Wednesday, September 05, 2007

How much would you pay to be Mayor?

As I see more and more ads in the Herald, hear spots on the radio and of course see an endless amount of signs all along the city, I've wondered just how much are the candidates spending to be our next mayor.

Each candidate with a campaign committee was required to submit a campaign finance report on September 3rd. I had intended to go to City Hall and look these over and perhaps obtain copies to make available to you but alas time and money have prevented this.

However, the Herald News had done some foot work for me, so let's take a look at who spent what!

Six of the eight candidates seeking to fill the mayor’s seat raised a combined total of $432,848 in their bids to replace Edward M. Lambert Jr.
The highest fundraising total came from state Rep. Robert Correia, who almost doubled the nearest competitor by raising $151,215.
Correia was followed by City Councilor Bradford Kilby, who raised $77,045; Council President William F. Whitty, who brought in $70,935 in donations; state Rep. David Sullivan, who brought in $64,225; former Lambert aide Eric Poulin, who reported receipts of $39,008; and City Council Vice President Alfredo P. Alves, who had a total of $30,420 in contributions.
Candidate Manuel O. Alves reported a self-funded campaign, putting $900 toward his fifth attempt to gain the mayor’s seat, while Kenneth Medeiros, since he has not formed a campaign committee, did not submit a report. When he announced his candidacy, Medeiros said he would neither accept nor spend political contributions.

My first impresssion is how amazing it is the Brad Kilby raised over $77,000. Wow! I had expected Bob Correia to raise a ton of money because of this political ties and length of time in office but for Kilby to leapfrog over everyone else? But wait, Kilby loaned himself over $40,000. I'm not sure if I should applaud him for putting so much of his own money in his campaign or be concerned that he put so much into his own campaign. However you look at it $40,000 is a lot of money.

The next thing that caught my eye was that 4 of the candidates loaned themselves considerable amounts of money.

Correia also reported loaning himself $12,000 for his campaign.

Kilby’s contributions included loans to himself totaling $40,750

Poulin’s report showed his campaign is mostly self-funded, with $17,692 of his contributions coming from a loan and another $1,600 coming from various family members.

Alfredo Alves also reported using $10,000 in loans to help fund his campaign

Now to be fair, I think it pretty understandable for a guy like Eric Poulin to loan himself money because he doesn't have the political organization that the folks who've run several times before have, but why in the world is is Bob Correia loaning his campaign money?! Wouldn't you think that $139,000 would be enough money to spend? How can we justify allowing so much money to be spent on a position that doesn't even pay that $150,000 a year?

It's also interesting how the Herald article reports some of this.

Kilby’s contributions included loans to himself totaling $40,750

Alfredo Alves also reported using $10,000 in loans to help fund his campaign

Poulin’s report showed his campaign is mostly self-funded, with $17,692 of his contributions coming from a loan and another $1,600 coming from various family members.

First, ignore the line about the $1600, it seems to me most of the candidates, if not all had family members donate to the campaigns, so irrelevant point. Now Poulin reported raising $39,008 and $17,692 was money he loaned his own campaign, which means that he raised $21,316, that's more that Al Alves raised! Take away the $10,000 Alves loaned his campaign and he raised $20,420. The Herald however doesn't mention that Poulin raised more money than an 'established' candidate, but instead refers to his campaign as being mostly self-funded. Really? Mostly kind of implies, well um, that the majority of the finances came from Poulin, that's not the case. Do the math, even if you add the $1,600 in Eric Poulin received more money in donations that he put in himself. Is the Herald biased? I ask this because it is very obvious that Brad Kilby's campaign is mostly self-funded! Again, Kilby raised $77,045 but $40,750 was money he loaned his own campaign, which means that Kilby received $36,295 in donations. How in the world did the Herald miss that?

It's also interesting to note that Bob Correia received a $500 dollar donation from Jay Cashman who has various ties to the Hess LNG site and to the new Brightman Street bridge construction project. You would think with the controversy that surround both topics, not to mention the $150,000 war chest, that Bob certainly could have afforded not to except Cashman's donation.


Anonymous said...

I think what Kilby did was very smart. He knew the finance report deadline and that the Herald would report on it. So, by loaning himself $40,000, he is in 2nd place so it sets up a Correia, Kilby matchup. One way to boost electoral support is to show good fundraising. I had the same 1st impression about Kilby, until it reveals later he gave so much to his own campaign. Most people won't analize this as in-depth as you have to realize Kilby inflated his numbers.

With $140,000, I do not understand why Correia flt the urge to kick in another $10,000 to himself. Campaign contribution from Jay Cashman?? Correia better be giving that back fast before it is used against him.

...I can't wait for the post-election alliances to take form.

Kilby should be very upset he only raised 39k, when Poulin has 17k, Sullivan and Whitty have 70-80k. Whoever is in charge of Kilby's finances and fund-raising did a pitiful job, or at least that is the first impression I am getting.

-The Usual Suspect

Dr. Momentum said...

Nice catch!

Looks like someone fooled the Herald but didn't fool you.

Lefty said...


I did the same thing. I was wowed by Kilby's totals until I did the breakdown, but could Kilby really have had any idea what the other candidates had raised?

Also a minor correction Poulin raised just over $21 thousand dollars. In a field of 'established' candidates that isn't just impressive it's incredible. I wonder what that means on election day?

Dr. M,
I really do try to be fair but after reading the Herald's article I have to conclude they were either biased or blind.

Anonymous said...

This is very interesting. As I was reading the article I too noticed the use of 'mostly self-funded.' To be 'mostly' anything shouldn't it be AT LEAST half? Where did the Herald reporter learn math? For a newcomer to raise over 20k in a very tight race, I think that is phenomonal.

I think the untold story would be a breakdown of where Correia's campaign funding comes from. Is it all from Fall River? I suspect he is 'mostly' funded by outside sources. I'd love to see this breakdown. Perhaps you should drum something up!


Anonymous said...

"In raising the most funds, Correia appears to have tapped into his connections as a state representative, bringing in donations from across the commonwealth."

Yeah, so it looks like Correia is collecting money from people who can't vote for him.

I think Kilby would have some idea about how much the other candidates had raised. He would certainly know that 38k was on the short end, even if he did not know the exact amount. That was a good move by Kilby because he would be in 4th and be 30k behind Sullivan, and that would probably be today's story.

To the endorsement, I've been struggling whether to vote for Poulin or Sullivan, I am starting to lean to Poulin and it is good to know that others are going to vote for him as well!

Lefty said...

Thanks for commenting FRC,

I certainly can't disagree with your comments on Bob Correia, you really have to wonder how much of his $150k is made up from large donations by companies and individuals as compared to the people who actually vote.

I do disagree with you about Brad Kilby because the Herald News should have been sharp enough to have picked that story apart.

As for Eric Poulin, I think one of his biggest issues is the secret ballot. I have people tell me they would vote for Eric Poulin IF he could win. Well I'm convinced that if all the people who wanted to vote for Eric Poulin knew about all the other people who wanted to vote for Eric Poulin they might realize that this guy has quite a bit more support than they originally thought.

I'm a firm believer in voting for the candidate you want to win because when you start worrying about 'who can win' and vote for your second choice, you end up with second rate politicians.

Keep in mind, that I doubt very much of Eric Poulin's campaign is made up of large, non-voting, donors.

Anonymous said...

It should be bigger news that Rep Correia received $500 from Jay Cashman, Inc. It shows that Bob just does not get it when it comes to progress. Well, that and his endorsement by two former mayors, both of whom are partly responsible for the state of the city today. Bob may end up giving the money back, for political reasons, but I doubt he would ever concede that it's the right thing to do. It should be plain as day that Cashman is a two-timing money grubber who would happily sell out any town or city for a quick buck. It should now be even more obvious that Correia is a good old boy who is past his time, looking for a pension boost. Time to retire Bob.

jenn said...

hmmm.... you know what else I noticed???

In the breakdown of what some of these candidates spent, it included $20,000+ to Venus de Milo for a fundraiser (Bob Correia)... now why would someone who cares so much as this city, as Bob claims to do, spent $20,000+ in Swansea when he could have done it in Fall River?

You are right anonymous... time to retire Bob...

Lefty, the "secret ballot" thing you mentioned is 100% accurate. I hope that people that are on the fence and are thinking "well... if he could win..." really realize that he can win. When we are out there holding signs - it is amazing to see the support he gets from people just driving by. If we all pledge to get out there are vote for the best candidate for the job on Tuesday - Mr. Poulin will win.

Anonymous said...

I don't post here a lot but I read quite often and I don't care what anyone else says or thinks because I tell them all that I am DEFINITELY voting for Eric Poulin. I became interested in politics really for this election and it just seems to me that Eric Poulin is BY FAR the absolute best candidate. So I wish him luck tomorrow. :-)

Lefty said...

I'm copying this to the 'Endorsement' post.