OK I have to admit that I may have bit off more than I can chew in regards to following the State House candidates October financial disclosures. Here’s the deal, when doing it for congressional candidates I look through 10 reports, to do the same for the house candidates I’m looking through 200, and that’s just the State House candidates. Don’t fret, I did look through them and calculate some rough figures that give us some insight on the key focus for Iowa Republican’s, regaining the majority in the Iowa House of Representatives.
For some reason or another Rants’ report is still not on the Iowa Ethics website. So my over numbers are incomplete, but I still think I’m able to paint a pretty accurate picture. When it comes to State House fundraising the advantage clearly goes to the party that’s in the majority. As an example I’ll use Gronstal’s report (I know he’s in the Senate, but it illustrates my point). Gronstal raised $345,342.00, that’s a lot of coin especially when you see that he raised that with just 264 contributions. That’s an average contribution of over $1300 bucks.
From the numbers I was able to put together it looks like Democrat incumbents were able to out raise Republican incumbents by about a half a million bucks. Now that’s with me making a guess on what Rants was able to raise. Now that’s a significant difference, but to be honest it could be much worse.
One the other hand, the Republican candidates seeking to knock off democrat incumbents or win open seats out-paced their Democrats rivals by well over $200k. Lets look at the candidates I’ve been following.
Jamie Johnson – HD 9
Johnson outraised Rep. McKinley Bailey $52k to $45k.
Scott Belt – HD 100
Belt narrowly outraised Rep. Paul Shomshor $28,800 to $28,750.
Jared Klien – HD 89
Klein is running in Sandy Greiner’s open seat, he out raised his opponent $37k to $14k.
Ross Paustian – HD 84
Paustian outraised Rep. Elesha Gayman $79k to $74k
So there is some reasons to be hopeful, but as I’ve long told you money is important, but it’s not the end all be all in winning a campaign. We also need to recognize that the Iowa Democrat Party does a good job helping their local candidates while Republicans focus on select races and leave the other candidates to fend for themselves.
Other tidbits I discovered while strolling through the financial reports.
1. The Democrats have been rewarded for providing an exception to casinos in regards to the smoking ban. There is a lot of money from casino operators fueling the Democrats election efforts. With their money out of Republican coffers maybe we will take a tougher stand against the expansion of gambling in our state.
2. It seems to me that the way money is being raised for Republican effort has changed in a major way. As I mentioned above, the Republican challengers and candidates in open seats outraised their Democrat opponents. The amount they outraised their opponents is almost exactly the amount a group called “Team Iowa PAC” contributed to their campaigns.
Team Iowa PAC was funded by a who’s who of major Republican donors, and looks to headed by Bruce Rastetter and Nick Ryan. It’s an interesting spin off of bundling that we see in Presidential campaign fundraising. Instead of them giving to candidates individually, they pooled their money and channeled it to some of best places for Republicans to make gains and pick up seats.
While not from the financial reports, there is a new Iowa PAC in the state, Purse PAC. Purse stands for People United for Republican Sisters’ Elections. The only litmus test is that you have to be female, and a Republican.
Their kickoff event drew over 100 women and a few brave men and was a huge success. I think groups like these are critical in growing our Republican bench.
I’ll have more on Latham and Reed in a bit.