Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Money changes everything

Especially for Adrian Garcia, at least from my POV.

City Councilman Stephen Costello raised $1.8 million in the reporting period that ended June 30, his campaign announced Wednesday, putting him atop the field of top-tier contenders.

The candidates' campaign finance reports are not due until next Wednesday, but already this year's announced hauls top $6 million.

Former Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia was first out of the gate with his figures, announcing Tuesday that he raised $1.5 million since announcing his candidacy in May. According to his campaign, Garcia neither contributed his own money nor transferred funds from his sheriff's account.

Garcia gets the gold star, both for his effort and for the spin applied.  I personally don't feel any differently about him as a candidate, but it seems apparent that I am in the rapidly shrinking minority in this regard.  Strong polling and strong fundraising always does a lot to flip the script in the media's eye.

Former mayor of Kemah (Bill) King followed with a statement Wednesday morning saying he raised $1.25 million, $750,000 of which came from donors, meaning King likely supplied $500,000 for his own bid.

Costello also financed his own campaign to the tune of $250,000 and transferred $262,000 from his city council account, according to his release.

State Rep. Sylvester Turner reported raising $750,000 in the nine days between the end of the state legislative fundraising blackout and the close of the reporting period. Turner started the race with $900,000 from his legislative account already in the bank.

Meanwhile, 2013 mayoral runner-up Ben Hall raised nearly $800,000, according to his campaign, $500,000 of which he donated himself.

Former Congressman and City Councilman Chris Bell ended the reporting period with the lowest number of the group, having raised $400,000. 

John Coby had a fun post from a couple of weeks ago about who wasn't going to get elected mayor of Houston.  He's pretty close to my thinking.  I won't have much more to say about fundraising but I'll link to Charles when he does, probably make fun of him a little about how he focuses so much on it for the benefit of access to the various consultants.  Will try not to not be mean about that.  Update: Via Charles, Stace has more.

If you want to be really impressed -- or really revolted -- about somebody's fundraising, however, just read this story about Greg Abbott from Jonathan Tilove at the Statesman.

Gov. Greg Abbott’s campaign committee raised $8.25 million the last nine days of June.

That’s very good. Nearly $1 million a day. At that pace, he could run for president.

But, to put it in context, those were the first nine days Abbott could receive contributions since being elected governor, so it reflects a certain pent-up energy.

I'm trying to render a mental image of the kind of people -- and their PACs -- that would give Abbott a million dollars a day and do so feeling their 'pent-up energy'.  "God, we are just aching in our hearts to donate to our good Governor George Wallace, and the day(s) have finally arrived!  Quick, Maw!  Scratch out a check for a couple hundred thousand so that Greg can fight Operation Jade Helm, the gays, and defend that good Christian man Ken Paxton from those evil libruls who are trying to take him down!"

To avoid the indelicate impression that influence might be being bought or sold, state officeholders in Texas cannot receive contributions during biennial legislative sessions and the veto period that follows. The prohibition extends from Dec. 14 to June 21.

Even so, the fundraising numbers – released by his campaign Wednesday ahead of next week’s filing deadline with the Texas Ethics Commission – only enhance Abbott’s reputation as an epic fundraiser and a politician who knows that the best way to discourage a serious challenge, or defeat an opponent, is with a big pile of cash.

Abbott’s campaign committee has $17.7 million in cash on hand. Two years ago, as he embarked on his campaign for governor, he had $20 million in the bank. Abbott is not up for re-election until 2018.

Doesn't it just warm your heart to see such good government in action?

1 comment:

Gadfly said...

Abbott can go suck on a mouthful of my precious bodily fluids, Mandrake!