Thursday, February 02, 2006

Fundraising trouble for Sweeney

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.


Anonymous said...

Why don't you say where Tina Rutnik Gillibrand's money is from? She is defiant in stating that here fundraising is a sign the constituents of the 20th CD want change. Yet over 90% of her money came from NYC and specifically over 20% came from her law firm. Who by they way were forced to contribute. I am sure the Hollywood Movie Mogul Harvey Weinstein (a contributor to Tina's campaign) knows what we in NY-20 need. The hypocrisy from your campaign stinks.

Andrew C. White said...

Well let's take your argument apart piece by little piece.

First of all... who is Tina?

Second of all... anonymous commentary? You can't stand behind your incorrect accusations?

Third... do you have any proof for your wild accusation that someone has somehow been "forced" to contribute to a campaign? Any proof at all?

Fourth... I want to extend my thanks to you and the Sweeney campaign for pointing out how much support Kirsten Gillibrand has received from the people that know her best. It is a tremendous sign that her friends, family, and co-workers have supported her so strongly in her efforts to get elected. Sweeney's supporters attack Ms. Gillibrand for accepting money from her father. My word! I certainly hope her father is willing to support her campaign.

Fifth... be very careful about picking on individual contributors. John Sweeney has far more questionable contributors then the one or two perfectly legal contributors that you and Sweeney have chosen to pick on so far.

Why has Sweeney accepted money from Abramoff's indian tribe clients?

Why has Sweeney accepted money from Abramoff's partner in crime Ed Buckham?

Why has Sweeney accepted money from Buckham's firm Alexander Strategy Group and it's employees?

Gee... I'm just getting started here.

You sure you want to go down this path?

Gillibrand has received contributions from her friends, family, and co-workers. This is a good thing. Gillibrand received a contribution a Hollywood producer with no threat of indictment over his head nor convictions (unlilke Buckham, DeLay, Alexander Strategy, and the other partners there that Sweeney has taken money from... and TYCO International).

Nice try but you should be careful where you decide to go. Your boy Sweeney, who doesn't even bother to travel or get to know the vast majority of this district has a serious question of integrity when it comes to his campaign money. The accusations thrown at Gillibrand are nothing but smoke.

I mean really... attacking someone for accepting a contribution from their father?

Gimme a break.

cspanjunky said...

To: U.S. Congress and the FCC

We, the undersigned, while believing in the importance of a Free Market and Freedom of Speech, also believe in the importance of The Public Airwaves to be used as mandated by the FCC "...In the Public Interest, Necessity, and Convenience." We believe the use of The Public Airwaves is crucial to spread knowledge, culture, and civics. We therefore write to petition you to consider major changes in the allocation of the Broadcast Spectrum.

The Public Airwaves are a Vast Toxic Wasteland.
Congress needs to hold hearing on THE STATE OF THE AIRWAVES.
They would find:

1) That the Broadcast and Cable companies have not lived up to using the Public Airwaves, as the FCC mandated "... in the spirit of Public Interest, Necessity, and Convenience."

2) That the FCC and Congress have " given away, rent free", the Public Airwaves.

3) That the Broadcast and Cable companies have "... made so much money doing IT'S worst, IT can't afford to do better."

In the 1990's the FCC, with much support from the Congress, auctioned off portions of the Broadcast Spectrum. One portion of the Spectrum that was being auctioned would potentially reach 16 million customers (citizens). Almost as many people as the population of the state of Texas.

That particular portion sold for $3.00. Three dollars! When former FCC chairman Reed was asked to comment, he said "...I wish I had three dollars".

This cavalier policy and stewardship of the Public Airwaves has been good for the Broadcast and Cable companies, and their stock holders. And absolutely hideous for Civics, Public Affairs, and Democracy.

Before 2009, the FCC will give away more of the Public Airwaves, worth between 80-100 billion dollars. Once again, the Public will be outside, looking in, as the Broadcast Spectrum goes to the highest campaign contributors.

What does the Public receive from the License holders, for their use of the Broadcast Spectrum? Inexpensive Cable and Satellite packages? Intellectually stimulating programs broadcast into our homes at no charge? Choices and Diversity? Event coverage and programming with redeemable qualities? Or is it "...500 channels and still there's nothing worth watching".

There are many Independent, Grassroots, and Localized ways to use the Broadcast Spectrum. But on the National level, the Country needs more Public affairs, more Civics. The unedited, undefiled paradigm C-SPAN has perfected, is the only thing We can all agree on. It promotes Democracy and Participation. Not even the corporate media conglomerates can be against Democracy.

We therefore call on the Congress, and the FCC, to hold hearings on the benefits of more C-SPAN. And to take steps to move forward with the endeavor of creating more C-SPAN Companion Networks. When there is more than enough Broadcast Spectrum to dedicate to Civics, Culture, History and Democracy, We should not allow greed to get in the way of the Public Interest, Necessity and Convenience.

Put the Public back in the Public Airwaves.

Anonymous said...

Who is Tina Rutnik? I thought her name was Kristen Gillibrand. I am confused. Does she have an alias?