This one may put you to sleep
Results are in from the first round of the expected rematch in the First Congressional District between freshman Democratic Rep. Frank Kratovil and his Republican challenger, state Sen. Andrew P. Harris. That would be the fundraising numbers for the first quarter of 2009.
And the leader, by a wide margin, is Kratovil, who, not surprisingly, is capitalizing on incumbency by collecting bucks from a wide variety of special interest sources. Between New Year's and the end of March, Kratovil raised just over $300,000. Harris pulled in less than $80,000.
Harris was able to tap a network of fellow anesthesiologists in a dozen states and the District of Columbia. They gave a total of more than $15,000--or nearly a quarter of his total haul--which included a $2,500 donation from the American Society of Anesthesiologists PAC.
Not to be outdone on the mind-numbing front, Kratovil banked a $2,500 donation from the Nurse Anesthetists PAC. If you're still awake, here's the rest of the story:
Kratovil got more than two-thirds of his money from political action committees. Among those were PACs representing labor unions and a wide variety of corporations in agriculture and health care, among other interests.
Reflecting the Eastern Shore congressman's moderate-conservative image--and the fact that he's got a vote in the House--the National Rifle Association PAC gave $1,000, a rare source of campaign cash for a Maryland Democrat.
Kratovil's individual contributors included former Gov. Parris Glendening, who listed his occupation as "environmentalist" on the form he filled out with his $250 donation.
Among Kratovil's individual donors were a host of Washington-based lawyers and lobbyists, who got on board early for the Democrat.
The largest single bank of givers to Kravotil, though, are his fellow Democratic pols. In all he got about $50,000 from various House Democratic sources.
The givers (through their personal campaign organizations and related political funds) ranged from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and fellow Maryland representatives Dutch Ruppersberger and Chris Van Hollen to White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel (whose congressional campaign account is still active). The party's House campaign committee (chaired by Van Hollen) gave, along with the conservative Blue Dog PAC ($10,000) and various liberal PACs.
Kratovil's single biggest angel is Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland. The House Democratic leader chipped in $14,000 from committees he controls, and he has funneled another $14,200 to Kravtovil through earmarked donations to his leadership PAC.
In the all-important cash-on-hand category, Kratovil began the second quarter with $251,815 in the bank to Harris' $117,383.
Last year, when they competed in one of the most closely fought House contests in the nation, Harris, the Republican, spent a total of more than $3 million, while Kratovil came in under $2 million (those figures include primary spending).
Thanks to incumbency and the economy's drag on political giving to both parties, but especially to Republicans, that advantage may go the Democrat's way in 2010. Without Barack Obama on the ticket to gin up Democratic turnout, the congressman will likely need every advantage he can muster.