Strolling Through Campaign Finance Numbers

First, hats off to Walt for the links on the 2010 Big List, Senate List, and House List that make finding the financial reports for candidates so wonderfully easy!

Phillip Rawls of Associated Press summarizes the reports for gubernatorial candidates nicely here.

Here’s a list of the gubernatorial candidates listed by 2009 contributions (not counting loans, in-kind contributions, or receipts from other sources).

    Candidate      Contributions    Year-end Bal.
(R) Bradley Byrne  $2,605,010.80    $1,824,609.85
(D) Artur Davis     2,174,110.20     1,391,023.30
(R) Tim James       1,360,631.68     2,618,732.58
(D) Ron Sparks        656,188.00*      836,094.56*
(R) Roy Moore         379,880.43       145,068.09
(R) Robert Bentley    144,067.00       733,253.71
(R) Kay Ivey           87,019.06     1,560,895.61
(R) Bill Johnson       80,405.00        56,895.00

(Left in Alabama has a thorough summary and comment thread on this topic here.)

Ticket to Alabama's 2011 InaugurationRon Sparks reported 39 contributions totalling $269,600 from January 2010 on his 2009 year-end account. That indicates that he actually raised $386,588 in 2009. He also loaned himself half a million dollars. Without the January 2010 contributions and the half a million dollar loan, he’d report about $67,000 cash on hand at 2009′s year-end. (The included 2010 contributions are the reason for the asterisk.) By contrast, his only primary opponent, Artur Davis, raised almost $2.2 million in 2009 ($1 million of it transferred from his Congressional campaign) and has ~$1.4 million on hand, debt-free.

Lessee… other observations…

Kay Ivey reports $1,561,000 on hand, but she also reports that she loaned herself $1,500,000 on New Year’s Eve. This is a regular trick she does. The New Year’s Eve loan shows up on the annual report for the year, but she repays the money almost immediately after the New Year so that the money is not really in her campaign account but a few days – long enough to inflate her year-end balance. You can see an example here in this report for 2008 [.pdf]. On January 2, 2008, she pays back a $1 million loan that she made a few days before at the end of 2007. You can see on the same form that she loans herself a million dollars again on December 31, 2008. Three days later, on January 2, 2009, she repays $975,000 [.pdf] but in the meantime reports a 2008 ending balance of $1,003,137.54.

Robert Bentley loaned himself almost $800,000. Otherwise he has spent more than he raised (spent $198k and raised $144k).

Tim James’s ending balance of $2.6 million is formidable. He started 2009 with $1.6 million (from loans to himself according to the AP article) and has $700,000 in loans this year. In 2009 he raised $1.36 million and spent a million.

Some notes on the legislative side…

Mike Hubbard released a statement:

Hubbard, the House Minority Leader and Chairman of the Alabama Republican Party, raised $139,303 for his campaign and reported a total of $225,383 cash on hand. Both amounts exceed those reported by all other House Members.

“I hope my fundraising numbers clearly indicate that I am focused on more than just my work as Chairman of the Alabama Republican Party and our Campaign 2010 effort to take over the Legislature,” Hubbard said. “Since all politics is local, I am also keeping a keen eye on my own backyard and taking nothing for granted.

First-time candidate Susan Pace Hamill has raised over $120,000 in her effort to secure the Democratic nomination for HD 63. She seeks to succeed Rep. Robert Bentley who has only raised $24,000 more in contributions for his gubernatorial run than she has for her district campaign.

Rep. Billy Beasley (D – Clayton) has raised $210,000 for his senatorial campaign in SD 28. Mowery Consulting passes along the observation, “The only two senators to outraise our client, Rep. Billy Beasley (D-Clayton) are the powerful chairmen of the Rules Committee and the Finance and Taxation General Fund Committee.” Lowell Barron (D – Fyffe) of the Rules Committee reports raising $432,750, and Roger Bedford (D – Russellville) of the General Fund Committee reports raising $366,062.

What are the numbers saying to you?

34 comments to Strolling Through Campaign Finance Numbers

  • Beau

    Looks like Tony Cochran who is running against Hinton Mitchem in SD 9. According to Cochran, he raised more than his GOP and Dem. opponents combined.

    http://tonycochranforsenate.com/index.php/news/106-pr-cochran-leads-all-other-candidates-in-fundraising-and-cash-on-hand

  • Carol

    Looks like more Dems need to be hiring Mowery Consulting.

  • Common Sense

    looks like James has more debt than money… Hope he doesn’t plan on running the state this way.

  • bill harris

    What stands out about Pace-Hamills report is that while she raised a lot of $$$$, an awful lot seemed to come from outside Alabama.

  • Ralph Rink

    Hey, Mr. So-called Common Sense, you and your Byrne boyz are still reeling from Tim James’ report. It’s so predictable when y’all whine like a Conecuh County choate! No matter how you slice it, Tim has more money than Bradley. $800k more. Quit squealing. Get back to work!

  • Loyal Independent

    I go back to the Ivey report. She has pulled this trick before, but the question is does she do a slight of hand and actually spend the money this time. Her ethics report on personal wealth proves she can pretty much do what she wants to — and unlike Tim James,she does not have anyone to answer to.

    Do not forget that the element of surprise is sometimes half the battle. If she jumps in with both feet, she can have some real influence in where this story goes on June 1.

  • Loyal Independent

    And also do not forget that of all Timmy’s money…$1.25 million came from three people. McGinnis – half a mil; Slawson – half a mil; Williamson – quarter a mil.

  • 2010

    Tim James’ folks continually try to spin the personal financing of his own campaign as a sign of strength. It is not. The more he campaigns the worse he does. He should save himself both the time and the money.
    In fact, maybe he can spend some of that money helping the taxpayers of baldwin county pay off his toll bridge that he has hung around their neck as debt.

  • Don

    The amount of money raised by all the candidates is impressive. But I have to ask…Would YOU want to be the Governor of Alabama with a state government in near financial ruins? At some level, these candidates know until they order massive state employee layoffs, close agencys doors and downsize our state government by an Executive Order…the financial hole we are digging will only get bigger. My impression is the above named candidates will not until vendors/suppliers cut off vital services/contracts. Knowing this could be a reality by the end of 2010…it makes you wonder why anyone would run for the Governor’s Office in this economic climate.

  • JD

    A white boy running in Sen 28 (55% Black) will need all the money he can get. The district will most likely vote a higher Black percentage than is registered. Beasley must win without a runoff.

  • Lyn Johnson

    I pulled up the Ivey report. Since her fund raising was non existent, looks like she did use her personal funds to pay campaign exepenses. If she truly spends $1.5 wisely, she can have an impact in the primary. Who is running her campaign? She is the only one who doesn’t issue press releases about her campaign staff.

  • Brett

    I was noticing the Ag commissioner race numbers. John M had less than $10,000 in the bank. This was surprising to me, but the fact that Grace has over $130,000 in the bank is even more surprising. He seems to be doing well with the Alfa endorsement and the fundraising lead.

  • anonymous

    Thanks Danny for exposing Ivey’s deceit.

  • anonymous

    Lyn, I think what is more important than if Ivey’s loan is real or not is that she only raised $80K – the same amount Bill Johnson raised. Ivey is a two-term statewide elected official and she raised less than any other candidate except for a guy considered a crackpot. Her old donors have abandoned her. Her canididacy is DOA.

  • anonymous

    Bradley’s folks seems wounded by James lead in cash, but it is more important that he is so far short of the Riley totals of 2006. It is not “front-runnerish” to trail in cash. This report could have blown James out of the water. It didn’t. It made the race look very winnable for James.

  • Marshall

    I agree the Ag race suprised me. Dorman Grace from what i’m hearing is now the outright front runner and he supposedly has a lot more money coming.

  • anonymous

    Grace has zero experience. His whole campaign smells funny. There is some talk of some behind-the-scenes players driving his efforts.

  • Conserrrrrrrrrrrvo Mannnnnnnnnnn

    Has money dictated the winner in every GOP primary race? I ain’t the most intelligent guy in this blog but I know I can count at least 4 or 5 primary races where the establishment candidate outspent his or her opponent by large margins and still got creamed. There is one candidate in this race who carries the most stink on all the major issues important to repub primary voters. At the end of this thing he could have 5 times as much as the next closest candidate and he is still going to lose because conservative repubs are not going to elect a tax hiking liberal flip flopper as thier nominee for guvner. I asked a question yesterday and no Bobly Byrne supporter answered it. Why? Because they know the reality of what is going to happen. The billion dollar tax hike campaign was flushed with mega cash and it lost 70-30%. Byrnes campaign will be a rerun of those results. No way in hell that repubs will put the billion dollar tax hiker in the nov. election against Davis. If they do I’m no longer voting in repub primaries again. It will be a sham party. And others will leave with me in droves. The birth of the tea party as the legitimate seprate third party will be upon us.

  • dem

    A- Byrne– raised a phenomenal amount during a recession, but James’ sizable lead in cash means that Byrne will not dominate on tv.

    B James–nobody is writing him off now, and money is money, but take away the loan and the three big contributors , he has almost no donor base.

    B+ Davis–totals are all most voters saw, and they look good on paper, which firms up his frontrunner status. I also noticed that he pulled in some decent size checks to be an outsider. But he spent too much, over 60% of the new money raised, and it is not clear where he gets the money to match AEA and McGregor. Will he have to make a deal with Obama on healthcare or the Indians on gaming, and can he survive either?

    B Sparks-he has the money to stay operational, but its all gambling and AEA. His attack on Davis for taking special interest money is off the table.

    C Moore–the two million he raised four years ago is a distant memory. Look for a James surge in the next polls.

  • Cons

    I am a James supporter and this is a huge boost for his campaign. I have already have several people today agree to give donations to his campaign because he is in the frontrunner in the race.

  • anonymous

    Dem, I think some of your points are valid. However, I woulds not say Byrne “raised a phenomenal amount of money during a recession.” He’s using Bob Riley’s list and Bob Riley’s people and he got about 1/3 of what Riley would have gotten (even in a recession). He’s a very vulnerable favorite right now, and the race with James looks like a two-man race to the finish.

    I think everyone else has been shown to be toast by the FCPA report with the possible exception of Bentley who could play spoiler.

  • dem

    Bob Riley was an incumbent with a 15 to 20 point lead over Baxley when he raised 4M in 05. For Byrne, a nonincumbent who lags in the polls, to hit 2.6M, double Davis’ 09 money without the congressional transfer, and 5 times James’ money without the loans, is a big deal.

  • Anonymous

    Disagree strongly Dem. He’s in 2nd in cash on hand. That’s a surprise to all given his party insider support – hell it was a surprise to THEM.

    There has been scuttlebutt for a while that Byrne was having trouble raising money and by that I mean Bob Riley-type money. This confirms that. You have to compare it to Bob Riley here; if Byrne had 50% of the cash on hand Riley had in ’06 people would still say he was underperforming badly. He’s got about a third. You cannot spin that good.

  • Brad

    To see Byrne’s strength you have to look behind the numbers at the actual contributions. James has a lot of cash on hand, but most of it he loaned himself ($1.5M). Comparatively, Byrne loaned himself a mere $57k. That means in only a month of fund-raising Byrne raised $2.55M, with the primary over four months away. No one else is even close to that kind of actual fund-raising strength, including Davis who transferred $1M of his congressional cash to his gubernatorial coffers.

    These numbers confirm what we all knew: Byrne is the front-runner by a mile.

  • anonymous

    Brad are you on crack? Byrne did NOT raise that money in a month! He’s been raising money since June 1, 2009! Do you know squat about Alabama politics? Oh wait you don’t – you think Byrne’s totals are good . . . .

    “Front runners don’t run second in cash” – Confucius (well he would agree . . .)

  • anonymous

    Bradley’s people sure are trying very hard to say these numbers are not bad. Some observations:

    1) Bob Riley never had to spin his fudraising numbers. There was no question they wefre good, and no one would ever have tried to say they weren’t. That is unquestionably NOT true of Byrne’s numbers regardless of where you stand.

    2) Bradley’s people are very anxious to decalre him the frontrunner. A week ago they didn’t have to – it was a general assumption. The fact that they are on here by the minute now insisting he IS the frontrunner shows that he is not.

  • No more RINOs

    It’s interesting to note that all of the Bradley supporters fail to mention that over one million dollars of his money came from PACs.

    Why isn’t Kristopher reporting this? Why isn’t Danny reporting this? Why isn’t LeftInBama reporting this?

    Perhaps you guys are in league with the BCA (and maybe Mississippi gaming interests) just like Bradley.

  • Loyal independent

    Rumor around is byrne is about to get hit with issue of taking dirty PAC money? Anyone else heard that?

  • Lyn Johnson

    I’ve heard the Byrne campaign is making major changes. Their tracking polls after the TV ads had little impact on his name Id. They changed his logo from a white background to blue. James is circulating a flyer with a pseudo-check from Byrne to Bill Clinton’s campaign in 1992. That prompted the Byrne campaign to get Twinkle to robo-call all GOP executive committee to assert Byrne is a true conservative. Problems are brewing and will be outed at the GOP get together in Montgomery this week-end.

  • anonymous

    The Byrne Meltdown – which these reports precipitated – begins.

    Anybody else wanna argue that his fundraising is good?

  • Dave D.

    Wow – Kay, are you serious, doing that once – probably effective, twice and people wonder, maybe this time she will not pay it back – but come on, every year??? Do everyone a favor and get out now, and let voters focus on figuring out who the real candidates are. There are three here: Byrne, James, and Moore, and Moore’s only chance is if the also-runs get on a horse and ride off into a sunset.

    Regarding the Byrne campaign: His donation to Clinton in ’92 will hurt him, and is a relevant political issue. Just like in the AL05 race where Griffith donated to Reid and Dean, will be his downfall. I think James will take this, and follow in his dad’s footsteps, though he is much more articulate than his pops.

  • I believe Dale Peterson is the best man for the Aig. Comm. He seems to be the man for the Little People. He is out putting his signs all over the State and has a good career in in business. He is the only Vet. in this race an Ex Marine. He has no connections to Alfa and the Big Mules in Montgomery. It seems to me that Dale Peterson is a breath of fresh air for Alabama Politics. George.

  • [...] Ivey (AL-Lt. GOV): Had a continuing pattern of “loaning” her campaign a million dollars right before reporting cash on hand and then repaying the “loan” a few days after [...]

Legislative Dispatch

A Look from the Rearview Mirror

This Thursday will mark the last day of the legislative Session.  For some, it was a Session that seemed would never end.  For others, it was one that ended much too quickly.  It may be early, yet, to write an obit on this Session, but as we approach the finish line, some perspective may be in order.

[...]

Putting Students First

As you know, a very important piece of legislation will be presented for our consideration in the House tomorrow in Montgomery – Senate Bill 310 – the “Students First” tenure and fair dismissal reform bill. Like me, many House members have been inundated with phone calls and emails from opponents of this bill, and some have been [...]

Legislative Transparency

There are a lot of issues to debate before we begin the final days of this session. In fact, I am quite certain there will be some comments on this post debating many of them. Before we get into the last seven day of the session I wanted to bring up a topic that [...]


See more Recent Small Town News