Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Rell Starts Strong in Money Race

Malloy Continues to Outraise DeStefano

Gubernatorial candidates today announced their fundraising numbers for the fourth quarter of 2005. Here are the numbers:

Rell: $896,748 (includes about $11,000 in in-kind contributions)
Malloy: $477,034
DeStefano: $251,063

Rell did pretty well, considering her late start and strict, self-imposed fundraising rules. Her numbers aren't reminding anyone of Rowland's fundraising prowess, but any questions about her ability to raise enough money should be dispelled. The Rell campaign reported today that more than 2,000 individual donors contribute. 45% of those were small donors, contributing less than $100 each.

The Malloy campaign gleefully announced that they had outraised DeStefano for the second straight quarter:

"This is the third straight quarter that Dan Malloy has achieved significant increases in fundraising results," said Chris Cooney, Malloy's campaign manager. "By comparison, John DeStefano has just experienced his third consecutive decline in fundraising. In fact, having raised $477,000 Dan Malloy has beaten John DeStefano's best quarter." (Malloy press release: "Malloy Out-Raises DeStefano 2:1." 1/10/2006)

DeStefano certainly has a lot more money total, but Malloy, who was sidelined for nearly a year during an ethics investigation, is narrowing the gap. The DeStefano campaign is spinning the story as a victory (their press release pointed to the fact that they had more total money than any previous Democratic gubernatorial candidate), but the excuses are starting to ring hollow, especially following a month in which the DeStefano campaign seemed to stumble. CT News Junkie has an insightful piece on the DeStefano campaign's reaction to the fundraising numbers on their site.

Malloy, on the other hand, seems to be getting stronger all the time. He is moving to widen his appeal, his campaign is making few noticable mistakes, his numbers are up, and his rival seems to be falling flat. Democrats may start giving Malloy a second look following today's announcement.

It isn't time to stick a fork in DeStefano, yet. Another quarter like the last one, though, would be a major disaster for DeStefano heading into the convention.

The big winner here is Rell, however, who not only put to rest questions about her fundraising ability, but will continue to benefit from division among the Democrats. If not for the actions of Lisa Moody, the ongoing investigation of whom continues to taint Rell's fundraising operation, today would be a very big victory for her indeed.

21 comments:

Moderate Republican said...

Anybody out there thing this is still a race? Malloy and DeStefano are both positioning themselves to run for Congress in the 4th and the 3rd, respectively. (A smart long-term strategy for each).

Unless Rell has a major slip up (and Lisa Moody passing out invites is not one), this race is over.

Independent1 said...

Given what each of them raised, what's amazing to me is how much Destefano and Molloy spent this past quarter. With their expenditures, Molloy increased his cash position only $150k, while Destefano didn't move at all. Instead of blunting the impact of Rell's first quarter (which was going to be big, but I certainly didn't think this big), both allowed her to significantly close the gap on the cash on hand basis, and the media buys are still months away. Increasing your cash by 150k is ok, but man, you'll blow through that in no time. I'd like to see some analysis of where the money is going. As soon as I get some time, I'll try and spend some time on it.

ctkeith said...

When the Hell are the Bloggers Here going to take their heads out of their asses and look past tommorrow.

Come Febuary Ned Lamont is going to be the biggest story in Ct(he really already is) and whichever of the Mayors is closests to him AND farthest away from the plague(Joe Lieberman) is going to get sprinkled with the fairydust of national media,Deanlike primary contributions over the web and a BIG win in the primary.

Both the mayors campaigns have been so isolated and busy fighting each other they're flying into the coming storm blind an asleep.

CLEAN YOUR GOGGLES AND WAKE THE FUCK UP! 06 is about Iraq and corruption (Abromoff) not Property tax Reform even at the state level.This will be even more true in CT.

A Different Anonymous (No! Really!) said...

This quote is from the CT News Junkie story GC links to above:

“The quarter went exactly as planned,” Gandhi said. “We spent our time building a network in Hartford and Fairfield County, courting small-dollar donors and and setting ourselves up for the next 8 months.”

Thoughts:

This is one of two things. It's either a bald-faced lie to spin a disastrous fourth quarter, or it's the stupidest political strategy on record: Hey! Governor Rell just got in the race! How can we show we're serious contenders? I know, we'll target small donors! That way we can raise a really insignificant amount of money and ... uh ... well ... that'll show `em!

I can see (barely) why someone might have a quarter (or say they have a quarter) dedicated to The Little People - you know, The Poor Folks Who Can (as Shonu says in the campaign news release) Barely Eke Out That $50 Contribution. But to do it in the first quarter Rell is in the race?

I'd have given marginal props to DeStefano if he'd had the sack to at least admit it was a crappy quarter, and never mind the excuses.

Anonymous said...

evidently the DeStefano campaign is now being run the same way the NH public works department is being run

Channel 3 reported tonight that people are driving city trucks drunk and stoned. And DeStefanoleadership will take the next six months to invesigate.

Yeah, he's earned a promotion.

MikeCT said...

Independent1
I'd like to see some analysis of where the money is going.

Good question. Unfortunately, Bysiewicz's campaign finance disclosure site is (once again) down. But here are some hints from the AP:

Malloy spent more than $54,000 on Global Strategy Group, a consulting firm that includes former Democratic gubernatorial candidate Bill Curry's campaign manager, Roy Occhiogrosso.

DeStefano has spent thousands on out-of-state consultants, including nearly $15,000 on a firm from Evanston, Ill. and $15,000 on a Washington, D.C., research firm.


In unrelated news, Ned Lamont will be interviewed on WTIC AM 1080 on Wednesday after 4 pm. Would be great if someone could record it and get an mp3 online somewhere. My Left Nutmeg also says he'll be at the New Haven Library on Saturday the 21st (not clear how solid that is or whether all are welcome).

Chris MC said...

Nine hundred grand is solid, but not shocking. One could easily spin it in the other direction - there was a lot of money waiting on the sidelines, and we'll have to see how it goes in Q1. As someone else pointed out, the makeup of these donations is important.

If there are 500 or 600 separate 1000 dollar donors who can and will max out, that is one thing - peg her "effective" available cash at about $2.2 million. This is what I expect - Gallo's sandbagging so they can claim a better Q1 & Q2 - show the Big Mo. She'll hit three million by July 1, no problem. They'll be aiming to peak out in late September, looking undeniable. No need to set the bar too high at this stage of the game.

If it's 125 couples donating $5,000 a pair, the picture is very different.

It's difficult to swallow Shonu's line; why not have a big organizing quarter and keep a steady stream of cash? But the fact is that with the lead they've had in cash coming into Q4, the smart thing to do is to try to secure the convention - nothing would turn the money spigot on like a fait accompli - and they have been very publicly focused on that ever since Malloy restarted last summer. So it isn't BS: you can go back and read what "indian2nighthawk" and the others were posting right here on this blog.

OTOH, there is no denying that Malloy's fundraising momentum shows he is far from finished. In fairness, all the stick-a-fork-in-him talk around here has been quite premature.

For that reason, Malloy wins this quarter, like the last one, in a split decision on points, just for being on his feet.

The effect of Shonu's statement is this: if DeStefano can make his nomination a foregone conculusion by April 1, she is vindicated, the strategy worked. If the convention is still a toss-up, decision Malloy in Round Q1.

And then we'll have a historic convention.

The great news here is that the Democratic party is showing up big and challenging the status quo. Two strong candidates going for the top job who are willing to shake it up and make stuff happen.

What a change from the log jam we had for too long.

And we can chat it up here at will.

Is this a great state, or what?

Aldon Hynes said...

Okay, so people have been asking my for my spin on the numbers, the SEIU endorsement, etc. Let me start off with a standard set of disclaimers. There are things I know that I can’t talk about. There are things that I don’t know about that I’ll hypothesize about anyway, and people who have already made up their minds will jump in and dismiss whatever I say as spin.

So, let me give you my comments. First and foremost, while other people may not be publicly talking about their disappointment about Mayor DeStefano’s fundraising numbers, I will say upfront that I am disappointed, and I imagine there are other people in the campaign that are disappointed as well. Who wouldn’t want their candidate to raise the most money in the quarter?

Let me tie this back to another disappointment. In a previous blog post, Genghis expressed disappointment that Mayor DeStefano hasn’t been on the blog more. Genghis talked about how we need to have another online town hall. I agree with that as well. I wish Mayor DeStefano had more time to spend with the blog.

In many ways, I believe it boils down to strategic decisions about where to allocate time. Mayor DeStefano, felt comfortable with his lead. Even with a weak fundraising quarter, he is still over $600,000 ahead in the cash on hand category. So there appears to have been a focus on lining up political support to win endorsements and the convention and working on lining up more grassroots support.

Was the balance right? As a Monday morning quarterback, I suspect a some of us may be thinking the balance was wrong, and Mayor DeStefano should have been doing more fundraising calls and less political calls. A weak fundraising quarter could hurt the political support if the political support is weak and if people don’t believe the DeStefano spin. It is all interrelated. Yet it also reinforces the Mayor’s reaching out to a broad coalition of people, which will be necessary in November, so others will vehemently defend the decision to focus on political support instead of financial support.

So, I believe Chris MC is right. It will all come down to an exciting convention, and there will be several opportunities for more Monday morning quarterbacking. We will look at the March fundraising numbers. We will look at the convention. If necessary, we will look at the outcome of a primary and then there will be the Monday morning quarterbacking in November.

Independent1 said...

Bysiewicz's campaign finance site is just miserable. Everyone has to use it, you would think she'd make sure it works! She can't pick a voting machine, can't get the site to work, what the hell is she doing with her time and staff?

Genghis Conn said...

Aldon,

Thanks for your candor. It's very refreshing.

Indian2Nighthawk said...

Chris, I know you think I am Shonu but I am not. Please do not continue to make this error

Anonymous said...

Are the candidiates buying the campaign with money or are they going to look for voter support? Big money candidiates, like incumbents do sometimes lose. My guess is malloy will play well with the voters and give Rell a run for her money. She's popular because she is not John Rowland not because she has accomplished anything more than press releases.

The DOT employees arrested yesterday are innocent until they plead guilty but they should and can be fired but so far that is not the case from what i readhere

Anonymous said...

Independent1: Susan's elections group is a mess; just talk to any maverick candidiate that tries to get information/forms and any objective town clerk and reg of voters about how they do things. She should be voted out on that but the voters know little about it

Anonymous said...

There is only one word which can truly sum up the way the Destefano campaign is heading and the poor spin job his campaign manager -

"Joementum"

BTW - A campaign manager is not and should not be the campaign spokesperson. They are both full time jobs with completely different skill sets in a gubernatorial campaign. Experienced and professional cmapiagn managers and spokespersons KNOW this to be true.

A Different Anonymous (No! Really!) said...

ChrisMC:

Very thoughtful analysis. I'll go so far as to suspend - though not lift, and only for the moment - my previous verdict of stupidest political strategy on record.

How about an interim judgment of highly dubious?

And FWIW, I'd add my voice to the chorus on CFIS: Worst. Site. Ever.

A Different Anonymous (No! Really!) said...

PS: Please let me also second GC on Aldon's posts - today and previously. I do give him props, though it may sometimes seem otherwise (viz., the Hypocrisy Sucks rants).

Brass Anon said...

Malloy is changing his name to Mo-loy.

Anonymous said...

Interesting timing by Destefano on the union endorsements. Clear effort to divert attention from the dismal fundraising.

But it will be interesting to see how helpful those endorsements will be. HERE is pretty much irrelevant. SEIU could be significant, but only if they really work. Here is my guess about their locals:

1199. The 800 pound gorilla. They have the ability to bring out the troops and a history of cutting the deal for their support. They made Weicker the governor. No huge recent victories, but not to be discounted.

32BJ - the custodians. Fairly active membership, but also had some support from Malloy in Stamford for organizing drives. Leadership is also out of state now, and hard to see new yorkers really spending much time/money on a primary.

The various state employee locals.
Hard to see them caring too much. Why risk pissing off Malloy?

In the end, I doubt the Unions will be a big factor this time around. Unlike Curry/Larson, the Unions have no obvious reason to back one over the other. Larson was easily labeled as anti-worker for his support for workers comp "reform". Nothing like that motivation exists now. Thus, even if they do decide to give support to one or the other, they won't be able to motivate the membership.

Anonymous said...

One more vote against CFIS.

Rowland's people, now Rell's holdovers ponyed-up in a big way to her, $250 if your a "director" and up.

Atena & UI CEO's apparently get a pass on Rell's state contractor contribution ban.

Chris MC said...

Well, if you're going to be reasonable, "No! Really!"...

With regard to Shonu's dubiosity (as I said, the statement is tough to swallow). Today's email massaging the numbers further, trumpeting that they went from 15% to 40% on the small donors' piece of the whole, begs for a bit of algebra, and lends credence to your assessment.

Anonymous said...

The same people who liked Rowland's 'business friendly' approach want to keep Rell in place. They are the companies who make their 'percentage' and do little to invest in CT's people so the business property tax means little to them since they have very little business property.