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AG Dems 2016 Fundraising Breakdown

moneyWith just over five weeks until the state’s primaries, the race to replace Attorney General Kathleen Kane on the Democratic ticket is well and truly on.

In the first financial reports of the year, Montgomery County Commissioner Josh Shapiro underlined his party-favorite status by raising an impressive $2 million, while Allegheny County DA Stephen Zappala now has more than $1 million to spend on the final push.

Northampton County DA John Morganelli is falling behind in the fundraising stakes, bringing in just $118K during the first cycle.

Top-Line Numbers

The race is becoming a battle of Philly vs. Pittsburgh, with Shapiro locking in SEPA’s donors while Zappala’s financial report could double as the Pittsburgh Bar Association directory.

Former State Rep. Shapiro has almost double Zappala’s cash stockpile – with $1,806,066 on hand – though his numbers were padded by a huge $1.215 million contribution from his 2015 re-election campaign.

Zappala raised $611,390 and spent almost $108K in the first cycle of 2016. Zappala loaned his AG campaign $200K of his own money, just enough to top the million-dollar mark – $1,005,390.

Morganelli spent just over $23K in the first cycle, but has a solid warchest to work with ($607,224.70).


Shapiro – who turned down a run at Pat Toomey’s Senate seat – picked up $1,000+ donations from 148 people in the first cycle, including an $11K donation from Gov. Tom Wolf. His biggest donors were e-commerce billionaire Michael Rubin ($50K), Kohelet Foundation Pres. David Magerman ($50K) and controversial developer Israel Roizman ($45K).

38 Philadelphians donated over $83K to Shapiro, 8 from Bryn Mawr kicked in $13,250 and 10 from Jenkintown contributed $8,850. Shapiro pulled in just $3,800 from 5 donors in Pittsburgh. 30 out-of-staters chipped in $78,250.

On top of the Friends of Josh Shapiro’s million-dollar-plus contribution, the Commissioner picked up 18 donations of $5,000+ from PACs.

Former AG candidate Jack Stollsteimer chipped in $1,500 after endorsing Shapiro in January, while the Philadelphia Eagles contributed $1,000.

Larry Ceisler, owner of one of PoliticsPA’s parent companies Ceisler Media and Issue Advocacy, contributed $2,000 to Shapiro’s campaign.

Allegheny County DA Zappala’s uncle Charles loaned him $25K, while his father donated $25K and his brother, Gregory, gave another $10K. In all, Zappala and his family gave more than $265K to his campaign.

Predictably, Pittsburgh came out in force behind Zappala, with 80 donors giving over $106K. Allegheny County Treasurer John Weinstein contributed $25K, while Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald pitched in $10K. Zappala picked up just $600 from two Philadelphians.

Zappala also picked up strong support from state legislators, with contributions from State Sens. Jay Costa, John Yudichak, Wayne Fontana and Jim Brewster, as well as U.S. Congressman Michael Doyle.

Though he had just 19 $1,000+ donors, Morganelli found strong support close to home: 25 in Bethlehem contributed $31,900, 11 in Easton contributed $6,400 and 6 in Allentown contributed $4,750. Sen. Lisa Boscola gave $3,000 to Morganelli’s campaign.

The Northampton County DA raised $32,500 from PACs and businesses


Shapiro spent almost $200K in the first cycle of the year, with more than a quarter ($53,433.80) going to Philadelphia consulting firm Shorr Johnson Magnus. Shapiro spent $19K on digital consulting from Des Moines-based GPS Impact. Shapiro also paid Global Strategy Group and Square Group, Inc. $10K each for consulting.

Access to the PA Democratic Party’s voter file cost Shapiro $6,667.

Zappala’s biggest outlays were on consulting from Mandate Media ($14K) and Shield Political Research ($8K).

Morganelli spent $3,102 on consulting from PEP Advantage and $3,000 for consulting from Fletcher/Rowley. Morganelli also paid Thomas Sevorson $3,164 for consulting and polling.

14 Responses

  1. Almost all of what you say happens to be supprisingly precise and that makes me ponder why I had not looked at this in this light previously. Your piece truly did switch the light on for me as far as this particular subject matter goes. Nevertheless there is actually just one factor I am not really too comfy with and while I make an effort to reconcile that with the main theme of the point, allow me see just what all the rest of the subscribers have to point out.Well done.

  2. Dino knows one thing about the State Democrat Party. 1. Nothing
    Do you know when Dino is making up his fairytale’s? Every time he types.

    Dino lets share your real hate for the Democrat Party. No one will hire you or pay for your outdated material.

    Get a job. Stop pretending that any Democrat cares what you say. You are not elected to any position. Or even appointed…… You walk around the party trying to get people to talk to you. Everyone just walks away.

  3. David – As someone who was involved in a race in ’14 where we paid on a payment plan, I can tell you that you’re wrong. Turns out you don’t know everything about the ins and outs of the Democratic Party.

  4. Math-

    Actually, they usually ask for it up-front, the ENTIRE year, and don’t pro-rate it. Payment plan is so rare that this is the first time I’ve ever heard of them doing it.

    Given Shapiro’s vast financial resources in the race, it’s all the more unusual, since he easily has the cash to pay up-front.

  5. 6667 x 3 = 20,001. Sounds like some sort of payment plan, which the party has done for years.

  6. little steve gets only $265K from family ? and 25K is a ‘loan’ from charles ? with another 200K in ‘long’ from little steve himself, he’s got to do some s serous fundraising just to pay back is ‘loans..’

    465K from self and family and only $535K from real contributors ? sounds awfully low for a statewide race.

  7. Wait,what?

    The ethics are probably buried in the same pile with the $50,000 from the charter school PAC.

  8. So Shapiro raised $2 mil but $1.2 of it is from the Commissioner race? So he really only raised $800k. Not quite the juggernaut we were warned about. I’m actually shocked that more people have not made more of the fact that he raised $1.2 million under false pretenses and is using it for the AG race. What happened to ethics??

  9. PhillyPolitico-

    Theoretically, the party should have given him access to only Montco during his Commish campaign (and he probably just used the Montco Dem’s account anyway, as Marcel was county chair, and was boycotting as many payments to state committee as possible).

    But, this certainly smacks of a special deal to Josh.

    Can PoliticsPA get an official statement on the pricing policy from Dem State Committee?

    Every time I hear a rule, it hear it having an “exception” at the whim of the party for a preferred candidate.

    Case in point: challengers to Fattah were given access to VAN, despite party’s rule of exclusive access for incumbent in all the other races.

  10. Yeah $6,667 must be like a limited thing. That’s probably less than you’d pay for a state senate seat, let alone the entire state.

    I wonder if he already had access from his commish campaign?

  11. “Access to the PA Democratic Party’s voter file cost Shapiro $6,667”

    Now, that’s unusual. My understanding is that the PA Dems were asking $20,000 for access. This number for Josh is 1/3

    That sounds like a partial payment or installment. This seems to be a special exception, from the pay up front, win or lose with no pro-rating.

    Sestak paid $50,000 last year.

  12. Zappala took $10,000 from Greg “cash for kids” and the rest from Rivers Casino, ahem, consultants. I wouldn’t play the slot machines there if the election gets close.

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