PA-Sen: Q2: A Deep Dive Into Sestak’s FEC Report
The financial gap between Sestak and Toomey is only growing larger as Toomey now has over $6 million more to spend on his campaign than the former U.S. Congressman.
While 53 New Yorkers donated almost $160,000, Sestak found most of his support close to home, with 244 of his 413 donors coming from PA. In-state donors contributed more than $225,000 in the second quarter and $686,000 in total for Sestak.
89 people have given the individual donor limit – $5,400 over the first two quarters, while 67 lawyers have chipped in more than $186,000 to get the retired Navy Admiral back to Washington.
Sestak picked up over $30,000 from administrators and professors at Harvard, Temple, Penn State, Drexel, New York and Boston Universities, as well as the Universities of Pennsylvania and Pittsburgh. Two grade school educators also chipped in $2,700 between them.
Political action committees have all but deserted Sestak, with only three donating during the second quarter: Empire PAC, NY Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s leadership PAC – the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees PAC, the largest trade union on public employees in the country – and The Council for a Livable World Candidate Fund, which “advocates for a more principled approach to U.S. national security and foreign policy.”
ActBlue, an online fundraising service to connect small donors and liberal candidates, has raised over $356,000 for Sestak so far. Over the last 10 years, ActBlue has collected and donated more than $777 million for Democratic campaigns.
Sestak even picked up $400 from a Toomey – 85-year-old Mary Toomey of Mount Wolf – although she shares no relation with the junior PA senator.
From April 1 to June 30, the Sestak campaign spent $235,000, less than a quarter of what Toomey what spent.
Only $33,240 was spent on consulting fees, though most of the consultants also appear on campaign payroll entries. Sestak paid out $27,183.37 to two fundraising groups, a seemingly counterproductive move for a campaign struggling for money.
Sestak’s biggest expense came when paying a cool $50,000 for access to the PA Democratic Party’s voter file, a precious source of voter information.