What each PA Governor candidate raised per endorsement vote
The Pennsylvania Democratic Party met this weekend to make its endorsement in the 2014 gubernatorial and lieutenant governor’s race. The party put together a committee of Dems from all 67 Pennsylvania counties, and the candidate reaching 221 total votes got the party’s endorsement.
No one won. After several votes, no one could get to the sweet 221 endorsement number. At the governor’s level, McCord fared best, at 154 votes; Schwartz got 77; Wolf got 59; Hanger got 16; and McGinty earned just 15.
According to a report in the Allentown Morning Call, candidate and pastor Max Myers did not appear on the ballot and Lebanon County Commissioner Jo Ellen Litz didn’t earn enough votes to make the second round of balloting.
What’s interesting, though, is the amount of money each candidate has raised in her or his campaign thus far when compared with those votes. Numbers released last Friday found Schwartz had raised $6.6 million for her campaign; McCord raised $6.3 million, McGinty raised $2.4 million, Wolf raised $3.4 million (and injected $10 million of his own money in the campaign, for a whopping total of $13.4 million), Hanger raised $1.05 million, Myers raised $30,000, and Litz raised $4,000.
Considering the amount of money injected into this campaign thus far (and there will be more), I decided to look at how much each candidate had raised, when compared to her/his official party vote.
It looks like this:
Wolf: $227,118 per vote
McGinty: $160,000 per vote
Schwartz: $85,714 per vote
Hanger: $65,625 per vote
McCord: $40,909 per vote
Pennsylvania, as I detailed here, is one of only 11 states without a limit on campaign financing. Many believe this is a problem of great importance, especially since big money regularly wins elections. Such a problem is perhaps made worse with the country’s, and state’s, growing income inequality problem.
“I think in Pennsylvania, and in this country, we are facing the reality, that democracy cannot survive this level of income inequality,” says Gary Broderick, lead organizer with Progressive Philly Rising. “Income inequality is not simply unfortunate circumstance or poor planning by elected officials. Rather, it is driven by moneyed interests, who, for example, will lose money should hospitals have to abide by cost controls, and who will gain money if schools are privatized.”
Broderick adds that those large donors giving to certain top-tier candidates will likely “want something in return”—a point made last week by Common Cause PA executive director Barry Kauffman.
Campaign finance reform proposals (like that put up by PA Gov candidate John Hanger) would seek to end money taking over politics in the state, though that fight is largely looked at as unwinnable, at least in the short term.
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