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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

First Campaign Finance Reports from City of Frederick, Md. Democratic Candidates

George Wenschhof

As I indicated in a post one week ago on the site (read here), the first financial reports are but a glimpse into the strength of a candidate. There will be two financial reports filed between the primary and the general election on October 5 and October 27. The fourth report is due after the general election on December 3.

The City of Frederick government website already has all of the reports available to be viewed online here , thanks to Kari Melvin who works in the legal department. She will also make copies for you, but due to the volume of the pages, the cost is $19.00.

The reports include a list of financial contributions which include name and address, in-kind contributions, and a list of expenditures made by the candidate during the reporting period.

You are able to look to see who is giving money to help gauge who is behind the candidate (business, land developers, unions, individuals, organizations). However, in the first report, I would be hesitant to jump to conclusions.

The report also allows you to examine how the money is being spent by the campaign of a candidate. Signage cost is a given, but also look to see money being spent on publications (canvassing leaflets) and direct mail costs. In these local city races, it is extremely rare to see and money spent on campaign staff. Look to see how much money was spent during the reporting period as the more important number to look at is available cash on hand.

Fundraising will intensify by the campaigns over the final four weeks leading to the primary on September 15 and who has money available for the last week media push will be vital. This is when the voter's attention level is at the highest peak and the most effective ways to reach the voter is through direct mail, radio, robo-calls, and TV. Candidates who have a large enough volunteer bases will also do live phone banks for the get out the vote effort.

Below, I am going to list the Democratic candidates by amount of cash received and will highlight the available cash on hand. While in-kind contributions are always helpful and important, I have not added them to this review. I will also add a few brief comments.

Jason Judd: cash received 22,430 available on hand 7912
Jennifer Dougherty: cash received 7,258 available on hand 2036
Chris Simpson: cash received 6456 available on hand 32
Jack Lynch (withdrawn): cash received 330.00 available on hand 0

Jason Judd received the highest amount of contributions and also spent the most of any candidate during the reporting period. This is to be expected as the political newcomer is working to get voter recognition. Mom and Dad both contributed 1,250 as would any parent who had the resources would do for their son.

Some may question donations from people who live in D.C. or Tacoma Park, Maryland. However, that is also to be expected as Judd has worked and lived in both locations. Look to see someone bring up the 1500 in-kind contribution by the UFCW Union listed as Intern help. While another may question who New Design Limited Partnership with a Randallstown, Md. address is who contributed 1000.

Yet, the overall average contribution amount appears to be under 100, a result of several low cost fundraisers that were held during the reporting period. This is a very good start for fundraising. But keep in mind, former mayor Ron Young spent a reported amount in excess of 100,000 in the 2005 election and lost.

Former Mayor Jennifer Dougherty reported amount of cash received was second among the Democratic candidates for mayor. Last year, her campaign for Congress raised over 170,000. Being the former mayor, her name recognition is high among city voters.

Doughery won the City of Frederick vote in last year's election against Republican incumbent Roscoe Bartlett.

Her contributions averaged around 100 and her campaign received 1000 from Tom McLaughlin a long term supporter from Middletown, Maryland.

Interestingly, Chris Simpson raised more than any of the three Republican candidates for mayor. He aided his own cause by having his business contribute 1000 and he individually contributed another 1600 to the campaign. This is not unusual for a first time candidate who has the available resources and also shows the commitment of the candidate to the race.

Interestingly, a Jerry Wood (Taxi anyone?) with the same address of 6723 Plantation Road Frederick, Md. contributed 100 to his campaign and also 500 to Republican candidate for Mayor; Ron Tobin.

Jack lynch closed out his account after withdrawing from the race by refunding and a contribution to education.

Josh Bokee: cash received 6258 cash on hand 3317
Kelly Russell: cash received 4650 cash on hand 1339
Karen Young: cash received 4595 cash on hand 1759
John Daniels: cash received 3265 cash on hand 992
Michael O'Connor: cash received 3215 cash on hand 1441.
Carol Krimm: cash received 2925 cash on hand 820
Donna Kuzemchak: cash received 2415 cash on hand 976
David "Kip" Koontz: cash received 275 cash on hand 0
Andrew Kotkin: cash received 0 cash on hand 0

Some tidbits from the aldermen reports are as follows:

Josh Bokee and his wife donated 2000 and loaned the campaign another 1812.51 which is half of the amount the campaign has raised to date..

Local businessman Bert Anderson donated to the Judd, Young and Bokee campaigns.

Karen Young received 400 from Monocacy River Apts. LLC located in Randallstown, Md.

John Daniels and Judy Rice combined contributed 1000 to his campaign.

Kelly Russell received donations mostly in the 100 range and one 1000 contribution from Jenni Nakamoto from Jefferson, Md.

Michael O'Connor received 1000 from Richard O'Connor - Schley Ave. in Frederick. (Dad?)

Carol Krimm received 500 from herself, state delegate Galen Clagett (her boss), Ivan Lanier from Gransonville, Md. and Lisa Baugher (candidate for state senate district 3) for a total of 2000.

No big surprises here. All of the candidates have shown the ability to raise funds to be competitive in the primary except Andrew Kotkin who reported zero.

Of note is incumbent alderman David Koontz reported a 275 loan to the campaign for signs as the only funds received. He benefits from name recognition but will still need to raise funds to compete in a strong Democratic field in the primary.


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