Iowa statewide candidate fundraising roundup

The latest round of statewide and state legislative candidate financial reports are available on the website of the Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board. For most candidates, these reports cover money raised and spent between June 2 and July 14. Some of the candidates didn’t file a June 4 disclosure report, and in those cases the latest filing covers the period from May 15 to July 14.

Fundraising numbers for Democratic and Republican candidates for statewide offices are after the jump. In addition to money raised and spent and cash on hand figures, I’ve listed the largest donors for each candidate. I am working on a post about the noteworthy fundraising figures from Iowa House and Senate candidates. John Deeth hit some highlights at the Des Moines Register blog. It’s important to remember that leadership committees for both parties will also spend a lot of money in the battleground legislative districts.

Republican Terry Branstad brought in big money after winning the gubernatorial primary. His July 19 filing shows $2,147,342.35 in contributions since June 1, $1,020,069.49 in expenditures and $1,576,255.44 cash on hand as of July 14. Advertising took up the largest share of Branstad’s expenses in the last six weeks; he has continued to run misleading television commercials statewide since his primary victory. Salaries, consulting fees and mail expenses also account for quite a bit of the campaign’s spending.

About half of what Branstad raised since the beginning of June came from the Republican Governors Association in four installments: $500,000 on June 10, $10,000 on July 2, $250,000 on July 9 and $250,000 on July 14, the last day of the reporting period.

Branstad also took in $50,000 from Eldon and Regina Roth of South Dakota, $25,000 from Nick Ryan of Des Moines, Toby Shine of Milford, Gary Kirke of West Des Moines, Mark Falb of Dubuque, Edward Babka of Dubuque, Denny and Candy Elwell of Ankeny, Mr. and Mrs. James Kent of Muscatine, William Metz of Sioux City, and Dale and Marilyn Howard of Iowa Falls; $20,000 from John Butler of Dubuque, Bruce Rastetter of Alden, and Henry Tippie of Texas; $15,000 from Peter and Betty De Yager of Hull, Donald Lamberti of Ankeny, and the Deere & Company PAC; $10,000 from Donald Tietz of Algona, Mike Peterson of Cedar Falls, Tim and Jane McMahon of Fairfield, Thomas Tauke of Virginia, Todd Vershaw of Davenport, John Gleeson of Sioux City, Myron and Connie Gordin of Oskaloosa, Roger Underwood of Ames, Dale and Mary Andringa of Mitchellville, Daniel Ruprecht of West Des Moines, David and Jean Stanley of Muscatine, John Forsyth of West Des Moines, Peter Brownell of Grinnell, Frank Brownell of Montezuma, Carl Dallmeyer of Washington (IA), Jim Theisen of Dubuque, Diane Crookham-Johnson of Oskaloosa, Frank and Margaret Severino of Des Moines, and Mitt Romney’s Free and Strong America PAC (Romney’s PAC also gave Branstad $10,000 in May). The $5,000 donors were too numerous to list here.

A press release from the Branstad campaign noted that since its inception the campaign has had 11,700 individual donors and raised $5,558,260. Since he has about $1.5 million left on hand and has spent about $1 million since early June, we can conclude that Branstad spent approximately $3 million before the Republican primary. That’s easily three times what his opponents spent on the race. With 16 years of experience as governor and that kind of financial advantage, Branstad should have crushed Bob Vander Plaats by a much wider margin than 50 percent to 41 percent.

Governor Chet Culver’s fundraising continues to lag behind Branstad’s. Culver’s July 19 filing reported raising $765,755.00 since June 2 and spending $1,097,512.44 to leave $2,853,814.65 on hand as of July 14. Advertising, salaries and consultant fees were the most significant Culver campaign expenses during the past six weeks.

Major donations reported on latest Culver filing include $250,000 from the Democratic Governors Association; $80,000 from William Knapp of West Des Moines; $50,000 from the Midwest Region Laborers Political Education League; $25,000 from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Fred Hubbell of Des Moines, Fred Eychaner of Illinois and the United Association Political Education Committee; $20,000 from the Iowa State Education Association PAC; $15,000 from Greg Abel of Des Moines, Owen Newlin of Des Moines, and the MidAmerican Energy Company Executive PAC; and $10,000 from the Iowa State Building & Trades Council PAC, the Justice For All Political Action Committee, the Chicago Regional Council of Carpenters PAC, the International Union of Painters & Allied Trades PAC, the Machinists Non-Partisan Political League of Maryland, the International Association of Fire Fighters. There were also quite a few $5,000 donors to Culver’s re-election effort, but not as many as Branstad listed on his filing.

The Culver campaign’s press release emphasized its strong cash on hand number:

“Despite our own campaign having to spend more than $1 million to fight back against Branstad’s false and misleading campaign commercials attacking Governor Culver’s record, we have nearly $3 million on hand.

“In 2002, at the same point in the race, Governor Vilsack had nearly $1.65 million on hand. Today, the Culver/Judge Campaign has $2.8 million on hand – with more than one million more on hand than Vilsack had in 2002 when he was successfully re-elected.

“With more than $6.6 million raised, we are on pace for a record-setting fundraising total for an Iowa governor’s race.”

That’s true, but the Democratic Governor’s Association has now contributed $1.5 million to Culver’s campaign. In addition, the DGA spent $782,000 this spring to fund the 527 organization Iowans for Responsible Government, which attacked Branstad from the right. The DGA’s executive director Nathan Daschle bragged that the primary left Branstad “wounded,” because “He defined himself outside of the moderate space he used to occupy.” I lean toward Todd Dorman’s view that this whole exercise was not the best use of the DGA’s money. I liked the group’s television commercials, which showed Branstad taking Iowa backwards (driving his campaign bus in reverse), but I don’t like Democrats pretending to believe Branstad is a “liberal.” There are plenty of real cases to make against Branstad and his record as governor, but we who can remember him know he wasn’t standing with the people against the powerful. From my bleeding-heart liberal perspective, I also am annoyed to see corporate-friendly Democrats like Bill Clinton and Barack Obama portrayed as “liberals.”

Sure, the Branstad campaign had to spend money defending itself against Iowans for Responsible Government’s attacks, but it was and remains proud to have been targeted by a “Democratic front group.” Giving Branstad a chance to denounce “smear tactics” from a “shadowy, out-of-state-funded group” allows him to keep changing the subject away from his weak record as governor and failure to back up his campaign promises with any substance.

Bob Vander Plaats reported raising $43,060 and spending $95,503.99 since June 2, leaving just $1,527.46 in cash on hand as of July 14. With so little money in his campaign account, he can’t be foolish enough to run for governor as a third-party candidate. Jason Hancock reported a few days ago on rumors that Vander Plaats will soon endorse Branstad. As part of the rumored deal, Branstad would promise that if he defeats Culver, he will appoint Vander Plaats to a post in his administration.

Moving to the other statewide races, the Republican candidate for attorney general, Brenna Findley, continues to raise an impressive amount of money, as she did in the early months of her campaign. Findley’s June 19 disclosure showed $72,638.01 in donations during the latest period, $18,171.44 in expenditures and $164,330.90 cash on hand as of July 14. Findley’s largest donations were $10,000 from J.H. Kent of Muscatine and the Team Iowa PAC (that group is funded mainly by Bruce Rastetter and chaired by Nick Ryan); $5,000 from John Smith of Cedar Rapids; $2,000 from Stephen Kruck of Boone, Arnold Honkamp of Dubuque, the DFL Revocable Trust/Donald Lamberti of Ankeny, and Bruce Cox of Pleasant Hill; and $1,000 from James Tyler of Atlantic, Diane Crookham-Johnson of Oskaloosa, Edward Babka of Dubuque, Larry Arnn of Michigan, Harry Cockrell of Davenport, Scott Doll of Council Bluffs, and Peter Voorhees of Cedar Falls.

Attorney General Tom Miller has kicked his fundraising into gear, reporting $127,165 in donations, $7,790.91 in expenditures and $230,324.70 cash on hand. The largest contributions to Miller’s campaign between June 2 and July 14 were $25,000 from the Democratic Attorneys General Association, $5,000 from William Knapp of West Des Moines, Jerry Crawford of Des Moines, the United Food & Commercial Workers Iowa Active Ballot Club, Daniel Berger of Philadelphia, James Tierney of Maine, Kevin Arquit of New York, and the Echostar Corporation and Dish Network Corporation PAC; $2,500 from Fred Hubbell of Des Moines, Robert Baudino of Des Moines, and Dickstein Shapiro, LLP of Washington, DC; $2,000 from Robert Riley of Des Moines, Steven Wandro of Des Moines, James Rill of Maryland, the Western Union Political Action Committee; $1,800 from David Miles of West Des Moines, $1,500 from John Schmidtlein of Washington, DC; $1,000 from Robert Skinner of Altoona, Donald Timmins of Altoona, Ed Skinner of Pleasant Hill, Faegre & Benson, LLP of Minnesota, Tom Urban of Florida, Martin Wong of New York, Nicholas Allard of Washington, DC, Mark Greenwold of Washington, DC; Mike Moore Law Firm, LLC of Mississippi, Bernstein Liebhard, LLP of New York, Elizabeth Greenwold of Washington, DC; Brendan Sullivan of Washington, DC, Bernard Nash of Washington, DC, Gregory Craig of Washington, DC, Mary Jean Moltenbrey of Washington, DC, Kevin Downey of Washington, DC, Kevin Hodges of Washington, DC, George Pappas of Washington, DC, and Mitchell Pettit of California.

The other Republican challengers to Democratic incumbents face much greater financial disadvantages. David Jamison, GOP nominee for state treasurer, reported $15,694 in donations during the recent period, $5,418.72 in expenditures and $12,436.74 cash on hand, but also $11,818.92 in unpaid bills. (Jamison had competition in the Republican primary.) His largest donations were $3,000 from J.H. Kent of Muscatine and $1,000 from Roger Underwood of Ames, Donald Lamberti of Ankeny and the Team Iowa PAC.

Longtime State Treasurer Mike Fitzgerald didn’t raise a huge amount during the latest reporting period, but he started with a lot more in his campaign account. Fitzgerald’s July 19 disclosure showed $5,287.21 in donations, $316.67 in expenditures and $122,740.11 cash on hand. His largest contribution was $1,000 from the Bank of America Iowa Political Action Committee.

Republican Matt Schultz left everything on the field and then some in order to win the three-way primary for secretary of state. His July 19 disclosure reported $3,025 in donations, $5,854.79 in expenditures and $976.66 cash on hand with $20,999.96 in unpaid bills as of July 14. Maybe Schultz shouldn’t have spent so much on television and radio ads before June 8. Schultz’s largest contributions since June 2 were $500 from the Team Iowa PAC and John and Anne Nelson of Council Bluffs. UPDATE: In the comments, thomasjschultz informs me that Schultz’s debts are owed to himself, because he paid for the pre-primary advertising out of pocket. So those debts aren’t as bad as unpaid bills to other vendors, which the campaign would really need to pay. I should have clicked on that part of his filing for details on the unpaid bills.

Secretary of State Michael Mauro reported $12,670 in donations since May 14, $3,720.27 in expenditures and $136,896.58 cash on hand as of July 14. His largest contributions were $2,000 from the Iowa Committee on Political Education AFL-CIO; $1,000 from Don Mauro of Des Moines and Roxanne Conlin of Des Moines; $500 from David Hurd of Des Moines, Michael Gartner of Des Moines, Bonnie Campbell of Des Moines, Ed Skinner of Altoona, Jerry Crawford of Des Moines, Mike Coppola of Des Moines, Richard Margulies of West Des Moines and the AFSCME/Iowa Public Employees Council 61.

The two Republican incumbent statewide office-holders have much more campaign cash than their challengers. Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey reported $83,380 in donations, $34,053.33 in expenditures and $295,853.47 cash on hand as of July 14. His largest contributions were $5,000 from Denny Elwell of Ankeny, Gregory Abel of Des Moines, and Ron Fagen of Minnesota; $2,000 from Gerlad Lynch of Waucona; $1,000 from Kyle Krause of Waukee, the W. A. Krause Revocable Trust of West Des Moines, the DFL Revocable Trust of Ankeny (that’s Don Lamberti), Charles Schafer of Adair, Steve Sukup of Clear Lake, Charles Sukup of Dougherty, the O.J Tomson Revocable Trust of Mason City, Michael Bennett of Sioux City, Gary Kirke of West Des Moines, Citizens for the Preservation of Racing, the Credit Union Political Action Committee and the Iowa F.O.R.E. PAC #6064.

Democrat Francis Thicke raised $32,193 during the latest reporting period, spent $18,522.98 and had $21,770.98 on hand as of July 14. All of the grassroots favorite Thicke’s contributions were for $250 or less.

Two-term State Auditor David Vaudt ran unopposed for re-election in 2006 and only got a Democratic challenger six weeks ago. He didn’t raise much during the latest reporting period but had a healthy bank balance going into this campaign. Vaudt raised just $835, spent $10,280.73 and had $137,745.90 on hand as of July 14. Vaudt’s largest contribution was $500 from Edwin Barker of Iowa City.

Democrat Jon Murphy did quite well considering that he’s only been a candidate for state auditor for about a month. He reported raising $26,860.00 and spending $1,574.61, leaving $25,285.39 cash on hand. Murphy took in $1,000 contributions from his sister and brother-in-law in Texas, his father-in-law in Wisconsin, Jerry Crawford of Des Moines, Eric Witte of Ottumwa, John Davis of Washington, DC, John and Patty Judge of West Des Moines, Aaron Pickrell of Ohio, and Kathryn Puterman of Nevada.

Share any thoughts about the latest fundraising numbers in this thread.

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  • With all do respect...

    Matt’s debt isn’t as bad as it looks.  You just reported the total number.  Maybe you should look at what the debt is.  

    Here are two reasons:

    1) All of the debt is owed to Matt because he paid for those ads out of his pocket.

    2) Most of it is mileage, which isn’t that big of a deal.  

    Don’t get me wrong, his fundraising numbers suck!  That’s obvious.  But regarding the debt, you have no idea what he will do with that.  Is he going to reimburse himself?  How much more money is Matt willing to dump into the campaign?  I’m sure Mauro would love to know.

    I’m just saying that outstanding debt will not hinder his campaign, b/c he owns all of it.  So instead of focusing on the debt, focus on his poor fundraising numbers.

    • good point

      Now noted in the post.

      It seems like the major Republican donors have pretty much decided to bet their money on Branstad and Findley. She has more cash on hand than Brad Zaun, which is surprising. Objectively, you’d have to say Boswell is more vulnerable than Tom Miller. Miller won in 1994 and has already proven he can survive a very difficult political environment for Democrats.

      • I agree wtih you

        I agree that Boswell is more vulnerable.  However, I wouldn’t underestimate the Southside Des Moines Machine.  Those guys know how to get absentee ballots better than anyone, and you have to respect them for that.  Lucky for the GOP, Zaun will work differently than the challengers in the past.  Zaun will be outspent, but he will outwork everyone else.  We will see how much he can narrow the margins in Polk County because that is where this election will be won or lost.

        I expect that all the down-ballot Democratic incumbents fundraise more than their GOP challengers.  These races will be won by how well they micro-target the voters.  The GOP challengers must spend their resources efficiently to overcome the financial advantage.  

        So here is my question: If you control for money on-hand right now, how would you order the vulnerability of the down-ballot incumbents?