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Dem Guv Hopefuls Fundraise With Imaginary Deadline

McCord deadline
An image from McCord’s Monday email

“I need you to pitch in $10, $25 or more by our CRITICAL deadline TONIGHT at midnight!” wrote state Treasurer Rob McCord in a an email Monday.

There’s just one problem. For state candidates like McCord, there is no such deadline. Gubernatorial hopefuls aren’t required to file their next reports with the Pa. Department of State until January 31, 2014. The next deadline is December 31 this year.

“We’ve made great progress since Friday in reaching Katie’s quarterly fundraising goal. We’re now just $6,912 away from reaching it,” echoed Mike Mikus, campaign manager for former DEP Secretary Katie McGinty. The email subject heading read “72 hours to go”.

“Can Katie count on you to contribute $24, $48 or $72 so that she can reach her September 30th fundraising goal?”

The email sleight-of-hand is the mark of a good campaign, says Kevin Washo. He recently served as Executive Director of the Pa. Democratic Party.

“Donors are used to giving quarterly,” he said. “And for campaigns, it helps them stick to a fundraising plan and stay focused.”

“I know the emails can be annoying, but they work.”

“It’s the end of the quarter and, like many campaigns, we set quarterly goals and then strive to meet them,” said McCord spokesman Mark Nevins.

Additionally, said another Democratic operative, strong early fundraising can help attract other big donors (when shared privately, not in a report).

“It’s the same way a panhandler with a few of his own dollar bills in the jar brings in more money that if the jar were empty,” he said.

McCord and McGinty aren’t the first hopefuls to talk up self-imposed deadlines. They join experienced fundraiser Allyson Schwartz, whose campaign has emailed supporters with regular end-of-month appeals since June.

This month the Schwartz campaign’s self-imposed deadline is a bit more sound, rhetorically speaking. In a Monday email to supporters the Congresswoman said that a few donors had offered to match contributions until midnight tonight.

“We are so close to our goal, and that with this deadline rapidly approaching I needed to send you a quick note asking for your support once again,” she wrote. “A group of dedicated supporters have committed to matching all contributions made by September 30, but to get this match you have to visit by midnight tonight.”

The gubernatorial hopefuls aren’t alone in the deadline-heavy emails. State Rep. Brian Sims (D-Phila) sent the same message to supporters on Monday. State Representatives and Senators also have no deadline before Dec. 31.

“On Thursday my new executive director told you about our fundraising deadline tonight at midnight, and thanks to your help, we’re only $3,560 from our goal!” wrote Sims.

6 Responses

  1. BTW…. all the campaigns sending out these “deadline” letters should announce their fundraising totals this week.

    Keegan- Please call them every day to ask them how much money they got by their deadline

    If they fail to respond, feel free to write an daily ” XX days without response from the campaign” article. 🙂

  2. “sleight-of-hand is the mark of a good campaign”

    Umm.. we have definitions of “good”.

    I’ve been advising people not to give a DIME to any of the Gov candidates until after the November elections. And certainly not to Sestak whose campaign actually had the nerve to call current 2013 local candidates to donate to his 2016 campaign.

    At state committee event, I spoke VERY directly with a McCord staffer that if Rob is hoping for county endorsements NEXT year, he should consider making donations to the committees THIS year, ESPECIALLY in the often ignored western counties. I even gave them the name/number of a very active county executive director who is going to make note of who helps them this next month with donations or join fundraisers for those critical school board and municipal races.

    So, McCord campaign was put on notice that they shouldn’t come asking for help if they didn’t offer help.

  3. Like many candidates, McGinty and McCord both use NGP fundraising software. Because NGP is a national company, the default is the standard federal election year deadlines. Candidates who know what they are doing and pay attention to applicable details change the deadlines in their software. When state candidates fail to adapt, it shows their fundraising and compliance operations are not quite ready for prime time.

    I am sure David Diano will find some way to defend Rob McCord, due to his slavish devotion and inability to criticize those he worships, and attack Allyson Schwartz, due to his only other skill: criticizing those with whom he disagrees.

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