Things That Should Go Without Saying

Let’s begin with the fact that’s obvious to all paying attention: Lovely Warren is a disaster as a politician. Beholden to the corrupt Gantt machine, she not only followed in her mentor’s dirty footsteps by hiring her uncle as the head of her security detail, she also made matters worse by getting in a stupid fight with the queen of Twitter in Rochester, Rachel Barnhart, when it was revealed that her uncle tends to drive too fast on the Thruway.

After a disastrous start in 2014, even someone with the deadened political instincts of Ms. Warren wouldn’t take a shot at Louise Slaughter this cycle, no matter what some gullible reporter at Channel 10 thinks. And if she did run for the seat in any other cycle, she might win the primary, but she’d lose to any Republican with a pulse and regular respiration.

That said, let me pick an important nit: the fact that Lovely raised $400K, as was reported breathlessly by Channel 10, is irrelevant to any present or future run for the House. As every reporter in Rochester should have learned from studying the Brooks campaign, you can’t transfer funds from your local campaign treasury to your House race. So Lovely can raise a million dollars for her next mayoral run (and Lord knows she’ll need it), but that won’t do her any good if she ever decides to run for Congress.

Big Cash from Slaughter

The Slaughter campaign’s latest press release claims that her second quarter filing will show that she’s raised more than $530K.  Based on the last filing, which covered the period through the beginning of June, this means that Slaughter raised over $250K in one month, which puts her on track to have raised over $1 million this cycle.  I’ve included the full press release after the break: Continue reading

Slaughter Out-Raises Brooks

Both the Brooks and Slaughter campaigns filed spending reports covering April, May and a few days in June, and Louise Slaughter out-raised Maggie Brooks by about $56K. Slaughter has close to $700K in the bank, with Brooks reporting about $370K.

Looking at the details, we see that Slaughter received about 54% of her donations from Political Action Committees (PACs) and 46% from individual donors. Small donors (giving under $200) were 37% of the total individual haul. For the whole cycle, Slaughter has received 36% of her donations from individuals, and the rest from PACs.

Brooks received all her donations from individual donors this reporting period, and almost all of that (96%) from donors giving more than $200. This means that Brooks will have more donors reaching their $5,000 limit than Slaughter, and will need to find new sources of funds as we approach the general election. Brooks has gotten 89% of her donations from individuals over the whole cycle.

This is a real “meh” fundraising report for Brooks, who was a fundraising dynamo during her County Executive runs. She’s tapped out a lot of major big-name donors (the Wegmans figure prominently in this report) but unless she has a bunch more of those in her pocket, she’ll need to work the phones harder to raise enough money to be competitive in this race.

Unions Never Learn

Perhaps the most interesting donation on Maggie Brooks’ campaign finance report is $10,000 from the Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers Union, the maximum allowed by law. I assume the reason for the donation was Brooks’ generally good relationship with local unions and perhaps her relationship with Union President Eugene Caccamise, who serves on the COMIDA board.

In general, the relationship between New York politicians and unions at the county and state level is good, but unions don’t seem to understand that it all changes when a Republican goes to Congress. The current Republican Congress so hostile to unions that they changed the name of the House Education and Labor Committee to the “House Education and the Workforce Committee”. Republicans also opposed the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) and have blocked appointments to the National Labor Relations Board.

Speaking of the EFCA, when one AFL-CIO union supported his opponent in the 2006 race, Randy Kuhl in NY-29 withdrew as a sponsor of that bill 6 days after the election, and then voted against it, even though other unions had contributed to his 2006 campaign. I wonder why the Bricklayers think Brooks will be any different.

Louise Slaughter has raised over $100K from unions so far this cycle, so it’s pretty clear who unions think has their best interests in mind. Does the Bricklayers’ Union really think their contribution is going to matter if Brooks finds it politically expedient to throw unions under the bus?

Slaughter Has $530K, Brooks $250K

The FEC hasn’t posted the fundraising reports yet, but the D&C is reporting that Maggie Brooks raised about $250K and has that amount on hand, and Louise Slaughter raised $205K and has about $530K on hand. Brooks’ report will merit a lot of scrutiny because she claims to have only spent $234 to raise that money, even though she has a professionally-produced website which she used to gather some of that cash. What probably happened is that her campaign consultants withheld their bills until after the first fundraising report to make her total more impressive. Slaughter reported $38K in expenses, by comparison.

Slaughter Starts Fundraising

Joe Spector at the D&C has Louise’s first fundraising appeal. Here’s her first take on Maggie Brooks:

Republican Maggie Brooks has made it clear – that she won’t stand up for what counts in Western New York instead she’ll be more of the same refusing to break ties from the same Washington Republicans who have tried to shut down the government, trample on women’s rights and end Medicare as we know it.

Louise had $362K on hand as of the end of last year, which is the last reporting period posted by the FEC.  That’s not much for a sitting Member of Congress, mainly because this district hasn’t had a contested election in recent memory. Brooks said she has to raise $2 million, which I think is a reasonable guess at what a modern Congressional campaign costs.