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PA-Sen: Q3: Fetterman Raises $122K

John-FettermanThe third fundraising quarter (July 1st to September 30th) ends tomorrow and campaigns are coming up with creative ways to get last-minute donors.

John Fetterman’s Senate campaign may be the first, however, to actually reveal their numbers before the deadline hits.

“Most campaigns would never share their actual fundraising numbers ahead of this deadline,” the candidate’s wife Gisele wrote in an email. “But this isn’t most campaigns.”

She revealed that even though the campaign has only been up and running for two weeks, they’ve brought in $122,642 from 1,346 donors.

It’s an intelligent strategy because Sestak has had the whole three months to raise cash and while McGinty has only had two months, she needs to pop a big number to show she’s competitive. So, Fetterman’s campaign gets out ahead of the story and prevents unattractive numerical comparisons and also makes the case to the public that their team has the momentum.

The three Democrats are fighting for the chance to take on incumbent Senator Pat Toomey next year.

12 Responses

  1. aaron

    The women getting abortions are free to donate the remains to medical research. But, you don’t even want to allow them to have the abortions in the first place, so your opposition to voluntary donations is a smokescreen.

    You should donate your body to science so they can isolate the gene that makes you so terrible, and then Planned Parenthood can offer free screenings to abort fetuses with the same defect. I bet your mom would support that so other women could avoid her fate.

  2. Diano – I think most would agree that not funding an organization that sells aborted baby parts is the right thing. All three dems fail that test. Sorry but the truth hurts.

  3. In response to the millwright, who cares if Fetterman was Mayor of Braddock? If anything, he’s seen Pennsylvania’s (and America’s) real challenges up close. The only actual experience one could have for a legislative job, is to have been a legislator at some other level of government. Sestak has a little from a few terms in Congress, but it is about capability of understanding issues and voting the right way. I don’t know which candidate would be best, but what kind of jerk belittles a person that would be willing to serve the public in a job like Mayor of Braddock?

  4. @Kevin
    If you’re concerned about big checks, Katie McGinty took one for $120,000 from one coal executive, $200,000 from one insurance executive, and $50,000 from a gas executive.

    All of which were used to repay personal loans McGinty made to her own campaign. So effectively, special interests have literally put hundreds of thousands of dollars directly in McGinty’s already fat wallet.

  5. Kevin-

    Unless John wrote the check himself, the limit is $2,700 for the Primary and $2,700 for the General.

    Considering he has $1,346 donors (with over a day to go), his $122K is only $90/donor on average.

    Let’s look at Sestak since beginning of 2014:
    2014 1st $181K
    2014 2nd $64K
    2014 3rd $13K
    2014 4th $287K
    —- total net for 2015 $545K average $136K/quarter

    2015 1st $116K
    2015 2nd $493K ($111K left unitemized)

    Now, I do NOT know what the breakdown of these numbers are for General/Primary. Nor how many of his donors have already maxed out for the primary, and can’t help him any more.

    The fundraising is very uneven. The 2nd quarter of 2015 coincided with Pawloski’s aborted run, and followed Sestak’s “walk” and campaign kickoff, so Sestak might have been able to fundraise off of that a bit as he played his phony maverick card and insipid book.

    Will Sestak be able to top his previous quarter (which was his biggest in a long time)? How will it compare to McGinty’s first haul?

  6. It is my understanding that Fetterman comes from a wealthy family. How much of that $122K was raised from donors and how much was from a check for Fetterman’s bank account?

  7. The biggest qualification for Senate is not to be Toomey.

    Because Toomey, doesn’t support Planned Parenthood (aka women’s health), increasing minimum wage, getting rid of the tax cuts for the top 1%, closing corporate tax loopholes and havens, protecting the environment, sensible gun control, sensible military policy (Iran deal and diplomacy in general), black lives threatened by police, etc.

    The three Dems understand these issues, which is a minimum bar for office that Toomey cannot pass.

  8. How does Fetterman believe he is experienced enough for the Senate ? Mayor of Braddock – relying on Gov’t. & State grants to get anything done & then claim an accomplishment ? Begged for money for a fancy place to eat – got $300,000 – still not open . Why didn’t he sell shares ? Not the socialist way . Many guys I work with grew up in the Braddock area & most scoff at the dippy hippies & the communal plans in place . Braddock Farms – organic – who’s lying to who ? 150 years of lead, cadmium, silica , etc . in the soil . It’s a joke . Sucesses – none for the locals , no where to eat but he brings in a known chef & the place slated to open 5 months ago is no where near ready for public business . It ain’t Shadyside John , put a diner or a Burger King in & get off your high horse .

  9. PhillyPolitico-

    You make some good points, and it’s a good question about the pace.

    However, a few mitigating factors:

    1) We don’t know if Fetterman has hit full speed, despite the low hanging fruit, because until 2 weeks ago, I never even heard of him. He’s still mostly unknown.

    2) Fetterman is still putting his team together, so he’s not fully staffed yet.

    3) Sestak has struggled to raise that much in several different fundraising quarters. In 2014, he had 2 quarters in a row where his receipts and disbursements matched, and his net cash-on-hand remained unchanged for 6 months.

    4) Sestak got a bit of a fundraising bump when it looked like he might be the only candidate, but that ship has sailed (naval pun intended). Sestak has since replaced his “you are stuck with me as only candidate against Toomey” fundraising appeal with an “I’m fighting the evil Democratic party establishment” appeal (including slamming Gov Wolf). Sestak wasted electrons sending ***ME*** 3 different fundraising emails this week (actually 6 because he’s using two different email addresses for me).

    5) Given the connection to Wolf, Rendell, and the “machine”, McGinty should pull in some huge numbers, and she’s only been in for half the quarter, and been picking her own low-hanging fruit as well.

    6) The threshold/bar for Fetterman is to look serious/competitive with a good start.
    The bar for McGinty is to blow the doors off Sestak.
    The bar for Sestak is to appear relevant and not anemic.

    Sestak will be ahead on cash-on-hand, but not on pace. So, expect emails from Sestak that he’s raised the most money, while he ignores how long he’s been at it.

    The Fetterman strategy with the announcement pushes McGinty and Sestak to acknowledge theirs. 24 hrs isn’t making a significant difference for anyone, but I think Fetterman will probably wind up very close to $150,000 in the final report.
    Note: Sestak’s usual policy is to not announce his numbers at all and also to mail his report to the FEC at the last possible moment before the 15th of the month deadline so it takes at least another week for the results to get posted for reporters. One of his ex-staffers claimed to me that Sestak improperly cooks the books to hide assets so his opponents underestimate his actual resources. I never got any details on this, but it’s the opposite mentality of hiding your debts to appear stronger than you are to scare off your opponents.

    Of course, if the FEC and IRS really investigate Sestak, they might realize that he’s been cheating on payroll taxes and health insurance for staff.

  10. OK. First the bitter cynic. There are 12 weeks in a quarter. Which means six of these “two weeks”. So assuming he kept up the pace for a whole quarter, that’s $732,000. Which is nice, but not super great.

    The problem is that the money you raise early is the low-hanging fruit. So’s he’s not keeping that up.

    Still, that’s impressive and definitely a candidate to be taken seriously. I’ll be interested to see what McGinty does. I assume Sestak is going to be disappointing.

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