Wednesday, September 19, 2007

More Campaign Finance Stuff

Yesterday I made a post about the campaign finance reports. It was lengthy. It was based off reporting in the Fitchburg Pride. Consider it the first chapter of this post.

Today the Sentinel has their version, in an article entitled "Wong leading fundraising chase". Incidentally, the Pride article was entitled "Donnelly leads mayoral money hunt".

Sigh... this is why I prefer raw data.

Neither headline is really technically wrong. Wong has raised more funds. Donnelly has more money (thanks to throwing in $5,000 of his own). Though unless hunting through his bank account is included, a "money hunt" could be seen as synonymous with fundraising. So neither's technically wrong, but the Sentinel is more accurate.

The Sentinel article also provides some new details missing from the FP piece.

For one, it gives us DeSalvatore's actual figure, which is $10,704. Of that, only $5,330 is from "contributors", while the rest came from his fundraisers. Pretty lame.

I found this bit interesting:
Wong raised the most in contributions smaller than $50, with $1,315. DeSalvatore raised $530 in those contributions and Donnelly raised only $65 from donations of less than $50.
So there you have your grassroots support. People who give what little they can to support someone they believe in. DeSalvatore loves to claim he has the big grassroots operation, but from this it sure looks like Wong is far ahead of the field in that respect. Donnelly obviously only appeals to the big-money people, which is not the tiniest bit surprising.

Furthermore, there's a telling segment of the article worth quoting extensively:
Donnelly has $7,345 left, all of which he plans on spending before Tuesday.

"No sense in saving it," Donnelly said. "I don't expect to save any money. We're using this to get through the first step, then we're hoping to get a second round of contributions to be used for the second campaign."

Wong has a different plan of how to spend her money.

"It's very important to have a budget that is flexible," Wong said. "Right now I'm on target to make sure that I don't spend any more money than I have."


Wong is the only of the three candidates who does not owe money. Donnelly has a $5,000 loan from himself listed on his finance sheet. DeSalvatore has more than $6,000 worth of expenditures, most of which is to Clark Patterson, the campaign's treasurer.
Once again we have a relevant situation when considering the city's finances.

Donnelly will apparently spend all the money. No contingency plans, no flexibility. Just throw money at things. Also, he'll go into debt.

Wong will have a flexible budget, and make sure not to spend more money than she has.

DeSalvatore will spend way more than he has, probably a good chunk of it paying off his cronies.

Easy choice, again.

1 comment:

Jason said...


Fair enough on the figures. I've always kind of looked at the bottom line -- no matter where it comes from, it's available to be spent.

I'd argue that DeSalvo's under $50 number is much larger. Those lump sum figures from three fundraisers is over $5,000, and all those are likely under $50. Now, is it the same 150-200 people at all three event? Probably. But you get my drift.

Good stuff all around.