In July I wrote a story about campaign spending in the Senate District 13 race. As the election heads into its closing hours we take a look at the income sources of the two main party candidates.
What is striking about contributions to Dawn Euer’s campaign is the high number of individual donations she received. In the latest declarations for the period between July 25 and August 14 more than 100 people are listed as having made donations totaling over $12,000. These individual donors account for more than 80% of income for this period with the remaining money ($2,700) coming from local political action committees and party donations, including RI Senate Leadership PAC ($500) Young Democrats of RI PAC ($200) $1,000 from the Newport Democratic Committee.
For the same period her Republican opponent Mike Smith has recorded just 3 individual donors giving a total of $900 to his campaign. The main difference between the way the campaigns have recorded donations is that Smith’s returns list an unusually large ratio of aggregated donations. In this case they totaled $2,963.40. A candidate can receive an individual donation of less than $100 and does not have to enter it in the publicly available returns but list it as “aggregated” and in this case it is impossible to tell how many individuals made donations. The other money Mike Smith received during this time was $500 from the Jamestown Republican Committee.
Looking further back in the returns, Mike Smith received $3,400 from 14 identifiable individual donations from the time he started his campaign up to July 24 and in addition received just over $5,000 in aggregated donations. Dawn Euer had to file more returns during in the same period as she faced a primary election and in the multiple filings she made up to July 24, she listed more than 400 registered donations from individuals. Between the time Dawn Euer became a candidate and last week, she listed a total of 564 individual donations adding up to more than $48,000, around 87% of her total income during the campaign. Although some donors did make more than one contribution, there were more than 400 distinct individual donors since Euer registered her campaign on March 27, 2017.
After the previous piece on campaign spending, Portsmouth GOP tweeted and asked “where is all the special interest money she (Dawn Euer) is receiving”. The answer is that almost all the money she has received has come in individual donations. Just $125 came from Planned Parenthood Votes RI PAC, a mere 0.2 percent of her total income. Total PAC contributions were $4,375, just 8 percent of Euer’s campaign funding and this included PACs run by local Democratic party organizations. The National Education Association Retired RI was her biggest ‘non-party’ PAC donor.