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Saturday, October 19, 2013

Questions Raised on Dacey’s Fundraising

George Wenschhof

Phil Dacey
With less than three weeks to go until General Election Day in the City of Frederick, concerns are being raised on the fundraising efforts by Republican alderman candidate Phil Dacey. Dacey finished first in the Republican primary election held on September 10.

Upon reviewing his impressive 205 reported contributions totaling $18,000, 65% of them came from outside The City of Frederick, raising the worry of outside influence on local elections.

What is common to see among city candidates is 25% or less of total contributions coming from outside the city. The majority of these donations typically come from residents of Frederick County who know the candidate, with the rest coming from family members or close friends who live outside the county or state.

Democrat John Daniels, who reported the second highest level of contributions ($13,000) among alderman candidates, fell within the average of 25% of his donations coming from outside the city, with most of them coming from residents of the county.

This outside fundraising is also raising questions of Dacey’s relationship with ultra right wing conservative and former state senator Alex Mooney, whose political philosophy resembles tea party Republicans of today.

Interestingly, Republican sources told me Dacey is using the Mooney donor list to raise funds.

Mooney was well known for his fundraising skills, tapping into national sources to fund his campaign, including paying workers to go door to door for him.

Dacey’s second campaign finance report showed he was also paying workers to go door to door, which he confirmed when I inquired.

I sent Dacey a email asking him “did you receive donor lists from Alex Mooney or anyone associated with his former campaign and second to what do you attribute to such a large portion of the funds you have received to date coming from outside the city?”

He replied with "We've worked very hard to raise the money that we have -- we set a budget at the start of the campaign and have worked to raise that amount.

To answer your question, I have not gotten lists from any other campaigns including Alex Mooney. I'm really not sure how the funds I have raised breaks down geographically because I really haven't analyzed the report in that way. I am humbled and grateful to have the support of a lot of people who believe in me and my vision for Frederick."

Some who question where his fundraising is coming from say that further illustrating Dacey’s ties to far right conservatives are campaign account donations from Republican elected officials; state senator Nancy Jacobs, state delegate Michael Hough, former state delegate Joe Bartlett and a donation from City Cab owned, in part, by Frederick board of county commissioners President Blaine Young.

Those making the connection of Dacey to right wing conservatives point out Dacey worked as chief of staff to conservative state senator Nancy Jacobs and his family; including his brother Ted, who worked as his campaign manager, has long been a supporter of Mooney.

City voters will elect their mayor and five member board of alderman on November 5.

Stay tuned.
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