19

Senator Mike Lenett loaned himself $200,000 at the start of the year and looks as if he will spend every penny. By any measure, he is running one of the biggest and most aggressive campaigns of any kind in the county. Challenger Roger Manno cannot outspend Lenett, but he is known in his district and has enough resources to compete. House candidate Sam Arora is a fundraising machine, putting in $45,000 of his own money and raising $84,628 more. His operation is on a different level than the other contenders and he looks like a winner. Incumbent Delegate Ben Kramer is the second-biggest self-funder in MoCo over the last decade (behind only Lenett). He has put in $40,000 of his own money so far and should be reelected. Bonnie Cullison has less money than Jay Hutchins, but she has the Post’s endorsement(!) and her union, MCEA, will move heaven and earth to get her elected. Hoan Dang has a lot of money and is showing some presence on the ground. Our sources do not expect him to win, but he might have a shot at fourth.

District 20

All the incumbents will be reelected. Period.

District 39

Senator Nancy King and challenger Saqib Ali are together drowning the district in negative and contrast mail. Their race is going to be remembered up there, and among MoCo political junkies, for a long, LONG time.

Delegates Charles Barkley and Kirill Reznik look safe primarily because the challengers are not of high enough caliber to take them out. Shane Robinson has lots of endorsements, no money and no name recognition. Bob Hydorn has some name recognition in Montgomery Village, which accounted for about one-sixth of the cards cast in the district in 2006, as well as the Post and Gazette endorsements. But he is almost as cash-strapped as Robinson. The open seat race is one of midgets shooting craps.

That’s the last money update prior to the election, folks, but we’ll have some fun facts on miscellaneous finance issues tomorrow.