Fundraising race begins for 2012
Though it’s nearly 19 months off, members of Maryland’s congressional delegation are already raising money for the 2012 election – some at a faster clip than others – to prepare for the ever-more-expensive campaign season to come, according to campaign disclosure statements due to the Federal Election Commission today.
Rep. John Sarbanes had one of the more active fundraising quarters, pulling down $233,000 from Jan. 1 through the end of March. The Baltimore County Democrat had $554,272 on hand.
Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, raised only $60,650, but the Baltimore Democrat has a sizeable $769,908 in his campaign's bank account. Baltimore County Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, also a Democrat, raised $67,020 and had $336,857 on hand.
It’s early – the last three months marked the first quarter of the 2012 federal campaign cycle -- and the real stories in these reports are usually found in the back pages by analyzing who gave to whom. But early top line numbers can carry political significance: A lot of money in the bank for an incumbent can intimidate potential rivals; a low number can be interpreted as a vulnerability.
And safe members who are ambitious often try to stockpile enough cash early so they can spread it around to more at-risk colleagues across the country.
Campaign reports for House members are not due to the FEC until 11:59 p.m. and most of the delegation did not have a report posted on the agency's website as of midday. The Sun has separately requested summary numbers from each member of the delegation.
On the other side of the Capitol, Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski reported raising $9,880 and having $867,171 on hand. Mikulski is not up for re-election again until 2016, so the low number of contributions is not a surprise. The state’s other senator, Benjamin L. Cardin, will be running in 2012. His campaign report was not yet available. Both are Democrats.
Updated: More numbers are starting to come in. Cardin's campaign released a copy of his report, which shows the senator raised $641,979 this quarter and has more than $1 million on hand, not bad for a lawmaker whose seat is currently considered safe. Cardin's report shows he raised an additional $114,000 through joint fundraising with other candidates, which would bring his his total "raised" figure up to $755,979. Rep. Andy Harris, one of two Republicans in the delegation, raised $211,559 and has $215,634 on hand.
The "raised" numbers include only contributions from individuals and political action committees. They do not include loans or interest on investments.