Voting for Privatizing the Toll Road and supporting (or at least not
impeding) Daylight Saving Time appears to have been very lucrative for northern Indiana Republicans. The campaign finance reports are coming in, and they make for some interesting –to a geek such as myself– reading.
Jackie Walorski (Swihart) – She came in for quite a bit of criticism for missing a committee vote where she could have stopped the first incarnation of the Daylight Saving Time bill from making it out of committee. It’s my understanding that, had that bill been defeated in committee, the second incarnation of the DST bill, which ultimately passed, would not have been permitted under House Rules. And, obviously, she was a critical vote in privatizing the Toll Road. To date, Walorski has added around $217,000 to her war chest. The big money, to the tune of about $100,000 came from the House Republican Campaign Committee. This is good news to her political consultants, Target/Faulkner Strategies, a Republican political shop with ties to the St. Joseph County GOP, to whom she paid almost $72,000. Nice work if you can get it. Compare this to her race in 2004 where she raised only about $60,000 total (that time around, Target Strategies made only about $23,000 working on behalf of Ms. Walorski.) Ms. Walorski is being challenged by Bob Kovach who has, to date, raised about $70,000. About $28,000 of this has come from the Indiana Democratic Party. Playing with the numbers a little bit, it appears that something like 25% of Kovach’s money comes from small donor’s (donations under $100) while only about 3% of Walorski’s come from small donors.
Rep. Steve Heim (see his blog here) was in the “I voted against it before I voted for it before I voted against it” camp of the DST debate. Rep. Heim has managed to raise about $167,000 for his race. Compare this to 2004 where he raised about $60,000. His 2006 war chest came courtesy of $25,000 from Indiana Business for Responsive Government, the political action committee for the Indiana Chamber of Commerce which spearheaded the efforts to implement Daylight Saving Time in Indiana; and about $68,000 from the House Republican Campaign Committee. (I’m sure Rep. Heim is generally supportive of the Chamber’s initiatives, so it would be unfair to suggest their generosity is solely because of his aid on April 11, 2005 when he could have killed the DST bill.) In all, about 84% of Rep. Heim’s campaign money comes from the Chamber, the State Republicans, and other sources from out of his district. In contrast to Ms. Walorski’s expenditures, Rep. Heim’s money went toward buying advertising from various sources, mostly the House Republican Campaign Committee. Heim is being challenged by former State Senator Nancy Dembowski. The bulk of her finance reports are not yet online.
I’m not quite sure what to make of the candidacy of Tom Dermody, who beat long-time Republican Mary Kay Budak in the primaries. He has raised about $200,000 for his campaign. However, he is certainly not being rewarded for his stance on toll road privatization. Budak voted for Toll Road privatization and Dermody beat her handily in the Republican primary. He has gotten about $85,000 from the Indiana Chamber’s PAC. This could conceivably be payback against Budak who voted against Daylight Saving Time — or that could be part of my fevered imagination. Slightly more curious is the $53,000 Mr. Dermody has received from an organization called “All Children Matter.” This is an organization devoted to implementing school vouchers across the country. Dermody’s candidacy is not quite as much of a cash-cow for Target Faulkner Strategies as is the Walorski campaign, but he did pay them about $7,800 this year for their strategery. All Children Matter (ACM) only gave about $1,000 apiece to Walorski and Heim. According to this site, ACM is “a right-wing group formed in Spring 2003 based in Michigan advocating school choice in the form of private school voucher programs and charter schools. . . . This group is headed by Michigan multimillionaire Dick DeVos, whose family is connected to Amway Corporation. DeVos’ wife Betsy served for several years as the chair of the Michigan Republican Party. Her brother, Erik Prince, is the founder and owner of Blackwater Security Consulting, the private tactical training facility providing security forces in Baghdad.” Good to know in advance where Dermody is going to be coming from, I guess; if he’s going to be carrying water for DeVos.