Tuesday, October 27, 2009

District 9 City Councilor Campaign Finance Reports

The two finalist candidates for Allston-Brighton District 9 City Councilor have sent in their campaign finance statements. Their forms were due October 26th covering the period September 5 - October 16, 2009.

Both candidates provided their forms electronically, even though district city councilor candidates in Boston file their campaign finance forms on paper with the city clerk. The candidates' generosity saved Mattison and I from having to schlep down to city hall and pay $0.20 per page for photocopies.

Boston's city clerk has begun posting online scanned versions of the district city councilor campaign finance report; at the moment, that is being done voluntarily. Starting January 2010, city clerk's will be required to post the reports electronically within 30 days, a result of legislation passed as part of the state ethics reform overhaul last summer.

The previous campaign finance reports for the period covering January 1 - September 4, 2009 can be found here.


Substantially more money has been spent on this campaign to-date (over $120,000) than was spent at the similar point in the 2007 campaign for the open seat up to the same reporting period (over $102,000). That is very unusual for a race with an incumbent.

Challenger Alex Selvig has outspent incumbent Mark Ciommo to-date by around 20% (approximately $62,300 vs. $52,000).

Ciommo raised all his money from more than 400 donors to-date, while Selvig mostly self-financed his campaign with loans totally $66,500 this year (and another $11,000 loan carry-over from the 2007 campaign). Selvig continues to be the hands-down winner of this year's "John Corzine--Michael Huffington--Mitt Romney Award" for self-financing in an election campaign.

Mmmmmm... Pizza

Ciommo's campaign workers appear to be partial to pizza from Imperial Pizza in Brighton Center -- down the street from his campaign office. Nine different orders over a five-week period. Selvig's interns favor Big Daddy's Pizza near to their campaign office in North Allston-Brighton.

Expenditures for Preliminary Election Under-Estimated

Selvig's 10/26 campaign finance report includes more than $10,000 in reimbursements paid during the reporting period on 10/6 for expenditures made during a prior reporting period, i.e., during the campaign leading up to the preliminary municipal election. The receipts include more than $7,600 for printing (presumably mailers) between 7/7/09 and 9/14/09, dates that all were before the preliminary election. My prior estimate for the total money spent on the preliminary election, based on the 9/14/09 campaign finance reports, was therefore a substantial underestimate of the true expenditures at that time.

Both candidates are expected to spend more money between the end of the reporting period (10/16/09) and the election itself (11/3/09), which will not be reported until the end of the year.

2009 Allston-Brighton District 9 City Council Municipal Election
Reporting period: 9/5/09 - 10/16/09
CandidatePreviousRaised# ofOwn MoneySpentEnding

Mark Ciommo $16,117.87$12,425.00139
$0.00$19,190.04 $9,352.83
Alex Selvig

Notes: "Own Money" includes both loans and "In-Kind" contributions paid for by the candidate. "In-Kind Contributions" from a person other than the candidate are not included in the table. Personal loans have been removed from the "Total Receipts" (Schedule A) and instead included under "Own Money". Number of contributors is for itemized contributors. It is not necessary for the campaigns to itemize contributions under $50: Ciommo itemized all receipts, while Selvig lists $75 in non-itemized receipts.

** Selvig lists an ending balance that is a net debt. My impression is that the debt is in addition to the outstanding liabilities on the campaign account due to personal loans totalling $77,500 made by Selvig during 2007-9, but I could be wrong.

Links to individual reports (at Mattison's Allston Brighton Community Blog):

Image of "Money Grab" by Steve Wampler provided through a Creative Commons license.

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