Saturday, February 6, 2010

Orange County Register: Running for Congress costs a million

Dena Bunis with the Orange County Register wrote an interesting article stating that the chances of defeating an incumbent if you can't raise at least a million dollars.

Dena writes, "The Center for Responsive Politics, which is the best in the business in tracking political money, found that in the 2008 election the odds were 302 to one that someone who spent less than $1 million was able to knock off an incumbent.

In the 2004 House races, not one incumbent was defeated by a challenger who had raised less than $1 million."

As we wrote last week 42nd candidates Rep. Gary Miller and Lee McGroarty filed their fundraising reports with the FEC. Gary Miller raised $58,394 in the 4th quarter of 2009. He spent $18,695 and has $950,191.76 cash on hand. He has a debt of $94.10.

Lee McGroarty raised $1,450 in the 4th quarter of 2009. He spent $7,499.91 and has $1550.09 cash on hand. He has a debt of $14,599.15. McGroarty raised a total of $6,550.00 for 2009.

Phil Liberatore officially formed a committee with the FEC last week, which means he expects to spend or raise at least $5,000 during his campaign.

Why does money matter in the 42nd?

There are three Republicans challenging Miller in the primary. McGroarty has raised the most ($6,550), but has nearly $15,000 in debt and only $1500 cash on hand. The others have yet to raise $5000, which would require they file with the FEC.

Citizens are upset and are looking to vote against incumbents, but with three challengers to choose from, who do you vote for against Miller? Dividing the anti-Miller vote three ways won't beat Miller, which is what will happen unless one of the candidates raises enough to do mailers on a regular basis and rise above the other two.

There are about 171,000 registered republicans, so there are probably around 80,000-90,000 households for mailing purposes. A mail piece, just for mailing, would probably cost close to $25,000.

The three challengers need to either start raising lots of money or loaning their campaigns lot of money. Liberatore and McGroarty both own businesses and probably have money to loan their campaigns.

In the 2008 42nd Democratic primary, two candidates filed with the FEC for spending more than $5000. Ron Shepston, who finished third, spent $105,817. Ed Chau, who won the Democratic nomination, spent about $65,000 in the primary and $347, 351 including the General election.

At this point in the 2008 election cycle (2007 end of year filing) both had raised more than the three 2010 Republican challengers. Shepston had raised $24,407.86, had loans of $4131. 98 and had $6080.01 cash on hand. Chau had raised $12,180, loans of $19,000 and had $13,747.85 cash on hand.

1 comment:

  1. Thankfully the trends in this story seem to be changing. The voice of organizations such as the tea parties are being heard. The people are fed up with politicians like Gary Miller. New candidates like McGroarty were never going to beat Miller in a fundraising race anyways. The people want a change and will vote Miller out. The important thing is that we'll have a new congressman that will truly represent conservatives.