To read campaign finance reports detailing the millions being raised in the Vermont gubernatorial contest, you'd think the recession was a figment of your imagination.
For sure, it's a good time to be a millionaire candidate -- at least when it comes to financing your run for office.
Senate President Pro Tem Peter Shumlin continues to be his own biggest fan and contributor, donating another $75,000 to his campaign. The millionaire politician has now loaned his campaign $225,000 or nearly 40 percent of his total fundraising effort.
How'd that self-funding go for GOP candidates Rich Tarrant and Jack McMullen? Must be different for Dems, as the rest of the press corps has mentioned Shumlin's self-propelled campaign merely in passing.
Republican Lt. Gov. Brian Dubie topped the $1 million mark by raising another $90,000 in cash (along with $2000 in in-kind contributions) in the past 30 days and spent $92,000. That leaves him with $460,000 in the bank as he, like the rest of Vermont, awaits to see which Democrat he'll face in the general election.
To date, Dubie has raised $154,556 from 1519 donors who gave in increments less than $100. In the past month, 476 such donors gave $15,948.
In total, Dubie has raised $1,036,675 with only $4600 coming from his immediate family.
Comparatively, the five Democrats have raised a total of $1,886,313 million as of August 14. Subtract the personal money several candidates contributed, and their total lowers to $1.6 million.
Among Democrats, Secretary of State Deb Markowitz and Sen. Shumlin led the five Democratic hopefuls in fundraising during the past 30 days.
Shumlin raised roughly $95,000 in cash, loaned himself $75,000 and personally kicked in another $2000 via in-kind contributions.
To date, Shumlin has loaned his campaign a sizable amount of what he's raised in total. His $225,000 contribution is almost as much as rival Sen. Doug Racine has collected all together. In all, he's "raised" $591,000, although $244,000 has come from loans, family members and personal in-kind contributions.
Shumlin spent $321,000 in the past month and has $56,000 left in the bank. To date he's raised $28,941 from 551 people who have given less than $100. Of that amount, he raised $8189 from 161 such donors in the past 30 days.
Markowitz raised just a few thousand dollars more than Shumlin in the past 30 days, excluding in-kind contributions. If you combine both in-kind and campaign donations, Shumlin raised $5 more.
In the past month, Markowitz raised almost $97,000, spent $240,000 and has just $33,000 cash on hand. To date, she's raised $120,000 from 2294 people who have given less than $100. Of that amount, she raised $28,295 from 569 such donors in the past month.
In total, Markowitz has raised $620,000, with $24,746 coming from herself or immediate family.
Finishing a respectable third in the Democratic money chase is former state senator and current Google exec Matt Dunne raised $67,000, spent $117,000 and has $82,000 in the bank.
To date, Dunne has raised $57,696 from 972 donors who have given less than $100; he raised $13,699 from 250 such donors in the past month.
In total, Dunne has raised $337,000, with only $7100 coming from himself or his immediate family .
Sen. Doug Racine raised $50,000, surprising his challengers — many who privately believed he'd raise half that amount. What's impressive is $50,000 is roughly half of what he raised between July 2009 and July 2010. He has $45,000 cash on hand. Seems like his grassroots base is finally stepping up to the plate, which is evident in the recent report.
To date, Racine has raised $73,696 from 1170 donors who gave less than $100; he raised $20,694 from 389 such donors in the past month alone.
Since getting into the race in January 2009 Racine has raised $260,363, of which $20,632 has come from himself or immediate family.
Sen. Susan Bartlett raised only $5800 in the past month. She spent $6700 in the past 30 days, including money to pay back taxes, worker's compensation and unemployment insurance. To date, she's raised $12,187 from 281 donors who have given less than $100. Of that, she raised $2700 from 49 such donors in the past month.
Bartlett has raised $76,806 to date, of which $10,500 has come from herself and immediate family.
Each campaign finance report provides some interesting donors to note, be they business owners, businesses or private individuals.
Anne Galloway over at VTDigger.org has a good list of these donors on her website, but here are few I noticed as well.
Lt. Gov. Brian Dubie: The hopeful heir apparent to Gov. Jim Douglas continues to raise cash from the GOP base in Vermont and businesses. Bill Stenger, who owns Jay Peak Resort, gave $2000, as did Vermont Telephone Company. VTel's owner, Michel Guite, already gave $2000. FW Whitcomb, a major state paving contractor, also gave $2000. Valley Vista, a private drug rehab facility in Bradford, gave $1000.
Secretary of State Deb Markowitz: The EMILY's List support continues to prove its value for Markowitz, as more mailers to the women-powered organization continue to reap benefits. Of note, is $500 from Luke Albee of Washington, DC. Albee is the former chief of staff to Sen. Patrick Leahy. He's donated $1500 to date. She also picked up $1000 from Select Designs, a brand development firm in Burlington, along with $500 from Victoria Young (see info below in Susan Bartlett's donation notes).
She also received $2000 from Tucker Management Company in Hanover, NH, and $500 from VTel founder Michel Guite. He's now maxed out to Markowitz with $2000.
Senate President Pro Tem Peter Shumlin: Aside from Shumlin's personal donation of $75,000, the southern senator was able to pull in a sizable amount from individual and corporate donors. The Teamsters DRIVE Committee gave $3000, as did the Marijuana Policy Project's Medical Marijuana political action committee. Michael and Jane Eisner (of Disney fame) each gave $1000. Rent-a-Center, based in Plano, Tx., gave Shumlin $1000.
Chittenden County Democratic Party Chair Jake Perkinson gave $1000 as did Rep. Tony Klein (D-East Montpelier). Vermont Telephone Company gave $2000. National radio personality Tom Bodett gave $500, for a total of $1000 to date, while actor William H. Macy gave $150. Bodett lives in Vermont, while Macy visits.
Sen. Doug Racine: Former Gov. Phil Hoff maxed out his donations to Racine this past month, hitting the $2000 mark. Fellow Sen. Bill Carris gave $1000, bringing their total to $2000. Fellow lawmakers such as Reps. Paul Poirer, Peter Peltz, John Moran also donated to Racine's campaign. His parents gave another $2000, upping their donations to his campaign to $6035.
Also donating $500 to Racine's campaign is Rand Larson, the former Chittenden County GOP chairman and an avid abortion opponent. Given Racine lives in Richmond, perhaps it's a neighborly donation.
Former Sen. Matt Dunne: The Google exec continued to pull in $1000 checks from his Silicon Valley / hi-tech supporters, but a few Vermont donations of note. Robert Young, the outgoing CEO of Central Vermont Public Service, gave $1000. Tom Peters, the internationally-known management consultant, gave Dunne $1000. Peters lives in Wells, Vt. Rent-a-Center, based in Plano, Tx., gave $500.
Sen. Susan Bartlett: Bartlett had no sizable donations of note in this reporting period. Though, interestingly, Victoria Young, the wife of aforementioned Robert Young, gave $500.