Congressional Campaign Finance Update

Yesterday was the deadline for candidates to file their quarterly reports to the FEC. The following is a summary of the three congressional races we are following. The period covered in the report is Jan-March 2008. Of course the three Democrat challengers didn’t announce their candidacies until the quarter had begun and the three incumbents have been raising money for longer, as reflected in the “cash on hand” statistics.
District 18
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen – R
Net Contributions for the quarter: $100,446
Net Contributions for election cycle: $838,034
Cash on hand: $1,722,168
Annette Taddeo – D
Net Contributions for the quarter: $136,511
Net Contributions for election cycle: $136,511
Cash on hand*: $300,532
*Ms. Taddeo loaned her campaign $180,000
District 21
Lincoln Diaz-Balart – R
Net Contributions for the quarter: $535,480
Net Contributions for election cycle: $834,236
Cash on hand: $1,451,793
Raul Martinez – D
Net Contributions for the quarter: $616,666
Net Contributions for election cycle: $616,666
Cash on hand: $592,605
District 25
Mario Diaz-Balart – R
Net Contributions for the quarter: $257,267
Net Contributions for election cycle: $512,665
Cash on hand: $747,694
Joe Garcia – D
Net Contributions for the quarter: $331,385
Net Contributions for election cycle: $331,385
Cash on hand: $316,069
All three Democrat challengers raised more than their opponents during the quarter but the incumbents all have substantially more cash on hand.
Interestingly but not surprisingly, about 10% of the contributions made to Joe Garcia ($32,600) were made by people who have “Mas” in their last name. Most of them have maxed out their contributions ($4,600) as allowed by current law. Likewise many members of the Mas family maxed out contributions to Raul Martinez’ campaign.
Another notable donor to Garcia’s Campaign is Markos Moulitsas of the Daily Kos, who gave Joe $250.

2 thoughts on “Congressional Campaign Finance Update”

  1. I’m still trying to get the Flagami ladies of the night to chip in $50 donations for the Martinez/Garcia campaigns under the banner of the “First Fellatio for Freedom in Flagami.”

  2. South Florida Sun-Sentinel
    April 17, 2008
    Dems hoping for a surge in Miami-Dade
    Guillermo I. Martinez
    Few places in the nation give a better indication of why Democrats believe the 2008 November elections will provide the party with overwhelming majorities in Congress than Miami-Dade County.
    For almost two decades, Republicans have controlled the non-African American congressional seats in the area. First it was a victory by Ileana Ros-Lehtinen in 1989. Lincoln Díaz-Balart was next, and four years ago, his brother Mario joined them. Every two years, the three Cuban-American representatives get re-elected with little or no opposition.
    Not so this year.
    They all face formidable, well-financed Democratic opponents. This is the year where Democrats believe they will overrun the Republican bastion in Miami-Dade.
    Polls have been telling Democrats for years that a new generation of Cuban Americans is growing up with different ideas about Cuba, government and politics. They are bolstered with a new wave of arrivals from Cuba that share their views. The pollsters say Cuban Americans believe the embargo has failed; they want the right to visit their relatives on the island more frequently; and they want to be able to send more money to those they left behind on the island.
    All these findings provide ample reasons for former Hialeah Mayor Raúl Martínez to run against Lincoln, the older Díaz-Balart brother; for political activist Joe García to run against Mario; and for Colombian-American businesswoman Annette Tadeo, who seeks new leadership in Washington, to go against Ros-Lehtinen.
    To say that Democrats are ready for these races is an understatement. They have the polls. And, so far, both Martínez and García have raised considerable amounts of money for what likely will be extremely expensive campaigns. In two months, Martínez raised over $600,000 and García over $300,000. Tadeo has not disclosed the funds she has raised yet.
    Both Díaz-Balarts and Ros-Lehtinen have more money at hand, although much of it is from unused contributions left over from previous, easier campaign elections.
    The Democratic candidates have been frustrated by the refusal of at least one Democratic congresswoman from Broward County to openly endorse them and campaign against their Republican opponents. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz says it is “too sensitive … because I have to continue to serve with my colleagues after the election. I think I’ll have done damage to our ability to work together.”
    That does not sit well with Democratic Party members who believe Cuban-American voters are changing and the three Democratic candidates have a good chance of winning.
    Yet John Laseville, a political consultant of many political campaigns in Florida, disagrees. Laseville has been an advisor to many Democratic and Republican candidates.
    Laseville is not a pollster. He is a number cruncher, one who looks at voter registration lists and analyzes them precinct by precinct. His analysis is totally different than that given by pollsters and by Democratic hopefuls.
    Laseville says that he has been trying to reach his good friend Mayor Martínez to tell him he does not have a chance to defeat the elder Díaz-Balart. His findings put him at odds with pollsters who say that the younger Cuban-American voters have a different outlook on politics and specifically on U.S. policies toward Cuba.
    He says that his numbers tell him that the children of Cuban-Americans born in this country are more Republican than their parents. That despite what pollsters say, the three congressional districts in play will remain Republican. That assertion helps explain the doubts that Wasserman-Schultz has about supporting the Democratic candidates.
    Laseville uses computers to analyze his data — his son helps him with that. But most of his analysis comes from 50 years of looking at what Florida voters do at the polls. He knows he is at odds with what pollsters say and is comfortable with his predictions.
    I have known Laseville personally over 30 years and have covered and written about his work when he was helping Congressman Fascell, Graham in both his senatorial and gubernatorial campaigns, and when Maurice Ferré was running for mayor of Miami. He was almost always correct on his pre-election predictions.
    Now we have a clash of the old versus the new. Scientific polls versus a good, old-fashioned analysis of districts and voters. The new is not always right.
    I wouldn’t bet against Laseville.
    Guillermo I. Martínez resides in South Florida. His e-mail address is:

Comments are closed.