MAGOV14 : MONEY TALKS, AND HERE’S WHAT IT SAYS

1 Baker and Coakley BG

^ Charlie Baker(right) trails Martha Coakley (left) in votes but he has already won the money campaign. He had running mate Karyn Polito have on hand more money than all three Democrats combined.

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Recent polls of the Massachusetts governor race show that Charlie Baker and his running mate Karyn Polito have plenty of catching up to do. If Attorney General Martha Coakley becomes the Democratic nominee, as seems most likely, Baker and Polito will find themselves nine to twelve points lacking. Much of that gap represents votes now going to independents Jeff McCormack and Evan Falchuk : about 13 percent, a tally larger than the gap between Baker and Coakley. Yet there is no reason at all to suppose that all these votes would be Baker’s were the two independents not in the race.

Yesterday i analyzed the huge catching up that baker and Polito will have to do if they are to win over Martha Coakley in November. Today I will analyze the strengths of the Baker/Polito campaign. First of all is the money. Below is what the four chief governor candidates reported for the second half of june :

Baker began the month at $ 881,184.92; he raised 311,968.50o; spent 84,998; and ended the month with $ 1,108,155.42.

Baker’s running mate Karyn Polito began the month with 421,284,48; raised 123,25.62; spent 43,536.75; and ended june with 500,953.15

Add Baker’s and Polito’s ending balances together, you find $ 1,609,108.57 — a huge amount compared to numbers reported by the three Democrats :

1.Martha Coakley began mid-June with 447,673.29; raised 134,155.23′ spent 91,572.33; and ended june with 490,296.19.

2.State treasurer Seve Grossman began mid June with 896,059.85; raised 103,993.19; spent 68,156.92; and closed out with 931,897.02.

3.Don Berwick reported 199,547.55 at mid June; raised 82,343.39; spent 57,012.30; and ended with 224,878.64.

the advantages here are all to Baker and Polito, and hugely so. because :

1.The Democratic candidates for Lieutenant Governor also raised money, but i do not parse it because on the Democratic side there is no team. None of the three Democratic candidates for Governor knows who his or her running mate will be, and none can team up with either of the two whose names will be on the Primary ballot.

2.Baker alone has raised more money, and has more on hand, than either of the three Democrats. Adding in Polito’s totals, the team has far more money on hand than all three Democrats combined. these are telling figures, because all the money raised by the candidates so far comes almost exclusively from individuals, not PACs, and represent actual voter support.

Baker continues to lack in votes what he gains in donations. Nonetheless, his — and Karyn Polito’s money raising represents solid strength which, if it continues, can reach a kind of “critical mass” as voters begin to feel the issues strength of the Baker/Polito campaign. I have said all along that Baker possesses two critical advantages : first, he has an actual running team mate and can thus project to voters both how he will govern and why he will be able to govern. Second, he and Polito have amassed an independent power following, easy to assess through their donor list, with which to confront Speaker DeLeo when legislation is at issue.

This argument has not registered with many voters yet;l with most it night never register, as such. But baker and Polito can project it by way of their focus on management and innovation — a major campaign theme for Baker at least since his party’s convention back in March. Being able to get Speaker Robert DeLeo to advance the governor’s legislative agenda is no minor matter,. it’s the essence of being governor in more than name only. Governor Patrick has time and again had his legislative priorities rejected or amended almost beyond recognition; and Democratic Progressives have made no bones about being shut out of the Speaker’s agenda. If Baker — by his argument, his bio, or his vast fundraising base, or by all of these — can convince activist voters that he can move the Speaker as the three Democrats cannot, he can win this election, even though the polls right now do not show it.

He will have to regroup. The success that he seemed to have, at the beginning of June, in drawing city voters yo his side has faded. He needs to recover his city voter groove. He also needs to convince women voters that their health care concerns will be a priority for him. Polito will have to be the point person, a role that she is marvelously capable of. Indeed, if Baker wins, it will be because of Karyn Polito, both for her fundraising strength and her appeal to Worcester area voters and women generally.

—- Mike Freedberg / Here and Sphere

#MAGOV : CAUCUSES BEGIN ; BAKER STILL LEADS ALL THE DEMOCRATS. BUT…

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^ Still leading the pack, thus reason to smile : Charlie Baker in Leominster

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Massachusetts people are moving to pick a new Governor. The Democratic caucuses begin in a few days. The GOP meetings have already started. As I see it today, February 2nd, Charlie Baker leads the pack. His bold move, last week, to support raising the minimum wage by way of Speaker DeLeo’s legislation, ensures its passage; none of the five Democrats has yet made the same pact. Baker also supports expanding the earned income credit for lower-wage workers. None of the Democrats has even, to my knowledge, mentioned this initiative. Big advantage for Baker.

So is the $ 1,014,906.36 that Baker reported raising last year, with more to come, much more.

In charge finally, Baker stumbled a bit when the question of seeking the death penalty for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was put to the candidates. All of the Democtrats said that no, the death penalty is not OK for any defendant in Massachusetts; we have abolished it. This is true and principled. Baker’s response ? That he has long advocated the death penalty in very heinous crime situations. His statement seems a step backward for our boldly progressive state. And where do the Feds get their sudden death penalty willingness ? Sirhan Sirhan assassinated Robert Kennedy ; he didn’t get a death peanlty. Is Tsarnaev more heinous ? Or do we simply live in miore barbarous times ? Certainly a great deal of outright barbarism unfolded here in Boston after the Marathon bombing. Who can forget the Antigone situation that arose over the burial of Tamerlan Tsarnaev ? It is not good, not at all, to see Baker play to the Creon mindset.

Advantage then to the five Democrats, as their party’s caucuses begin.

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^ heartfelt dedication to social justice : Dr. Don Berwick at a packed house party in West Roxbury yesterday

If yesterday’s Don Berwick houseparty on Chesbrough Road in West Roxbury was any indication of interest, the caucuses should be full-house. 75 locals crowded into every nook of the Chesbrough Road dwelling to hear the gentle, classy Dr. Berwick deliver his social justice speech and answer questions — most of them well informed. And Berwick isn’t even one of the two “majors.” Imagine how many are likely to caucus for Steve Grossman, our State Treasurer, or for Martha Coakley, now the Attorney General. Juliette Kayyem, too, with her personal charisma — 9,749 twitter followers as I write this — is sure to draw many to the hundreds of Democratic town and ward (each ward of a city holds its own) caucuses taking place between next weekend and March 2nd, the last day on which they can occur. So yes, for the five Democrats — Joe Avellone is the one not mentioned above — it’s now crunch time. Any candidate who can’t secure 900 pledged delegates — 15 percent of the total who will vote at the Democratic convention — won’t get his or her name printed on the Democratic Primary ballot.

We won’t know who has done that and who hasn’t until probably mid-March, when the Democratic State Committee tallies the results. But we can assess the five with reasonable objectivity by looking at their fund-raising. (Charlie Baker has yet to report January numbers.) Since January 15th, the day on which I last looked, this is how the five’s fund-raising tallies up :

Martha Coakley 168,951.23
Steve Grossman 153,695.00
Juliette Kayyem 84,679.20
Donald Berwick 50,260.00
Joe Avellone        36,365.64
Total Funds raised by the five —- 493,950.87
Per cent of total :
Coakley —– approx 34 %
Grossman — approx 31 %
Kayyem —– approx 17 %
Berwick —– approx 11 %
Avellone —- approx 7 %

Fund-raising isn’t everything, of course. But in MA, each donor is limited to $ 500 per candidate per year. Thus the list above represents a lot of people. The caucus-goers choices aren’t likely to differ radically from the donors’ picks. In any rate, it’s my working hypothesis as to who — as of today — will make the “15 % cut” and who won’t.

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^ charisma and a progressive smile gets Juliette kayyem lots of attention — and probably a spot on the Primary ballot…..

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^ or maybe it gets Kayyem second place on a Steve Grossman ticket ? we will see.

For Donald Berwick, who by my analysis falls short, it’s a good thing that the caucus process lasts for a month. He can step up his game in that time — probably needs to. Juliette Kayyem can’t rest calm, either, sitting at 17 % of the total. But then what ? Coakley and Grossman clearly dominate — no surprise there — which means that Kayyem may want to think about taking the Lieutenant Governor position on a Steve Grossman ticket — if offered.

It would be a very strong Democratic pairing. It represents about 50 % of the Democratic convention. The stars are beginning to align.

—- Mike Freedberg / Here and Sphere

BOSTON MAYOR RACE : THE END OF AUGUST MONEY MESSAGE

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^ Marty Walsh ; big money raised, big voter support

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A candidate can begin his fund-raising by asking friends and colleagues. But in the Boston Mayor campaign, once the August 15th to August 30th reporting period arrives, that go-to reserve has long been tapped, and the money raised comes almost all from people and entities making a hard assessment of the candidate’s chances of winning.

Donors’ assessments of a candidate’s chances aren’t votes, but they’re a pretty good indication of what people who know a thing or two about the campaign think is happening. So let’s look at the money as reported to the State’s Office of campaign Finance  (not including David Wyatt, who has raised less than 100.00.) :

From the beginning of 2013 through August 15th —

Arroyo — raised 219,578.09

Barros — raised 137,977.48

Clemons — raised 8,673.65

Conley —- raised 736,057.35

Connolly —- raised 925,985.96

Consalvo — raised 496,340.72

Golar-Richie —- raised 217,625.14

Ross —- raised 649,014.94

Walczak — raised 260,122.95

Walsh — raised 961,748.51

Yancey — raised 28,092.16

From August 16th through August 30th, this is what has been so far reported (caution : there may be more reports filed next week) —-

Arroyo — raised 13,962.63

Barros — raised 19,523.28

Conley — raised 71,425.80

Connolly — raided 65,674.00

Consalvo — raised  31,089.59

Golar-Richie — raised 32,979.54

Ross —- raised 79,533.12

Walczak — raised 17,053.00

Walsh — raised 213,287.04

(Yancey and Clemons filed no reports for this period that we could find.)

The message in the money is fairly clear:

First, Marty Walsh has dramatically increased his money intake, while Felix Arroyo’s fundraising shows a significant fall-off.

These two seem connected and no coincidence. The endorsement of Marty Walsh by the Hotel and hospitality Workers’ Union was given during this two-week period. It was an endorsement that Arroyo was counting on; a Union most of whose members are people of color, many of these Hispanic.

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^ Felix Arroyo ; an inspiring message, delivered with empathy and command; but a Union endorsement lost has taken its toll.

Second, as Arroyo’s money tree has shed leaves, that of Golar-Richie has blossomed quite a bit. Only Walsh, Connolly, Conley, and Ross raised more than her 32,979.94 intake. Perhaps this is why her headquarters are always open, people actively working in them, and why at Forums her discussion of the issues has become much more authoritative and convincing.

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^ Charlotte Golar-Richie : benefitting big-time from fall-offs by several rival candidates and by her own stronger performance on the stump

Third, Rob Consalvo, who during the first summer months of the campaign looked strong both in his Hyde park base and across much of the city, has lost both his money mojo and his persuasiveness at Forums.

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^ Rob Consalvo ; what has gone wrong here ? And why ?

Fourth, Dan Conley, despite rumors of being difficult to get along with or work for, remains a strong contender who understands the details of City administration and how to correct its deficiencies. he polls a strong third place, and his 71,425.80 raised says that his supporters feel that he can make up the gap between where he polls and the top two. He might indeed do that.

Fifth, Mike Ross continues to draw big money, much bigger than his standing — tied for 4th place — would seem to justify. His performance at Forums is almost always dominant; but his range of interests seems limited to the lifestyle of Downtown. Perhaps his donations increased because of the impact — however brief — of the Stand Up For Children (SFC) “outside money” flap upon John Connolly’s campaign; because Ross, although no friend of the SFC agenda, stands even more pointedly for the apple-store, zipcar, bicycles world envisioned by Connolly than Connolly does. Indeed, Ross personifies it. Interesting to note that Connolly reported only 65,674.00 in donations for this period. Could it have been that some Connolly supporters were looking for a fall-back candidate just in case ?

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^ Mike Ross : big money and a chance now to be taken very seriously

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^ John Connolly : none of the other candidates has been as buffeted as he. that’s what happens when you poll in first place.

Meanwhile, Marty Walsh, with the Hotel and Hospitality Workers endorsement in hand, and no missteps on the issues, and with strong performances at his “Mondays With Marty” rallies, saw his fundraising increase beyond all expectations.

Walsh and Golar-Richie look well positioned to gain the votes of the one-third of likely voters who, in recent polls, remain undecided whom to back. But Connolly has recovered strongly from the SFC affair, and Felix Arroyo has a message of hope and friendship that he is delivering in person — and at Forums — to the City’s citizens stuck in low income lives.

Our conclusion ? Walsh first; Connolly second, but perhaps shaky. Conley third, but with the chance that Golar-Richie will overtake him and maybe Connolly too. then Arroyo and Ross, with Consalvo fading to 5th and maybe farther down than that.

There’s not much time left to alter these trajectories once the voters — and most of the candidates — return from a well-deserved weekend on the Cape.

—- Michael Freedberg / Here and Sphere

UPDATE 09.01.13 at 10.30 AM : this morning’s Boston Globe reports that Felix G. Arroyo raised 101,324.00 in August. (The report appears on a back page, easy to miss.) The impression the brief article wants to create is that Arroyo increased his fundraising. Indeed, for all of August, that is true, OUR article, however, focuses on what was raised in the period August 15 to 30. It tells a much different story — and not only for Arroyo.

In the first weeks of August, Arroyo looked like the rising star of the campaign; union endorsements from unions heavy with people of color looked likely. Then came the Hotel and hospitality Workers’ decision to go with Marty Walsh despite, a Union spokesman Brian Lang put it, the union’s admiration for Arroyo.

THIS is the sort of movement that our focus on August’s last two weeks was meant to catch. Using the total August figures would, we thought, miss “the action.” — MF / HnS