Mikulski campaign a consultant's dream
Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski's re-election campaigns have been bonanzas for political consultants, and this year's edition is proving to be no exception.
The veteran Democrat never figured to attract a formidable challenger--and she didn't--but she's continued to raise and spend campaign money at a healthy clip.
In the second quarter of this year, she dropped nearly a quarter of a million bucks on a handful of consultants. (Note: An earlier version of this post erroneously confused Ann Lewis, a former Mikulski aide who did not receive a payment from the campaign, with Anne Lewis, who got $22,000 for media consulting).
Mikulski spent more than $105,000 just on direct mail, according to her latest financial disclosure report, filed this week with the Federal Election Commission.
Top-flight DC-based mail consultants Hal Malchow and Rich Schlackman's firm got more than $102,000 of that sum.
Fundraising consultants sopped up another $66,688, including Colleen Martin-Lauer of Baltimore, who received $22,145.
Taking nothing for granted, Mikulski paid $35,000 to the firm headed by Democratic pollsters Geoffrey Garin, Peter D. Hart and Frederick Yang for an in-depth fix on the pulse of the Maryland electorate.
By contrast, Eric Wargotz, a wealthy physician and the Republican Party's likely cannon fodder against Mikulski in the fall, loaned his campaign a half-million dollars and has been spending money faster than he's taking in. His total expenditures for the second quarter fell short of the amount that Mikulski spent on direct mail alone.
Again, these figures are just for the three-month period between April 1 and June 30.
To date, Mikulski has spent almost $2 million, has about $3 million left in the bank and is continuing to collect contributions. That should provide many more happy paydays for her consultants over the final five months of the campaign.