4th quarter fund raising numbers are in and it is a bleak report for incumbent Rep. John Sweeney.
While his opponent Kirsten Gillibrand was setting records for Democratic candidates in New York's 20th Congressional District Mr. Sweeney experienced his worst fund raising quarter in 2 years.
Sweeney showed total receipts of $103,409.77 for the quarter while Gillibrand raised $249,035.44. An almost 150% advantage for Gillibrand.
Similarly distressing for Sweeney are his total disbursements of $115,283.70 which translates to a net deficit for the quarter of $11,873.93. Kirsten Gillibrand on the other hand showed disbursements of only $64,394.24 and an outstanding debt of $11,713. Even including the debt, a net gain for the quarter of $172,928.20.
For the two quarters that Kirsten Gillibrand has been raising money she has outpaced the incumbent raising $370,680.44 to Sweeney's $333,584.73. Taking into account their disbursements Gillibrand shows a net gain of $274,445.96 to Sweeney's $40,701.64. In other words, in the second half of 2005 Kirsten Gillibrand has outpaced the incumbent John Sweeney at breathtaking rate of 674%.
For the 2005 fund raising year Sweeney has raised $780,456.22 and spent $575,170.84 leaving a net gain $205,285.38. Gillibrand's half year net of $274,445.96 still out paces Sweeney's entire year by $69,160.58 or a 13% advantage.
Sweeney entered the year with $495,774.54 cash on hand giving him an incumbents advantage that shows in the net cash on hand at the end of 2005 for the two opponents. Sweeney has $701,059.92 cash on hand entering 2006 while Kirsten Gillibrand enters with $286,158.96. Sweeney's cash on hand advantage of $414,900.96 narrowly exceeds the amount Gillibrand raised in her first two quarters of fund raising.
Even more threatening to Sweeney is the fact that Gillibrand did not begin raising funds until September '05 so her numbers represent only 4 months worth of fund raising. Gillibrand's pace projects to $1,112,041.32 for a full year easily surpassing Sweeney's best year.
In keeping with her promise of accountability to the people of the district rather than special interests, Kirsten Gillibrand raised virtually all of her funds (97%) from individuals. Only $12,025 or 3% has come from PAC's.
John Sweeney has traditionally raised about 40% of his campaign contributions from PAC's and other committee's and this cycle is no exception. $324,406 of Sweeney's campaign money or a whopping 42% has come from PAC's. This does not include money coming from individual lobbyists working on behalf of or in conjunction with PAC's and various special interests trying to influence Sweeney's actions on the Appropriations committee or his other duties in the House.
Sweeney's entire cash on hand advantage is from his fund raising among PAC's and lobbyists.
Kirsten Gillibrand formally announced her campaign Tuesday at the historic Canfield Casino in Saratoga Springs, NY to packed a room of between 200-300.
A worried Sweeney issued a hurried call for supporters to protest outside the event but was only able to attract about 2 dozen rain bedraggled sign wavers. Sweeney has been heavily criticized in recent days by the media, various leaders around the district, and lampooned by the Gillibrand campaign in an ad for his "Skiing with Sweeney" weekend with lobbyists in Park City, Utah.
Gillibrand was introduced by Attorney General Eliot Spitzer. In her announcement speech Ms. Gillibrand laid out a broad agenda and made clear the stark differences between her and the incumbent. A report of the event and a PDF of the speech can be found here.