The Record Blog

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Missouri's Own 'Self-Funding Wild Card'

[ Patrick Tuohey ]

One-time Missourian David Catanese writes over at POLITICO,

What do Carly Fiorina, Jeff Greene and Linda McMahon have in common? They were all self-funding candidates from the 2010 cycle who lack the title of senator.

The lesson: Plowing extraordinary amounts of your own cash into a campaign usually has diminishing returns.

Specific to Missouri, Catanese writes,

In Missouri, businessman John Brunner is also plugging considerable sums of money into a three-way GOP primary fight to overcome a name-recognition deficit. Former state treasurer Sarah Steelman, who leads in GOP primary polling there, also has access to personal wealth but observers in the Show-Me State see Brunner’s ability to easily write himself a seven-figure check as a potentially potent wild card in the race against McCaskill.

Personal wealth may be Brunner's greatest asset, but so far it doesn't appear to be translating into broad appeal. In fact, Brunner has given his campaign nearly $2.24 million so far, raising only $168,066 from others. And he has spent it just as fast, reporting only $225,000 on hand.

Back in 2010 when Ed Martin was challenging Rep. Russ Carnahan, Martin pointed out that Carnahan had spent every penny he raised--even more. "Even in fundraising," Martin observed, "Congressman Carnahan serves as a prime example of the wasteful spending that is currently so rampant in Washington." What would Martin make of Brunner?

The National Journal compares the three campaign's recent finance disclosures:

Steelman raised almost $179,000 during the first three months of 2012, and ended the period with $600,000 in the bank.

Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo., one of Steelman's primary challengers, reported raising $416,000 and $1.4 million on hand earlier on Monday. And businessman John Brunner donated another $1.2 million of his own wealth to his campaign to supplement the $168,000 he raised from donors.

That last sentence struck us as funny: the $1.2 million is a supplement to the $168,000?

4/17/2012 8:13:27 AM

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