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PA-Sen: Toomey Way Ahead of Sestak in Q2 Cash

Toomey SestakAfter a close call in 2010, Republican Senator Pat Toomey and Democrat Joe Sestak may clash again in 2016 if Sestak makes it through the primary. The July 15th campaign finance reports indicate that Toomey would start with a large cash advantage this time around.

Sen. Toomey has $5,010,529.63 on hand while Sestak has only $1,271,024.67 available. Sestak will certainly need to trim that gap if he wants to have a chance of beating Toomey in 2016. Of course, the Democratic primary will serve as a test for Sestak, and he will gain larger contributions if he can win the primary. However, Toomey’s donors are already gearing up for 2016.


Toomey’s net contributions from the quarter amount to $942,467.76. Sestak, in comparison, gained $111,181.16, all of which came from individuals. Political action committees (PACs) made up around 20% of Toomey’s contributions ($192,100).

In terms of sources, Sestak received large sums of money from two attorneys, Joe R. Reeder ($5,200 in contributions) and Michael L. Lehr ($4,600).  Both work for the firm Greenburg Traurig, a company that used to employ infamous former lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Another firm which is heavily sponsoring the Sestak campaign is Devon Hill Capital Partners which described itself as “an investment and consulting firm focusing on small and middle market businesses.” Troy Williams, Joseph Zebrowitz, and Furrukh Munawar of Devon Hill Capital Partners each contributed $2,500. Philanthropist and filmmaker Sidney Kimmel also donated $2,600 to Sestak’s campaign.

Toomey received big monetary support from the Wegman family, who own a chain of grocery stores in the Northeastern United States. Members of the Wegman family gave around $20,000 to Toomey’s campaign. Christopher Hackett, an executive who ran for office in 2008 in PA-10, donated $5,200 while the Reschini family, who own an insurance company based in Indiana, gave around $7,100 to Toomey’s campaign.

PACS also played a large role in Toomey’s contributions during the quarter. The Fidelity National Financial Inc. PAC, the Bentley Systems PAC, the Norfolk Southern Corp. Good Government Fund, SAP America Inc. PAC, and the Murray Energy PAC each chipped in $5,000 towards Toomey’s reelection bid.


Senator Toomey spent $249,436.17 while Joe Sestak spent $54,246.83. Each used a lot less than they took in, perhaps attempting to mount a treasure chest to use closer to 2016.

As always, much of the money spent was used on consulting firms; however, the Toomey campaign also used a lot of money on direct mail production and postage.  Toomey spent close around $55,000 on postage and related services, but he did not neglect the new-age forms of communication. The incumbent paid over $20,000 to internet consulting firm Push Digital. Other consulting companies which received significant cash from the Toomey campaign include Strategic Fundraising ($6,600.94), LVH Consulting ($9,054.71), and the Gula Graham Group ($15,534.15).

Likewise, Sestak spent a significant portion of his money on consultation. Sestak’s campaign handed over $6,769.20 to political consultant Danielle Lynch. Another $6,000 went to Edwin Wee, and $5,245 was paid to Wired for Change—both brands specialize in political consulting.  Kennedy Printing Company Inc. also received $12,586.06.

Even though the 2016 primaries and elections are years away, the quarterly financial reports for Senator Pat Toomey and Joe Sestak show that the monetary battle is already well underway.

10 Responses

  1. The Senator has done a good job and has worked across party lines. He is the ultimate conservative and a great human being. Sestak, Shapiro, McGinty, Schwarts, Kane?…puhleeeese!

  2. Derrick-

    If Sestak hadn’t been such a self-serving pr*ck, he could have won.

    Instead, he REFUSED to work with the coordinated campaign. (Part of the reason was that he was told that his workers would have to be paid minimum wage, if they worked side-by-side with State committee and its resources. Sestak wouldn’t accept that.)

    Also, he turned away former Specter supporters who offered to help.

    So, the lack of “party unity” falls squarely on Sestak’s narrow shoulders (not much shoulder left with his ego inflating his head).

    So, Sestak, himself, turned a narrow victory into a narrow defeat but he still tries to portray like a victory because he got so close. (Sorry… “close” counts only in horseshoes and hand-grenades.)

    Also, Sestak didn’t really go after Toomey hard. He let Toomey capture the middle (which is pretty amazing since Toomey’s to the right of Santorum). But, that’s because Sestak isn’t really a liberal. He’s a conservative posing as a liberal. So, all he can do is memorize liberal talking points. He doesn’t actually know how to deconstruct the conservative talking points, because he actually agrees with them. This is part of the reason he is such a poor debater.

    I’ve met plenty of former campaign workers who naively volunteered for him in the past but wouldn’t lift a finger to help him again. They’ll be putting their efforts into other races (or another candidate for Senate).

  3. People may not like Sestak on here but he did hold Toomey to a 2 point win in the biggest GOP wave since 1994. And all of this after he had a brutal primary where his own party didn’t even support him.

  4. I wish Sestak would dry up and blow away. He’s a loser and doesn’t understand how he is hurting the Democratic Party. The last thing the Democrats want is a contested U.S. Senate primary. Toomey can be beat but not by Sestak.

  5. BTW… The other point I forgot to mention regarding Sestak’s cheapo tax-dodge on his employees (not really consultants) is that besides screwing them out of taxes and BENEFITS, he’s also dodging his official FEC declaration of being a candidate.

    I’m unclear if
    1) as a candidate (instead of a fake exploratory committee) he’d have list them as employees and pay their taxes
    2) He just told them that to trick them into accepting 1099 status and paying their own employment taxes and health care benefits.

    This is because Sestak is anti-worker. He makes a big deal about being for minimum wage increases and unions and benefits, but he’s screws his own employees out of these things like he’s running a Walmart. When he was in Congress, many of his staffers were forced to work 70 hours a week for a resulting hourly wage less than the minimum wage. Another disgrace.

    The unions that have endorsed Sestak in the past REALLY need to take a look at his anti-worker record and understand that Joe Sestak is the kind of employer that unions were created to fight. I’m sure that Josh Shapiro should have no trouble explaining to these unions that Sestak does not practice what he preaches to them and can’t really be trusted on worker rights.

    The game is already over. Once Sestak loses the primary, he can stop pretending he lives in PA, sell the house he owns here, and stick with just his real house in Virginia (where his wife and daughter have been living all this time). From what I understand, the Virginia house is not only worth about twice the PA house, but Joe got a permit in 2010 for work on an extension to the house. (My guess is that this was going to be a home office for his Senate work.)

  6. Just a feeling I have…

    Governor Tom Wolf will endorse Josh Shapiro for Senate and then the game is over.

    Just a hunch though.

  7. A donation from the former employers of Jack Abramoff??? Isn’t this taking guilt by association way too far?

  8. A few points:

    1) Sestak has not hired “consultants”. Joe has hired staffers, but is portraying them as consultants to take advantage of them and avoid paying their employment taxes.

    Edwin Wee is a 23 year old kid, who’s been working for Sestak for over a year. This could well be his first job out of college. He’s been billed as the Campaign Treasurer (on the FEC reports) as well as Campaign Spokesperson.

    Danielle Lynch is 29, registered as an independent and has an irregular/sporadic voting history. Hardly the profile of a political consultant. But, she is a former political reporter, so she’s probably handling his press statements and social media.

    2) Sestak raised a net of $64K. His worst quarter yet (about half his previous worst quarter). Toomey raised a net of 693K. More than 10 times Sestak.
    This was Toomey’s second best quarter since Sestak restarted his fundraising last year.

    This quarter, Toomey netted more than twice what he did last quarter, while Sestak netted just more than 1/3 of last quarter.

    The trendline on this is pretty obvious. Sestak is experiencing diminishing returns. Last quarter, Sestak’s ratio of $raised/$spent was 5.54 to 1. This quarter it was only 2.18 to 1

    By contrast, Toomey’s was 1.73 to 1 last quarter and 3.78 to 1 this quarter.

    Now, overall, Toomey is a bit less efficient than Sestak, because he’s not as cheap and counting his nickels. But, the trendlines are unmistakable: Toomey’s on the rise and Sestak is on the decline in the money race.

    Sestak is working hard showing up a fundraisers for candidates this year, trying to build some support (and future donors) for his inevitable primary fight. But, Sestak’s reputation precedes him. The candidates, staffers an volunteers from 2010 remember how selfish and self-serving he was and hurt the down-ticket and ran way from the party and the coordinated campaign.

    Sestak is fading fast and the numbers show it. He’s getting little traction.

    He’d be much better off if he had taken my “advice” a few years ago and ran for congress in 2012. If he had taken out Meehan, in one of the most gerrymandered districts in the country, he’d have become a Dem hero. He’d also have millions in the bank now from fundraising off of how tough the district was.
    But, instead, he’s a washed up two-term former congressman whose ambitions exceed his fading popularity. He’s burnt bridges all around the state and while he’s attempting to build new ones, the powers-that-be have already seen who/what he is and aren’t interested in dealing with his egotistical bullsh*t in 2016 (or 2015 or 2014).

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