Sunday, July 15, 2007
Tim Walberg's Second Quarter Fundraising
Congressman Tim Walberg's fundraising data for the second quarter of 2007 is now available online.
Here's the short version: Walberg only raised $119,000 in the quarter, versus $160,000 for David Nacht and $50,000 for Jim Berryman-- a combined total of $210,000 for the Democratic candidates. Walberg still has more cash-on-hand-- almost $241,000-- but that's because he started earlier. Walberg spent about $39,000 this quarter.
In other words, one of the Democratic candidates in a district considered "unwinnable" not too long ago have just out-raised a Republican incumbent. Another Democratic candidate is on track to raise as much or more than Walberg as well in the future.
Folks, that's absolutely incredible!
The detailed summary page from the FEC is shown below. After that, some more thoughts on the numbers and his contributors.
For starters, I'm struck by just how much of Walberg's money isn't coming from ordinary people, and is instead coming from political action committees-- $66,500 from PACs, $53,000 from individuals.
If you look at who is making those contributions, you'll see some interesting names.
The Minuteman PAC gave him $100, continuing their support for him from 2006. I wrote about the Minutemen back in September. Suffice it to say, they're not nice people.
Walberg also got a lot of money from a bunch of agriculture-related organizations (I'll add it all up for specific numbers later). Maybe that seat on the Agriculture Committee is paying off. No wonder he's made a big deal about the farm bill!
Walberg accepted $1,000 from the RJ Reynolds PAC, the political arm of RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company. They're the ones that did Joe Camel and sell a bunch of different brands of cigarettes. But there's nothing wrong with Walberg taking their money, right?
Also of note, three contributions from members of the DeVos family, though none from Dick DeVos, Republican nominee for governor in 2006. Walberg also received a total of $1,716 from Mark Valente, the lobbyist mentioned previously on this blog.
Looking at what his campaign spent money on, there are a couple of odd items. Not necessarily illegal or unethical-- I don't know the rules about it-- but just kind of strange. Do other political committees make $250 donations to St. Charles Church in Coldwater, Michigan? That and the large number of food purchases just strike me as odd. Walberg staffers must get pretty hungry.
Oh, and lobbyist Mark Valente is also listed here, getting $356 for a "reception."
That's my initial look at the numbers. Let me know what you think.
UPDATE: Just to be clear after a question in the comments, I wasn't trying to insinuate any wrongdoing when it comes to the $250 church donation. If that's what his campaign wants to spend money on, that's just fine. It's certainly better than paying for attack ads or fake robocalls. But it still struck me as very, very strange. Remember, it wasn't Tim Walberg that donated money, it was Walberg for Congress. I've just never seen that in an FEC filing before.
There is nothing unethical or illegal about donating money to a church. I'm not sure of what you are insinuating, but at least that is 250 bucks he cannot use to slander another opponent.
I'd think the parishoners of that church might keep their eyes open for what Walberg might expect for his donation and might want to distance themselves a bit from his un-Christian actions, but I don't see how you can question the donation.
I wasn't trying to insinuate anything, though upon re-reading, I guess I can see how it could seem like that.
I just think it's a really odd thing to see a political campaign do. It's not Walberg's money that was donated, it was campaign money, and I've never seen that in an FEC filing.
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