Tuesday, August 04, 2009

It’s Money that Matters

They say that money doesn't talk, it screams. If that's the case, then Democrats in Rensselaer County may be getting deaf. The party's already weak fundraising has only gotten worse as the GOP posted very strong fundraising numbers in state disclosure reports last month.

Earlier this year, we reported gap between the GOP and Democrats in fundraising. In the ensuing months, that gap has only gotten wider, with Republicans only gaining strength as the 2009 elections loom.

The poor fundraising adds trouble for Democrats, who were unable to field candidates for County Executive and County Clerk and a weak slate for County Legislature, with the top-ranking Democrat in the Legislature deciding against seeking re-election to the Legislature. Democrats face a bruising prospect for County Legislature in District 1 – City of Troy and a three-way primary for Family Court.

Worst of all for Democrats is the plummeting ratings for President Obama, Governor Paterson and growing public anger over the staggering array of tax increases rammed through by Democrats running state government and skyrocketing federal debt. The tide has turned hard against Democrats as they struggle to find footing for the fall elections.

Democrats can claim to hold only about $35,000 in funds against approximately $280,000 held collectively in Republican accounts. The county GOP reported $62,883 in their July 15 filings versus $17,950 for the county Democrats, with County Executive Kathleen Jimino reporting $113,000.

It gets worse for Democrats in the legislative races, where the GOP holds a more than 10 to 1 advantage over Democrats. The GOP legislative campaign, the Republican Legislative Campaign Committee, reported $75,562 on hand. Add that to nearly $16,000 reported by Majority Leader Bobby Mirch and almost $5,000 for Legislator Mike "Pickles" Picarillo. Popular Chairman Neil Kelleher also recently held a jam-packed fundraiser after the reporting period. The Democrat legislative campaign committee could only muster $7,675.

Consider this: From a quick review of the filings, it appears the cash on hand by Mirch outstrips the amount raised by Democrats, including the county party and the legislative committee, during the past six months.