Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Curious Giving of Charlie Baker

I can't help finding Massachusetts Republicans fascinating, I really can't. So more on them. Charlie Baker is returning to his Desk of Indecision as talk opens up about the 2010 race for governor. There is a "Draft Charlie" website, with Facebook and Twitter -- but no donation link yet. Massachusetts Liberal is impressed:

Charlie Baker is the real deal. He served as secretary of health and human services and administration and finance under Bill Weld. In the private sector, he delivered Harvard Pilgrim from receivership.

Unlike the past four Republican governors he has the street cred when it comes to knowing how to run a bureaucracy and a business (and knowing where the bodies are buried). He knows how to blog. He also has a commitment to making it in Massachusetts.

Of course, Baker is only a danger if he enters the race. he already hemmed and hawed his way through much of 2005 before declining a run in 2006. While Baker is considering it again, he really has to enter the race unless he wants to become Massachusetts' version of Richard Blumenthal. Short of a vicious primary battle between Deval and Tim Cahill, I don't see how Baker wins.

Anyway, one of my first stops on the "get-to-know-the-candidate" tour is the OCPF and FEC databases. Here is what I found -- since the beginning of 2006, Baker has put about $60,000 of his dollars into Republican campaigns around the country -- and less than one-sixth of it is going toward local Republicans:

The spending is sporadic with only a couple in-state donations throughout all of 2007, and not coming close to what Baker can afford to give. If one breaks down Baker's state- and federal-level donations in 2008, this is what one sees:
GOP candidates outside Mass: $12,300
Mass. GOP candidates/PACs for US Congress:$7,500
Mass. GOP State Sen/Rep with no challenger: $1,700
Mass. GOP State Sen/Rep with Dem challenger: $900
Mass. GOP Challengers for State House: $750
Other (PACs, other offices): $800
Total donations in 2008: $23,950

What really jumps out at me is the second line. Talk about pissing money away. The Mass. GOP is on life support, and why a possible knight-in-armor is blowing his donations on wild goose chases rather than the hard and vital work of getting people into office is beyond me. He spends more on State House incumbents than on GOP challengers! Spending that will improve fortunes for Massachusetts Republicans clearly isn't high on the list of Baker's priorities.

Of the couple dozen Republicans who in 2008 sought to take an open or Democratic seat in the State House, Baker supported...three. In other words, he invested more in unopposed incumbents than in Republicans trying to grow the party. Baker has invested a titanic amount in the hilarious and incompetent Republican attempts to win a Congressional seat.

I don't know what Republicans want. I wouldn't be surprised to see them invest their dreams in a man who is spending money on every possible function of the Republican party other than a realistic attempt to revive itself. But it is kind of an odd thing, ain't it?

Below are the results of OCPF (Massachusetts) and FEC (federal) contribution reports on Charlie Baker:

OCPF

3/9/2006 Republican State Committee, MA $65.00
3/28/2006 Jones Jr., Bradley H. $200.00
4/22/2006 Knapik, Michael R. $300.00
4/22/2006 Peterson Jr., George N. $300.00
4/27/2006 Smola, Todd $300.00
6/9/2006 Barrows, Fred J. $250.00
8/30/2006 Hillman, Reed V. $500.00
9/1/2006 MA Republican House PAC $500.00
9/19/2006 Healey, Kerry Murphy $500.00
9/25/2006 Republican State Committee, MA $2,500.00
10/21/2006 Lees, Brian $250.00
10/25/2006 Villamaino III, Enrico John $200.00
2006 total: $5,865.00

3/6/2007 Tisei, Richard R. $300.00
5/5/2007 Knapik, Michael R. $200.00
2007 total: $500.00

1/11/2008 Tarr, Bruce $300.00 Unopposed Incumbent for State Senate
2/28/2008 Blaisdell , John $500.00 Challenger to Dem Incumbent
3/20/2008 MA Republican House PAC $300.00 PAC
5/22/2008 Bennett, Doug $500.00 Candidate for City Council
6/18/2008 Brown, Scott P. $300.00 Incumbent Senator, Dem Challenger
7/31/2008 Lees, Brian $200.00 Unopposed Incumbent for State Senate
8/2/2008 Peterson Jr., George N. $300.00 Unopposed Incumbent for State Rep
8/7/2008 Barrows, Fred J. $300.00 Incumbent Rep, Dem Challenger
8/26/2008 Jones Jr., Bradley H. $300.00 Incumbent Rep, Dem Challenger
8/28/2008 Smola, Todd $300.00 Incumbent GOP State Rep, unopposed
10/9/2008 Pope, Susan W. $250.00 GOP challenger to Dem incumbent state rep
2008 total: $3,550


FEC

BAKER, CHARLES
SWAMPSCOTT, MA 01907
HARVARD PILGRIM HEALTH CARE/CEO

MASSACHUSETTS REPUBLICAN STATE CONGRESSIONAL COMMITTEE

06/08/2006 1000.00 26950355755

08/29/2006 2500.00 26940339415

09/25/2006 -2500.00 26950657214

12/19/2006 1000.00 27940116945

02/27/2007 3000.00 27930342695

02/04/2008 3000.00 28990592040

11/04/2008 2000.00 28993358959

BAKER, CHARLES
SWAMPSCOTT, MA 01907
HARVARD PILGRIM HEALTH CARE/HEALT

JOHNSON, NANCY L.
VIA JOHNSON FOR CONGRESS COMMITTEE

06/12/2006 500.00 26930408529

BAKER, CHARLES
SWAMPSCOTT, MA 01907
HARVARD PILGRIM HEALTHCARE/EXECUT

BRADLEY, JOSEPH E. MR. III
VIA JEB BRADLEY FOR CONGRESS COMMITTEE

10/07/2008 500.00 28992932379

BAKER, CHARLES
SWAMPSCOTT, MA 01907
HARVARD PILGRIM/C. E. O.

COLLINS, SUSAN M
VIA COLLINS FOR SENATOR

09/11/2008 1000.00 28020510075

BAKER, CHARLES
SWAMPSCOTT, MA 01907
HARVARD PILGRIM/EXECUTIVE

BARTON, RICHARD W
VIA RICK BARTON FOR CONGRESS COMMITTEE

02/08/2006 500.00 28930066850

BAKER, CHARLES
SWAMPSCOTT, MA 01907
HARVARD PILGRIM/HEALTH CARE

BECH, NATHAN ALEXANDER
VIA COMMITTEE TO ELECT NATHAN BECH; THE

06/08/2008 1000.00 28932181972

OGONOWSKI, JAMES
VIA OGONOWSKI FOR CONGRESS

08/27/2007 1000.00 27931292333

BAKER, CHARLES
SWAMPSCOTT, MA 01907
HOWARD PILGRIM HEALTH CARE/HEALTH

COLEMAN, NORM
VIA COLEMAN FOR SENATE 08

10/09/2008 500.00 28020700483

BAKER, CHARLES
SWAMPSCOTT, MA 01907
INFO. REQ./INFO. REQ.

COLEMAN, NORM
VIA COLEMAN FOR SENATE 08

05/16/2008 2000.00 28020352865

BAKER, CHARLES D
SWAMPSCOTT, MA 01907
HARVARD PILGRIM HEALTH CARE/EXECU

SUNUNU, JOHN E
VIA TEAM SUNUNU

06/02/2006 500.00 26020491203

BAKER, CHARLES D
SWAMPSCOTT, MA 01907
HARVARD PILGRIM HEALTH CARE/PRESI

SUNUNU, JOHN E
VIA TEAM SUNUNU

03/19/2008 1000.00 28020153158

09/21/2008 2300.00 28020520745

BAKER, CHARLES D
SWAMPSCOTT, MA 01907
HARVARD PILGRIM HEALTHCARE/PRESID

KENNEDY, JOHN NEELY
VIA JOHN KENNEDY FOR US SENATE INC

10/02/2008 2000.00 28020730435

BAKER, CHARLES D. MR.
SWAMPSCOTT, MA 01907

MCCAIN, JOHN S.
VIA JOHN MCCAIN 2008 INC.

05/22/2008 2000.00 28991300300

Total Contributions: 24800.00

4 comments:

Outraged Liberal said...

Nice post. And I agree with you that the biggest question is whether Charlie will actually take the plunge.

Bob Neer said...

Great post. Thanks for the digging.

sco said...

Actually, the donations to the State GOP Congressional PAC aren't wasted money. That scam is how the State GOP pays its staff. If you look at their expenditures, they rarely give more than a pittance out to actual candidates.

Ryan said...

blaisdell wasn't facing an incumbent; that was an open race for a special election.

He later ran again against the winner of that first election, just a few months later - so I could see how you could be confused, if you were, but there really were 2 elections for that seat in about 6 months LOL.