Friday, January 20, 2006

So, Mr. Culver, whose governor will YOU be?

So I've spent about 5-6 hours between last night and this morning looking over Chet Culver's financial disclosure report, and I will say this, there's not as much Bill Knapp as I expected.

That's the last positive thing I'm going to say, so if you were looking for positives about Culver, go listen to Chris Woods give you the expected result over and over again. "Culver, still, appears as the strongest Democrat in the field and I predict will continue to show that strength up into June’s primary." Yes Chris, of course you do. You're on his goddamn payroll.

Here's my biggest problem with Culver, after reading his disclosure reports. He's running for Governor of Iowa. You know Iowa, it's this one. But his fundraising doesn't appear to be focused on that at all. In fact, less than 35% of his fundraising actually took place here.

While State 29 may not have the time/patience to slog through these reports, I do. Here are some of the things I found wading through Culver's mess:

He took donations from 959 different donors from outside Iowa.

Those donations came from 45 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and England, which I'm not sure is legal (see update).

DC alone makes up 13.4 percent of his total. When you add in Maryland and Virginia, you get 27.7 percent.

Here's the list, by state:

District of Columbia: $152585
Texas: $124220
Virginia: $99195
New York: $65080
Maryland: $63740
Massachusetts: $42950
Illinois: $36420
California: $30510
Louisiana: $17200
Missouri: $12750
North Carolina: $11110
New Mexico: $10000
Florida: $7550
New Jersey: $6770
Arkansas: $6750
Nebraska: $5650
Pennsylvania: $5100
Connecticut: $4175
West Virginia: $3500
Puerto Rico: $3400
Georgia: $3200
Minnesota: $2945
Colorado: $2900
Arizona: $2262
Wisconsin: $2250
Ohio: $2050
Maine: $1500
Nevada: $1500
South Carolina: $1500
Wyoming: $1200
Alabama: $1100
Indiana: $1100
Oklahoma: $1000
Rhode Island: $1000
England: $750
New Hampshire: $750
Washington: $750
Michigan: $550
Oregon: $325
Delaware: $250
Mississippi: $200
Montana: $200
Hawaii: $100
Vermont: $100
Kentucky: $25

Just out of state, he took in:

1 $20k donation
1 $15k donation
6 $12.5k donations
7 $10k donations
22 $5k donations
23 more donations over $2400
41 out of state donations that would be illegal on the federal level.

So I ask you, if Culver gets elected, exactly whose governor is he going to be?

KL

Update: Patrick Dillon, Culver's campaign manager, e-mailed me this afternoon to let me know his two donations from England are American citizens living in England, which makes them legal. Credit is due to him for responding somewhat kindly to a post where I, as he put it, "wailed on his candidate."

11 comments:

noneed4thneed said...

Great research. I'd love to see this done on all of the candidates. I know that Nussle's wouldn't be any better than this.

Anonymous said...

Culver's campaign manager called you? That is so rich! Obviously, he was tipped off by Chris Woods. I agree with the previous poster that this is a great service. Enjoy your blog, even if I am a little more conservative than you.

KL Snow said...

He e-mailed, actually, but yes, he did contact me. I'm not automatically laying that on Chris, though. I mean, the Fallon campaign has someone that watches internet chatter for interesting info/things that need clarification, too. I know because I'm the one who does it.

Chris Woods said...

Just to be clear here, I did not talk to Patrick about the post at all.

And Kyle's right--I think just about every campaign has or should have someone checking things online to make sure nothing bogus is flying about.

Anonymous said...

Why is Puerto Rico pointed out as if that is fishy? They are US citizens too!

KL Snow said...

Let me clarify that. I said Culver has taken money from 45 states, DC, Puerto Rico and England. I had questions about the donations from England, because I know non-citizens aren't allowed to donate.

I'm aware of and wasn't questioning the legality of the PR donations. Why people in Puerto Rico are interested in gubernatorial candidates in Iowa is another question.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand why accepting or even soliciting out of state money is a bad thing..could you explain that?

I mean Iowa only has so much money to contribute to campaigns, and to battle someone like Nussle, as well as a 6 way primary race - You HAVE to get money from outside the state.

Good luck to Fallon, but you have to be in the system to change the system. It's about time he realized that.

Anonymous said...

Ha! "In the system to change the system." Tell that to the Conservative Party in Canada.

You also ask what's wrong with out of state money. It is sad that this has to be laid out so plainly.

Raising 35% of your money in the state you plan to serve is a bad, bad thing for the people you serve. Money = interests, and while every candidate will tell you that no one "buys influence", if only 35% of your dedicated support is coming from within the state borders, that means that a candidate has tied his agenda to interests outside the core of the electorate.

I hope I'm not overcomplicating this, because it is very, very important. I'm not so cynical as to believe that every politician is crooked and bought out by minority interest juggernauts, but I'm not so naive to believe that it is a "good thing" that a candidate is that dependent on foreign oil...err...financing.

Yes, there isn't a lot of money in Iowa, compared to, say, California, but neither are campaigns as costly! Hey Chet, Deacon and Jim - get your money from home if you want your home to vote for you.

Hell, even 55% in-state money would be enough to satisfy me. At least I know that their in-state interests made up a majority of their backing. I'm not asking for freaking saints to run for office: just not total heels.

Anonymous said...

"Good luck to Fallon, but you have to be in the system to change the system. It's about time he realized that."

What does that mean? That you have to take money from large PAC's, businesses and other large organizations and then NOT do what they want you to.

Ed Fallon is on his seventh term as a representative in Iowas state government. How much more "in the system" do you want.

Ed appears to be one of the few, however, to understand that to change "the system" there are some aspects of it in which you cannot participate.

Anonymous said...

How do you know who has donated to a candidate? Is this public knowledge?

KL Snow said...

Well, if you have time to slog through campaign reports, as I did at this point, then the Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board has them all online in PDF form. That's how I got these numbers.

If you don't have that kind of time, there are some other great money in politics sites out there, as well, like opensecrets.org.