Monday, October 19, 2015

Who Gives? Size And Location

The two candidates for mayor have taken different strategies for funding their campaigns, as revealed in their most recent campaign finance reports.

Dan Drew has raised vastly more money for his campaign, from committees such as union funded political action committees, and from individuals. Russo-Driska has donated $12,000 of her own money to the campaign, but this does not come close to matching the resources in the Drew campaign coffers.

From individuals, as of September 30th, Drew had raised $84,480 and Russo-Driska had raised $25,115. The difference is primarily a result of very generous giving to Drew from out of town residents.

Size matters
When the campaign contributions are separated by the amount given by individuals, the differences in the campaigns' strategies is clear.
Equal small donations, different big.
The graph shows the aggregate amount raised by each campaign,
grouped by the amount given by each donor. While Russo-Driska and 
Drew raised about the same amount of money from small donors,
Drew raised vastly more money from large donors. 

The two candidates raised nearly identical amounts from donors who contributed less than $100, but they differed wildly in the donations from people who gave more.

From donors who gave between $100 and $999, Drew received about twice the money that Russo-Driska did. The difference for those who contributed the maximum, $1000, was even more striking; Drew hauled in over 6 times more money from those most generous givers.

This difference in the absolute amount of money raised is also clear when examining the relative proportion of money. While donations of greater than $500 accounted for 30% of Russo-Driska's fundraising total, they accounted for over 50% of Drew's total.

Location, location, location.
Another reason for the disparity in fundraising was that Drew inspired donations from places far out of town.

HERE is an interactive version of the two maps.

The city, the state (and beyond) gave to Drew.
Drew's campaign raised substantial sums from residents throughout the state 
and beyond. Not shown here are two $1000 contributions from Maryland, and 
one each from Ohio, Massachusetts, New York, and Florida.
Drew and Russo-Driska raised nearly identical sums (about $25,000) from Middletown residents. However, Middletown donations represented the vast majority of Russo-Driska's fundraising, but it was only a small portion of Drew's.

His donors came from 85 different municipalities, in 8 different states.   Donations from out-of-state alone accounted for $7500.

The city gave to Russo-Driska.
Russo-Driska's campaign raised about the same amount of money from city 
residents as did Drew, but she received very little money from elsewhere.
Her donors came from only 16 municipalities in just 3 states. Her out-of-state donations amounted to $100.

Who are the out-of-town (and out-of-state) donors?
Employees of large corporations were the most generous out-of town donors. For example, individuals associated with just 7 corporations were responsible for about 30% of ALL donations from individuals. Below are these large corporations, with the dollars contributed by employees and their families.

  • Prime AE group ($5000) is a Rocky Hill and Florida corporation. It describes itself as, "providing architecture & engineering, construction management, transportation, technology and water resource services." It does many projects for the City's Water and Sewer Department, including work to link our city with the Mattabesset regional treatment plant.
  • Cardinal Engineering Associates ($4500) is a Cromwell corporation. It has been "serving Connecticut Municipalities for over 50 Years." They built the Mattabesset bicycle trail bridge.
  • Cohen, Burns, Paul & Hard ($4000) is West Hartford corporation. It is "a general practice firm concentrating in real estate and commercial law, personal injury, litigation, bankruptcy, landlord/tenant, family law and criminal law."
  • Centerplan & Greenskies ($3950) are linked companies based in Middletown; Robert Landino, CEO of Centerplan's parent company, is chairman of the Greenskies board. Centerplan was awarded the contract to design a new use for Metro Square and the Arcade parking lot. Greenskies has contracts with the City to install solar panels on Mt. Higby and on the Remington Rand Building.
  • Pullman and Comley ($3250) has offices in Bridgeport, Hartford, Stamford, Waterbury, and White Plains. They were instrumental in the development of the Kleen Energy Power Plant, having "assisted in the closing of debt and equity transactions through Goldman Sachs Credit Partners and Energy Investor Funds valued at more than $1.3 billion."
  • Updike, Kelly & Spellacy ($2775) is a corporation with primary offices in Hartford and New Haven.  Their "comprehensive legal and public affairs services place us at the center of law, business and politics in Connecticut." In 2010, they opened an office in our city.
  • Milone & MacBroom ($2250) is a corporation with a home office in Cheshire, and branches in Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Vermont, and South Carolina. It is "one of the largest consulting firms in the northeast offering a diverse set of specialty practices in the fields of engineering, planning, landscape architecture, and environmental science." The city frequently hires the firm for consulting work, including for the consolidation of city departments, parks improvements, and redistricting of the schools. 
The individuals associated with those firms were just some of the 53 individuals who each gave $500 or more to the Drew campaign. 

No corporation was associated with donations this large to the Russo-Driska campaign.

In The Hartford Courant's article on these campaign finance reports, Drew said, "I'm very pleased with [my fundraising success]."  In The Middletown Press, Russo-Driska was quoted as saying, “We’re doing really, really good." 


John Milardo said...

Mayor Drew spends more time pursuing his political future than managing Middletown. His own work calendar proves he spends more time off the job,out of town, and meeting with his paid political consultants (handlers), than being available at town hall for City Directors and department issues. He is MIA at town hall and more available to political donors than the taxpayers of Middletown.
Drew states the Middletown Press, “The mayor’s job is seven days a week, 24 hours a day,” Drew said. “I have gotten police and fire calls in the middle of the night and had to respond. I go to events to represent Middletown and I’m at meetings many nights.”
Guess what? According to his official work schedule/calendar, he doesn't have that many meetings at night or events conducting Middletown business. Dan makes sure to keep many of his weekends and Friday's free. I'll bet every mayor wishes they could do that! As for the Fire or Police calls ?in the middle of the night", that's part of being a manager. Maybe Dan should look for another job if being called at night is too much for him to handle?

Anonymous said...

The more vitriol being spewed, the more convinced I am to vote for Mayor Drew. I thought we left this behind with the end of last Republican administration.

Ed Hayden said...

How sad. I have supported Dan with contributions and votes in the past. I thought that having younger people involved would maybe change the scent and flavour of politics. I was, sadly, wrong. It's a dirty game at any age. Political contributions should only come from the constituents who will be voting in the specific election.

Brian Clark said...

It may be of interest to some, that at the Meet the Candidates event at the Green Street Arts Center last night, I had every intent to meet with Mr. Drew, and talk cordially about our differences of views. However, while having a conversation with Jon Pulino, and I never stopped making direct eye contact with Mr. Drew, he left out the back door 20 minutes in to the event. The people need to meet their Mayor, and apparently he can't be bothered. I had a great time speaking with candidates from both parties. It's a sad state of affairs when a Mayor won't meet his constituents.