PA-5: Thompson Raises And Spends Like An Incumbent

Glenn-Thompson-portraitRep. Glenn “GT” Thompson (R-Centre) has proved that he can raise and keep cash like an incumbent, definitively outraising Democratic opponent Kerith Strano Taylor. The other Dem in the race, Thomas Tarantella, has yet to file a report.

Thompson raised $134,763.82, spent $112,027.28 and currently has $282,741.22 cash on hand after the first quarter. Taylor raised $24,009.19, spent $11,904.62 and currently has $11,904.57 cash on hand.

Thompson

Thompson’s report lists a lengthy number of donors, both individual and organization. Notably, he received $1,500 from the Koch Industries PAC and $3,000 from the coal company Alpha Natural Resources PAC.

The Congressman also managed to spend his money like an incumbent, clocking in at a bit over $110K. $25,257.86 of that went to advertising and public relations, which seemed to take up the most space on his list. There was also, of course, fundraising, payroll and various travel fees.

Thompson owes zero dollars in debt.

Taylor

Despite her attempt to run a Congressional race against an incumbent, Taylor’s campaign finance report doesn’t do much to reflect that. Most of her donations came from individual donors, with only two organizations gifting a grand total of $200. Her biggest donation of $2,600 came from Eric Haggerson, who’s listed as Senior of Regulatory Affairs at T-Mobile. There were also many in-kind donations from her law firm, aptly named Taylor Law Firm.

Taylor’s list of expenses contained a solid amount of PayPal fees, along with many in-kind payments and various small charges. Taylor currently owes zero dollars in debt.

Taylor announced her intent to run on a snowy morning back in February. Thompson’s other Democratic opponent, Tarantella, beat her to the punch with an announcement in December of 2013, but has yet to post his finance report from the first quarter of 2014.

Thompson has a history of easily keeping his seat in the 5th district. Most recently, in the 2012 election, he garnered 62.9% of the vote against Democrat Charles Dumas’ 37.1%. The district is rated R+8 on the Cook PVI scale.

PA-13: Exclusive Interview with Marjorie Margolies

DSC01441Marjorie Margolies is the highest-profile candidate in the race to replace Allyson Schwartz in Pennsylvania’s 13th district.

Famous for her one-term stint from 1993 to 1995 when she cast the deciding vote in favor of the 1993 omnibus budget bill, Margolies is once again seeking the 13th seat. I had the opportunity to talk to the candidate at her headquarters, a house that her campaign transformed into an office.

We talked literally at her kitchen table about the issues and dynamics of the Democratic primary. One interesting tidbit, the campaign produced massive blow-ups of photos of President Clinton and the Congresswoman together for their fundraiser and afterwards hung them up around the house. So it was that this interview took place under a giant photo of Bill and Marjorie from the 1992 campaign.

Motivations to run for Congress

I started with the question every candidate hears the most, why do want to run for Congress?

“In 1991, I was asked to run for Congress,” Margolies began. “Honestly, I think they just didn’t want nobody on the ballot. I think they just wanted a candidate on the ballot. I got into the race and at no time did I think I would win. I mean honestly when I went into election night I only had a concession speech.”

She says that she was as shocked as everyone else when she won and had displayed a healthy attitude towards her 1994 defeat. “So, I went in and was asked to leave. Bye-bye,” she summarized. Then after fifteen years of enjoyable work with her group Women’s Campaign International, another opportunity arose.

“Then when Allyson decided to run for Governor I got, it was probably a truckload, I got quite a few calls from people saying ‘Why don’t you look into this’ and that is how it started,” she explained. “I’m running because I never stopped dealing with the issues I thought were important.”

After I suggested that she seemed over the exhausting nature of Congress in some recent interviews she maintained that she loved the job and her memories of her service factored into her decision to “seize the moment.”

“I remember with great fondness what we were able to get done,” she explained. “I loved the constituent work, I mean I was shocked by how much we could get done on a 1-on-1 human interaction, how many people we could help.”

The Opposition

Next, we moved on to the subject of her three primary opponents and I noted that in every forum where she has been absent, they have taken the opportunity to hit her for ignoring the voters by not attending these events. Margolies clearly expected this question and was so enthusiastic she actually physically raised her hand to jump in.

“I would like to tell you the following, let me stop you in the middle of this. Do you how many times I debated John Fox [in 1992]?,” she asked. “Thirteen times, I set the bar for debates. We basically said when I got in this race that as soon as we knew who was gonna be on the ballot, when all the signatures were in, I would debate three times. That was it. I’m certainly not afraid of debating.”

When I mentioned my surprise that she attacked all her opponents in her closing statement at the Abington debate she attended she defended the legitimacy of her charges.

“Well, I really feel that way, I think they’re the issues we all agree on…but I can tell you Brendan Boyle and I, Planned Parenthood says he’s not 100% pro-choice and I do not think that you can replace somebody in this race in this district with somebody who is not 100% pro-choice. I think that’s very important and he does, he calls us millionaires. I’m not. I think that some of the most progressive members of the Senate and the House have been millionaires so I don’t think that’s an argument that holds a lot of water.”

We then moved on to her somewhat lackluster financial report and Margolies insisted that their campaign is right on track.

“We have run the race exactly the way we thought we should, exactly,” she asserted. “We knew what we had to do where, we knew what we wanted to do at this point. We are at this point where we want to be. We also knew that a load of our money, getting us onto television and everything like that, was gonna come in this fourth quarter. When Clinton came in. We knew that, it’s pretty simple.”

“The other thing is if you look at the polls and I’m sure you have, name recognition is very important. What does happen, if you have painted a target on your chest, they’re gonna come at ya, and if the question is was I ready for it, sure.”

Foreign Policy

Given her experience in WCI, Margolies has far more foreign policy expertise than the typical congressional candidate, so we tackled the most pressing foreign policy issue of the moment, Russia’s incursion into Ukraine.

“I actually went with a congressional delegation to Kiev and I was in Maindan Square,” she revealed. “It was right before the Orange Revolution. I talked to a lot of people and I can tell the people with whom we had conversations, the people in Maindan Square, wanted independence. There’s no question about that fact.”

“Now I think they are different places in the country where that changes,” Margolies continued. “It’s almost a ripple, as you move around the country and hear more people speaking only Russian. I think this is extremely confusing for the average citizen, people don’t know ‘Who are those people demonstrating outside, who are the people inside’ it’s a very hard [situation].”

ACA

Of course, there was the obligatory question on the Affordable Care Act and whether Democrats can turn it into an advantage in the midterms.

“I think this is the same type of thing as Social Security, when Republicans were initially against it. This is gonna need time, I think we’ve turned the corner with regards to expectations and numbers and things like that, it looks like we’re moving in the right direction.”

“We have to see how many young people sign up. Young people want healthcare,” she asserted citing her experience as a Professor at UPenn. “Anybody who says young people don’t care, that they think they’re invincible, that’s baloney.”

Social Security

I also asked about her positions on Social Security, her 1994 bills to change the program and her opponents attacks that she will support changes to Social Security if she is elevated once more to office.

“I don’t wanna increase the age, I don’t wanna cut benefits…That is so intellectually dishonest,” she definitively responded. “When we were dealing with it when we had the entitlement conference 20 years ago, we had to put everything on the table. I don’t feel that way anymore. I think that Social Security is of the three [Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid], the least that we have to worry about. It’s the target on the chest, it’s just not true.”

I also inquired whether her 1994 bills were simply a political ploy, part of the well-worn tradition of members of Congress introducing bills that have no realistic chance of passage in order to grandstand or make a point. While Margolies agreed many members of Congress do this, she stated that her efforts in 1994 were not motivated by politics.

“It was a very different time, the numbers were very different. It was responsible,” she said. “Have I changed since then? I have. Maybe because what was put into place was put into place and it did have significant effect.”

The made clear that the change she was referring to was the increase of the age of eligibility from 65 to 67. She also stated that she supports lifting the FICA tax cap on those making more than $500,000 a year.

“No, I do not think the age should be raised anymore, I am against that and I don’t think there should be anymore deductions,” Margolies said while comparing her opponents tactics to Newt Gingrich’s “Mediscare” methods. “These folks are trying to scare seniors into thinking that I want to cut their benefits. I do not and I don’t think we should raise the age anymore. It’s intellectually dishonest.”

“My position has evolved,” she concluded.

Economy

Finally, when asked to choose jobs or the deficit as our economic priority, Margolies insisted the two are intertwined.

“It’s all about growth,” she explained. “You grow the economy and the rest follows, it’s not about trickle-down. It is about growing the economy and once we do that and put more money in the hands of the middle class, they’ll spend it and it all kinda works its way into the middle.”

Misc

When asked what member of Congress would serve as a role model, Margolies talked about her admiration for Senator Elizabeth Warren and her efforts to bring a 21st century Glass-Steagall Act. She also praised Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer.

Concerning potential committees, she commented that “I had the best committees when I was there last time. And I would love to go back to those committees.” Margolies stated that she served on the Energy and Commerce Committee, the Telecommunications Sub-committee, the Small Business Committee and the Government Operations Committee.

Of course, we also talked about her famous 1993 budget vote and though she’s told the story countless times, one section stood out as an example of the former Congresswoman’s philosophy.

“When I went down there, in a million years I never thought I’d be the vote. When you walk into your office, people do not call in when they’re happy, they call when they’re, how you say, pissed. They call in when they’re angry, they call in when they’re annoyed.” Despite all the repercussions of that vote, she remains confident she did the right thing by putting the welfare of the nation over her own political career.

“I did know one thing,” she said at one point “and that is that it had to pass.”

 

PA-12: AFL-CIO Endorses McClelland

McClelland

McClelland

Labor magnate AFL-CIO endorsed Erin McClelland over John Hugya in the Democratic primary for PA-12.

“The Pennsylvania AFL-CIO is proud to support Erin McCelland to be the next representative of Pennsylvania’s 12th Congressional district,” said President Rick Bloomingdale. “Ms. McClelland has the vision and the drive to get things done in Congress that will bring jobs back to Pennsylvania and improve the lives of workers and their families.”

“I could not be more honored to have the support of the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO for my campaign to bring real family values back to Congress,” said McClelland after receiving the endorsement. “My great-grandfather organized for CIO in response to poor working conditions at Pittsburgh Plate & Glass, and it’s an unbelievable honor to carry on the family tradition of fighting for working families.”

McClelland’s campaign has scored a host of endorsements in her first run for public office, including Women’s Campaign Fund, IBEW Local 5, IBEW Local 29, USW Local 1196, the Allegheny County Labor Council, the Beaver County Labor Council, and the Allegheny, Beaver, Cambria, and Westmoreland County Democratic Committees and Auditor General Eugene DePasquale.

Her opponent, John Hugya, was a former Chief of Staff to Congressman John Murtha, who represented the district before Mark Critz. Critz was defeated by Rep. Keith Rothfus, following a redistricting that was highly advantageous to Republicans.

A Democrat winning the seat is an uphill battle, particularly given the state of the money race after the first quarter of the year. Rothfus raised $241,253 and spent $93,793. Adding insult to injury for his opponents, the Republican has $1,019,907 cash on hand. McClelland doesn’t quite manage to come close to Rothfus. She has $58,117 raised, $47,145.54 spent and $31,619.29 cash on hand. Hugya brings up the rear with $19,730 raised, $24,285 spent and $20,441.45 cash on hand.

PA-6: National Orgs Step Up

 

Costello

Costello

Primary season may be heating up in other races, but in PA-6 the general election contest is already starting.

With Ryan Costello and Manan Trivedi each appearing to be the eventual Republican and Democratic nominees respectively, their national parties are beginning to lend a hand of support.

For Costello, this support comes in the form of being promoted to a “Contender” in the NRCC’s “Young Guns” program. The Young Guns were formed in 2007 by the powerful triumvirate of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy and Budget Chairman and 2012 Vice-Presidential nominee Paul Ryan.

“Voters believe strongly that the country is on the wrong track because of President Obama and Nancy Pelosi’s failed legislation, like ObamaCare. Ryan Costello has reached the ‘Contender’ status because he is exemplary of the new leadership needed in Washington D.C. to turn our country around and provide a check and balance in Washington,” said NRCC Chairman Rep. Greg Walden. “I am confident that Ryan will continue to work hard for his district and bring sound, conservative principles to Congress.”

Trivedi, meanwhile, is getting help from DNC Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz. They will be joined by Zainab Javed, a student from Erie who received Pell Grants to attend college,  on a conference call aimed to showcase the harms that would be caused by the Ryan budget.

“[They will] discuss how the House Republican budget, authored by Paul Ryan and supported by Rep. Jim Gerlach, gives tax breaks to the wealthiest while raising taxes on middle-class families in Pennsylvania by at least $2,000,” according to the DNC’s press release.

Costello and Trivedi are competing for the state’s 6th congressional district, a seat occupied by GOP Rep. Jim Gerlach, who announced his impending retirement back in January.

   

PA-9: Shuster Obliterates Primary Opposition in Q1

Rep. Shuster

Rep. Shuster

Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Blair) is quite serious about keeping his seat in the 9th district. So much so, in fact, that he outraised his opponents several times over during the first quarter.

Shuster brought in a whopping $737,379 for the first three months of 2014. He spent even more than he raised with a strong media campaign: $844,093, and is left with a comfortable $1,252,482 cash on hand.

Tea Party opponent Art Halvorson only managed to raise $8,821.21 while spending $24,727.33. Halvorson has $56,492.52 in cash on hand. Travis Schooley gained a total of $9,602.49, spent $4,581.02 and has $5,692.13 cash on hand.

Shuster

The incumbent used his recognition throughout the 9th district to his advantage, gaining many contributions from individual donors. Shuster also had quite a few generous organization and PAC donations. The Airports Council International – North America donated $5,000 for the first quarter, the American Gas Association PAC gave $2,000 and the Exxon Mobil Corporation PAC gave $4,000.

For the most part, Shuster’s expenses were quite typical for an incumbent campaign. Worth noting, though, is the fact that over $500K, or about 60%, of his money spent went to Red Maverick Media for ads and mail. So far, he has zero in debts owed.

Halvorson

Compared to Shuster’s $700K raised, Halvorson’s grassroots campaign has some work to do in the weeks before the May primary. Fellow Halvorsons James and Carolyn donated a combined $1,500. In fact, all of his donors were individuals, leaving him with no PAC money.

Of his expenses, Halvorson paid $6,500 to Rockwood Strategies in Harrisburg for advertising, commercials and radio spots. Most of his money spent, though, went to paying campaign employees Ron Robertson, Brian Livingston and David Show.

Regarding debts, Halvorson is listed as having $100,000 in debt. Upon closer inspection, it appears that the $100K loan is from Halvorson’s own personal funds. It is quite possible that he will give himself more loans in the near future, independently wealthy as he is.

Schooley

Bringing up the rear is Shuster’s much less talked about but still present Republican opponent, Travis Schooley. For the first quarter, he didn’t even manage to break $10K in money raised. All of his donors were individuals, with family member Gary Schooley gifting $150. His largest donation was counted as an in-kind contribution from himself: $2,075.48.

Where did that $2K go to? Schooley spent it on signs for his campaign. Another $1,000 went toward door hangers to further help spread the word. He’s listed as having zero dollars in debt.

Shuster’s district has been rated the most conservative in Pennsylvania, ringing in at R+14 from Cook PVI. In 2012, the incumbent won the race to keep his seat against Democrat Karen Ramsburg, 61.7% of the vote to 38.3%. Schooley attempted to run against Shuster for the Republican primary nomination in 2012, but had to withdraw because of challenges to his petition signatures.

PA-17: Cartwright Has Commanding Financial Lead

matt-cartwrightIncumbent Representative Matt Cartwright (D-Lackawanna) continues to expand a large financial advantage over his Republican adversaries.

Pennsylvania’s 17th Congressional District leans Democrat, sporting a D+4 partisan voting index. Cartwright seems poised to retake his seat.

Matt Cartwright

Cartwright raised $121,155 and has $527,715 cash on hand. He has spent $64,410 and has plenty of money left over to ramp up campaign efforts.

Cartwright does, however, still have a $390,000 debt to himself that is a holdover from his 2012 run.

Matt Dietz

Republican Matt Dietz has the best showing of all Cartwright’s challengers — which isn’t really saying much. He raised $9,525 and has $13,089.45 cash on hand. He has spent a sizeable percentage of his funds, $9,010.83 to be exact, but that is not enough to put together a strong enough campaign to unseat Cartwright.

David Moylan

Republican David Moylan pulls up the rear with only $6,250 and a measly $919.06 cash on hand. He has spent $7,304.37 but also has $500 in debt.

To Moylan’s credit he does have his own uniquely named PAC called the Doc Moylan Goes To Washington Election Committee.

The final Republican candidate, Matt Connolly, has yet to have his report posted.

PA-13: Candidates Face Off in Open Forum

DSC01433Five of the six candidates competing for the 13th congressional district met once again last night in an open forum.

The debate was held in a small but full room in the bottom floor of the Abington Public Library. Between opening and closing statements, the candidates took questions from the audience in what was perhaps the most open, spirited, and informal of their debates thus far.

Daylin Leach

If there was anyone who should’ve been happy yesterday it was Leach, whose strong fundraising report had just been released. The State Senator of course, was his usual boisterous, humorous self. While Leach showed quite a bit of camaraderie with Brendan Boyle at times, they also had the exchange of the night and the first real contentious moment of the campaign between the three attending Democratic candidates.

It started when an attendee asked about abortion as part her question. Boyle stated that he “supports Roe v. Wade” while Leach described himself as “100% pro-choice”. After listing some of his own accomplishments, Leach attacked Boyle for supporting the so-called TRAP Act asserting that it required burdensome regulations on abortion clinics and was responsible for the closure of eight facilities. He also stated that HB 1314, which was co-sponsored by Boyle, was similar to the bill Wendy Davis famously fought against in Texas.

Boyle denied the similarity between his bill and the one in Texas noting that only the latter contained a 20-week ban on all abortions. He also seemed to insinuate that the questioner was a Leach plant. “Well it’s your campaign that asked the question,” Boyle said to Leach at one point. Boyle went on to call Leach’s attack “inaccurate”, a “distortion” and a “scare tactic” and compared it to a immature acts like food fights and name-calling.

Leach stood his ground, though, stating “if you voted for TRAP, you voted to deny women access to abortion.”

During the rest of the questioning, Leach touted his service on the Senate Education Committee, his F rating from the NRA, and his commitment to cap and trade and carbon taxes as a way to fight climate change.

Brendan Boyle

Boyle was in the middle of things both literally and figuratively last night. Besides the abortion kerfuffle with Leach, he also got into it a bit with the two Republican candidates on education.

In an answer to a question about pre-K, Boyle noted that he had chaired a hearing earlier in the day on a bill he introduced that would make kindergarten mandatory. He also cited alarming statistics about the low number of three and four year-olds who participated in pre-K programs. This led Republicans Dee Adcock and Beverly Plosa-Bowser to denounce efforts to require three and four year-olds to attend school, although the conflict ended when it was made clear those programs would be voluntary.

The State Rep. also voiced his worry about the effects of climate change and advocated for reform in the criminal justice system.

Valerie Arkoosh

Arkoosh got off to a tough start, although this was due entirely to the fact that thanks to a scheduling error she was a half-hour late.

The physician candidate took the opportunity to portray the Leach-Boyle conflict over abortion as an example of what happens to women when elected officials get to decide on that issue. Additionally, in response to a question on gun violence in schools she recounted her first-hand experience with treating gunshot victims.

She also came out in favor of a carbon tax in response to climate change and identified Race to the Top and the Obama Administration’s education policy as an example where she differed from her party’s leadership.

Dee Adcock

Dee once again seemed to revel in walking into the mostly Democratic setting as an unapologetic conservative.

His biggest confrontation came with a member of the audience who asked about climate change. “The climate is always changing,” he answered. Adcock then described how in the 1970’s people were worried about global cooling. When the questioner asked about the “98% of scientists” who agree on climate change, Dee responded that he should ask those scientists who were involved with the TIME cover story on global cooling about it. (It’s unclear which Time story he was referring to, it was most likely this one but it didn’t make the cover).

He finished with a joke, “Look I own a swimming pool business, the warmer it is the happier I am.” Most of the people in the room, particularly Leach, made some incredulous gestures during Dee’s answer.

Adcock also denounced GOP participation in “crony capitalism” and accused Warren Buffett of befriending President Obama in order to stop the Keystone pipeline extension.

Beverly Plosa-Bowser

Meanwhile, Bowser didn’t cause any major waves. She voiced support for local control of education, passing budgets on time, and nuclear power as an alternative source of energy.

On one issue, though, she differentiated herself from her GOP primary opponent when she came out against term-limits, declaring that was something for voters to decide. To explain her position the retired Air Force Colonel described how in the Pentagon officers are term-limited, meaning they face no accountability for their five and ten-year budget projections.

Marjorie Margolies

Finally, there was the one candidate conspicuous by her absence. All three Democrats, and even Dee Adcock, all took subtle or not so subtle jabs at Margolies by decrying candidates who don’t have the respect for voters to actually show up to forums like this.

Boyle got a particularly good laugh when asked to describe a difference he had with national Democrats. “I’ve heard the DC establishment is supporting Marjorie Margolies, I disagree with that,” he responded.

PA-13: Arkoosh Buys Up Critical Ad Space

Screnshot from Arkoosh's web ad

Screnshot from Arkoosh’s web ad

Physician, activist and first-time candidate Valerie Arkoosh just bought up serious ad space for the days before the primary.

Arkoosh is leading the Democratic pack for PA-13 in cash on hand, and clearly intends to use this advantage to tackle her very small name recognition in the district. Her campaign spent $400,000 to run ads during high-traffic time slots between May 12 and May 19.

“After another strong and consistent fundraising quarter, we placed the most significant ad buy in the race so far,” Arkoosh’s Communications Director Bryan Lesswing told PoliticsPA.

This quarter, she bringing in $220,474. She spent reasonably ($176,875), maintaining her lead in cash on hand at $687,530.

She’s the only new candidate in the race; she faces State Senator Daylin Leach (D-Montgomery), State Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-Philadelphia) and former Congresswoman Marjorie Margolies in the primary.

Her web ad, “Sarah,” is running now on Facebook and YouTube, but this won’t be the ad used on television next month.

 

PA-6: Costello Outshines Trivedi in Q1

Costello

Costello

After Congressman Jim Gerlach (R-Chester) decided to step down from his position as the Representative of Pennsylvania’s 6th Congressional District, the 2014 race for that seat became highly contested, with promise of national attention and whispers of big name candidates.

Democrats have seen the district as an opportunity to pick up a seat in the House, while Republicans have mobilized in an effort to retain it. And now the 1st quarter financial numbers are in, and they show a less exciting, less close race than we all had hoped.

Manan Trivedi

This is Trivedi’s third time campaigning as a Democrat in PA-6, having lost to Gerlach in the general by large margins in both 2010 and 2012. But this time around he does not have to worry about the popular Gerlach and he even won the support of his only primary challenger, Mike Parish, last month following Parrish’s withdrawal.

Trivedi raised $132,416.50, but has yet to spend much — only $19,387.89. He sports $111,831.52 cash on hand and is not held down by any debts.

A great deal of his funding in this quarter also came from personal and familial contributions. One would have expected a stronger base of support for a candidate who had previously run in the district, especially since he believed he would have a primary challenger for most of the period.

However, Trivedi’s results pale in comparison to his Republican adversary.

Ryan Costello

As PoliticsPA wrote earlier this week, Republican Ryan Costello has done a fantastic job fundraising in this year’s 1st quarter.

He raised $344,450.00, and like Trivedi has not spent much on his campaign — only $39,141.34. That will most certainly change as the general approaches, and Costello has $305,308.66 of cash on hand to work with.

“These fundraising numbers are a reflection of local residents desire to get our country back on the right track by finding bipartisan solutions to the challenges facing the nation, implementing policies that will stimulate the economy and grow jobs, and restoring fiscal responsibility in Washington,” Costello said.  “Voters are tired of the partisan bickering and want to know that their voices are really being heard by their representatives in Congress.”

Costello, the Chairman of the Chester County Board of Commissioners, has received a ton of financial support, which is most likely due to the strong desire of the Republican Party to retain the PA-6 seat. Many members of the Pennsylvania Republican Congressional delegation wrote checks in support of their hopeful colleague. In addition, many of Costello’s donors may have been weary of Trivedi’s fundraising experience, considering this is his third attempt at the seat.

Whatever the reason, Costello out collected Trivedi nearly 3 to 1 and is suddenly positioned to run a very strong campaign.

Both candidates are running unopposed in their respective primaries.

PA-10: Incumbent Marino Leads in Funds for Q1

Tom-MarinoIn Pennsylvania’s 10th Congressional District, incumbent Tom Marino (R-Lycoming) looks well-positioned at the moment to win re-election with relative ease.

PA-10 strongly leans Republican, it is rated a R+12 by the highly-regarded Cook Political Report, and Marino has done a fine job fundraising according to this year’s 1st quarter financial reports.

Tom Marino

Marino raised $128,510.00 and has a sizeable $381,015.07 on hand; he has only spent $28,134.18. This is a good quarter for Marino and a strong showing for an incumbent.

The most sizeable donation that Marino received was from Lockheed Martin, an aerospace and defense technology company, which gifted $3,000 to his campaign.

Scott Brion

Marino’s Democratic challenger, businessman Scott Brion, did not measure up to Marino’s high fundraising totals. According to his financial report, Brion only raised $18,985.00 and has only $13,388.16 left in cash on hand. The Democratic challenger hasn’t spent much either, only $5,571.23, and he also currently has $1,445.71in debt.

Brion certainly has an uphill battle ahead of him, considering the sizeable gap in campaign funds between himself and Marino, and the largely Republican-voting population in PA-10.

Brion is the only candidate running in the Democratic primary in May.

Nick Troiano

A wild card in this race is Independent Nick Troiano, whose financial reports are unavailable. Troiano jumped into the race just this month and plans to make a run at Marino’s seat.

He made the following statement about Marino’s finances:

“In his never-ending quest to reelection, Congressman Tom Marino continues to take tens of thousands of dollars in campaign cash from special interest political action committees.Nearly sixty cents of every dollar the Congressman has raised in the last three months has come from a political action committee (PAC), rather than an individual.

“The Congressman’s fundraising raises serious and troubling questions about whom he is truly representing in Washington. Congressman Marino is supposed to be representing his constituents from counties including Lycoming, Pike, Bradford, Susquehanna and Mifflin –– not his campaign contributors from companies including Lockheed Martin, Northrop Gruman, Raytheon, Cigna, Merck and Praxair.

“Big money has too much influence in our politics, as corporations, unions, lobbyists and PACs drown out the voice of ordinary voters and corrupt our policy-making process. Recent Supreme Court cases, from Citizens United to McCutcheon, have only exacerbated this problem. That is why I support comprehensive campaign finance reform that would limit big money in politics and empower small donors, and that is why my campaign will not accept a single dollar from any special interest.

“If Congressman Marino wants to truly represent the people, then he should return the quarter million dollars he has raised so far this election cycle from special interests and join me in only accepting his campaign funds from the people.”

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