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October 8, 2015

Posts in "FEC"

September 28, 2015

4 Things to Watch for in Third-Quarter Fundraising

Grayson's fundraising will show how much populist support is behind him for his Florida Senate bid. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Grayson’s fundraising will show how much populist support is behind him for his Florida Senate bid. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rival campaigns and political handicappers are anxiously awaiting third-quarter fundraising numbers — due this week — to assess the competitiveness of candidates and contests.

The quarterly hauls will paint a picture of the kind of support and resources campaigns have — or lack. And as the window closes on recruiting candidates, these numbers could also be what makes top recruits decide to jump into races, or to sit them out.

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July 16, 2015

7 Key Numbers From Second Quarter Fundraising

McSally raised $1 million in the second quarter, a huge sum for a House member. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

McSally raised $1 million in the second quarter, a huge sum for a House member. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

With the 2016 elections still more than a year away, a dive into quarterly fundraising reports is one of the best ways to assess the viability of campaigns.

Those who add to their war chests by consistently raising large sums show strength. While those who underperform accumulate doubt.

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June 26, 2015

GOP Tries to Portray Feingold as a Hypocrite Over PAC Spending

Feingold is running a comeback bid in Wisconsin. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Feingold is running a comeback bid in Wisconsin. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Republicans are eager to use former Sen. Russ Feingold’s signature issue against him in 2016, as the Democrat wages a comeback bid in a Senate contest key to his party’s quest for the majority.

After losing re-election to a fourth term in 2010, Feingold, who had championed limits on spending in federal elections, launched the Progressives United PAC, which the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported spent a large percentage of the $7.1 million it raised on overhead and staff salaries. Republicans are already attempting to use that news to paint Feingold as a hypocrite.

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June 18, 2015

Takano, Takai, Takei and a Takaucus

Takai. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Takai. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Takano and Takai, who know Takei, are teaming up on the Takaucus, a project titled by Tonko.

“I hope you’re not getting confused,” Rep. Mark Takai, D-Hawaii, said with a laugh. Full story

June 12, 2015

Operative Gets 2 Years in First Campaign-Super PAC Coordination Case (Updated)

Harber worked for a candidate trying to oust Connolly, above, from his Virginia House seat. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Harber worked for a candidate trying to oust Connolly, above, from his Virginia House seat. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 5:35 p.m. | Tyler Harber, a former Republican political operative, was sentenced to two years in prison for his involvement in illegal coordination between a campaign and a super PAC, according to The Washington Post, in the first case of its kind.

Harber — who pleaded guilty to the charges in February — is the first political operative to go down for an illegal coordination violation, according to federal prosecutors. Those prosecutors lobbied for a harsh punishment to try to deter others from engaging in similar activities.

Full story

By Emily Cahn Posted at 12:58 p.m.
FEC, Shop Talk, Super PACs

April 16, 2015

The 7 Most Interesting First-Quarter Fundraising Facts

Burr stepped up his fundraising game in the first quarter. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Burr stepped up his fundraising game in the first quarter. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated April 17, 10:30 a.m. | With roughly a year to go before the first primaries of 2016, fundraising numbers are among the few benchmarks to assess candidate strength.

A look at first-quarter reports — which were due to the Federal Election Commission Wednesday — shows which members are taking re-election bids seriously and also reveals weaknesses.

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February 12, 2015

GOP Operative Pleads Guilty to Coordination, Making False Statements to FBI

Tyler Harber, a GOP campaign operative, pleaded guilty Thursday to illegal coordination of federal campaign contributions in the Justice Department’s first criminal prosecution of that kind.

The 34-year-old admitted to starting a super PAC he later directed to spend $325,000 to support a candidate for whom he simultaneously served as a campaign manager. It’s an activity prohibited by federal campaign finance law.

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October 27, 2014

Without an Opponent, Jeff Sessions Still Spends

(Courtesy Sessions campaign)

How does a senator running unopposed for re-election in a red state during a good year for Republicans manage to spend nearly $1 million?

It adds up fast.

Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., has nothing to worry about next Tuesday. Still, his campaign logged $996,988 in spending from January 2013 through September 2014, including more than $7,000 on Christmas cards.

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September 16, 2014

Report: Congressional Candidate Fundraising Down in Midterms


A new report says congressional candidates aren't raising as much money as a whole this cycle. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Residents of states with competitive House and Senate races may not believe it, but congressional candidate spending has decreased in 2014, according to a review by the Federal Election Commission released Tuesday.

Congressional candidates raised more than $1.1 billion combined in the first 18 months of the midterm elections. Of those funds, candidates spent $767 million as of June 30, which marked the end of the second quarter of the year.

Both of those figures are down from 2012, when candidates had raised $1.2 billion at the same point in the cycle. In fact, this cycle’s total is the lowest amount raised in this period since 2008.

Full story

By Emily Cahn Posted at 5:49 p.m.

July 21, 2014

The Re-Education of Rick Nolan

rick nolan

Nolan came back to Congress in 2012 — three decades after his first stint in the 1970s. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Minnesota Democrats have two problems: The 8th District has changed, and Rep. Rick Nolan doesn’t want to.

The Gopher State Democrat returned to Congress in 2012 after a three-decade hiatus. This November, Nolan faces first-time candidate and wealthy businessman Stewart Mills in a historically strong Democratic district that encompasses Minnesota’s Iron Range.

But the district has become increasingly competitive in recent years, and sources from both parties question Nolan’s willingness to adapt to the requirements of a high-stakes, 21st century re-election campaign. Democrats highlight Nolan’s strong retail campaign skills and say they admire his principles — but others say a modern re-election requires more than that.

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July 7, 2014

Déjà Vu in Minnesota Senate Race?

Franken is seeking re-election in Minnesota. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Al Franken knows the story — just not from this side.

In 2008, a first-time candidate dogged by his career history faced a formidable incumbent dragged down by an unpopular second-term president. The result: now-Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., defeated then-Sen. Norm Coleman, a Republican, in a shockingly close race that only ended after a months-long contentious recount and legal battle.

Now Coleman’s hand-picked candidate wants to return the favor in 2014. Franken will face a wealthy investment banker and first-time candidate, Mike McFadden, in November — and this time, he’s the senator battling an unpopular president’s drag on the ballot.

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June 13, 2014

Indicted Congressman’s Fundraising Tanks

michael grimm fundraising

Michael Grimm is a Republican from New York. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Embattled Rep. Michael G. Grimm, R-N.Y., is struggling to fundraise for his campaign after a federal indictment, according to reports filed Thursday with the Federal Election Commission.

Grimm brought in $47,000 for his campaign between April 1 and June 4, according to his pre-primary fundraising report.

That’s far less than the $144,000 that his Democratic opponent, former New York City Councilmember Domenic M. Recchia Jr., raised in the same period.

Recchia now has a financial advantage over Grimm, banking $1.07 million to Grimm’s $1 million.

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May 30, 2014

Eric Cantor Brings in Bucks for Primary Challenge

Eric Cantor Raises Bucks For Primary Challenge

Cantor faces a primary challenge in in June. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Recent fundraising reports filed Thursday for June 10 primaries give a glimpse of where those races stand, 10 days in advance.

On June 10, there will be House primaries in Maine and Virginia, where House Majority Leader Eric Cantor faces his most serious primary threat yet — although most Republicans expect him to prevail with a large margin. 

Here’s what the reports, which cover the fundraising period from April 1 to May 21, show:

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May 9, 2014

Mike Simpson Out-Raised Tea Party Primary Opponent

Simpson outraised his primary opponent in April. (Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Idaho Rep. Mike Simpson out-raised his tea-party-bolstered Republican primary opponent in the final fundraising period of the contest.

According to pre-primary reports filed Thursday with the Federal Election Commission, Simpson raised $193,000 from April 1 to April 30 and ended the month with $566,000 in cash on hand. Attorney Bryan Smith, who is backed by well-financed outside groups like the Club for Growth, raised $104,000 in April and had $231,000 in cash on hand.

Simpson and Smith will face off in a May 20 primary in Idaho’s 2nd District. More than $1 million from outside groups has been spent on the race in support of both candidates.

Full story

Democrat Injects $700,000 Into Pennsylvania Primary Campaign (Updated)

Former Rep. Margolies, pictured above in 2005, will get fundraising help from Hillary Clinton next week. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Update 9:45 a.m. | Democrat Val Arkoosh loaned her Pennsylvania congressional campaign $700,000 with weeks to go in a competitive primary, according to her pre-primary report filed Thursday with the Federal Election Commission.

Between April 1 and April 30, the physician, one of four Democrats seeking an open Philadelphia-area House seat, brought in $773,000 — including the sizeable personal loan — and reported $430,000 in cash on hand for the final days before the May 20 primary.

Thanks to her personal funds, Arkoosh’s haul far outpaced the other three candidates in the 13th District contest, including former Rep. Marjorie Margolies, state Rep. Brendan Boyle and state Sen. Daylin Leach. However, Boyle and Leach both filed 48-hour reports with the FEC May 8 — a week after the closing of the pre-primary period — showing Boyle giving $40,000 and Leach $250,000 out of pocket to their respective campaigns.

Full story

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