8/7/15, "Pennsylvania playing small role in early GOP fundraising," Morning Call, mcall.com, Laura Olson
"When the Republican presidential candidates debated Thursday evening,
some Pennsylvanians got their first look at the field--and a handful
of others were watching to see how their early investments are turning
Commonwealth residents make up only a small fraction of the
gusher of financial contributions that already are flooding the 2016
A Morning Call analysis of recent campaign filings shows
Pennsylvanians have given more than $622,000 directly to the GOP
contenders, or about 1.6 percent of the candidates' total contributions
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz has received the largest amount--$187,654--from Pennsylvanians.
Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, who collected only $464,00 from
individuals, gathered 18 percent of those dollars from his former
Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson's $75,125 raised in
Pennsylvania comes from the largest number of donors. His finance
reports list 167 individual donors in Pennsylvania, and a New York Times
analysis showed that more than 80 percent of his contributions were
less than $200.
many Pennsylvanians gave $250 or more to one of the Republican
presidential contenders? About 690, according to Federal Election
The slim amount of presidential fundraising
dollars coming from Pennsylvania didn't surprise Franklin and Marshall
political scientist Terry Madonna.
"The field is still too
unsettled," Madonna said, noting that Pennsylvania's primary election
date in April puts it after a number of other states, meaning that
candidates aren't spending much time here and voters may not be picking
candidates' official fundraising accounts, however, are just one source
of the dollars that will be paying for television ads, polling and
other political activities as the election unfolds. A growing series of
super PACs are supporting the presidential contenders, largely through
the contributions of a handful of megadonors.
Kentucky Sen. Rand
Paul has gotten the largest amount of super PAC assistance from a
Pennsylvanian: Jeff Yass, co-founder of the Bala Cynwyd-based investment
firm Susquehanna International Group, has contributed at least $2.25
million among three super PACs supporting Paul.
Yass, along with
his partners at Susquehanna International Group, were significant
supporters of Philadelphia state Sen. Anthony Williams' campaigns for
governor and for Philadelphia mayor. In those races, their backing
focused on Williams' support of charter schools and taxpayer-funded
tuition vouchers for private schools.
PACs supporting former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and New Jersey Gov. Chris
Christie have tallied six-figure sums from Pennsylvania donors.
America Leads super PAC backing Christie tallied $451,000 collected
from Pennsylvanians, including $350,000 from Marjorie and Walter Buckley
Jr., of Bethlehem, who were original investors in Home Depot.
$469,500 raised in the state by the pro-Bush Right to Rise PAC includes
$150,000 from Montgomery County resident Greg Segall of Versa Capital
A trickle of the millions already being spent also is
heading back to Pennsylvania. The Conservative Solutions super PAC,
which backs Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, paid $5,000 to Pittsburgh-based
Cold Spark Media in June for "special project coordination." Among the
firm's other clients are Republican U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey and state House
Speaker Mike Turzai.
The pro-Christie America Leads PAC paid
$3,000 to Harrisburg-based Red Maverick Media for design consulting and
supplies. Mike Leavitt, a partner at the firm, was hired by the PAC
this summer to handle direct mail." via Free Rep.