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Who the PACs are Supporting in the 2014 RI Governor’s Race

Monday, February 10, 2014

 

Who has been getting the most PAC money in the 2014 Governor's race over the past year?

With the 2014 elections nine months away, GoLocal took a look at the role of PAC contributions in the Rhode Island gubernatorial candidates' campaign efforts during 2013 -- which ranged from no PAC backing of Republican candidate Ken Block or recently declared Democratic candidate Clay Pell, to tens of thousands of dollars in PAC giving to Angel Taveras and Gina Raimondo.

See Which PACs are Giving to Which Candidates -- and How Much -- BELOW

"Under Rhode Island law PACs can't give that much money in donations to a single candidate, so it's more about bringing their supporters along to turn out for the candidate of their choice," said John Marion with Common Cause.

Over the past year, Republican gubernatorial candidate Allan Fung has received over $8,000 in PAC donations.  Democratic candidates Angel Taveras and Gina Raimondo have claimed approximately $17,550 and $21,500 in PAC money, respectively, on campaign finance filings.  

PACs and Super PACs

Marion spoke to the role of PACs -- and Super PACs -- in campaign finance. 

"While we haven't studied the change in PACs here in Rhode Island specifically, very clearly the trend in elections nationally has been from direct contributions to candidates by individuals and PACs to independent spending on behalf of, or against, candidates by third party organizations such as Super PACs," said Marion. "That trend accelerated drastically after the Citizens United decision and the subsequent SpeechNow vs. FEC decision that allowed unlimited contributions to such third party groups.

Rhode Island College Professor of Communications Kay Israel noted that while the recent court decisions have had an impact on campaign fundraising, the role of regular PAC spending still played a major part in the election process.

Israel started by explaining the difference between PACs -- and Super PACs. "Under the campaign finance laws employees of a company, members of a union or any other individuals are allowed to make contributions to registered political action committees which will then distribute funding to candidates sharing their views," said Israel. "In the case of Super PACs, they must expend the funds supporting candidates sharing their views without any “communication” between that PAC and the candidates or their campaign."

Israel continued, "Because of the impact of Citizen’s United, Super PACs with unlimited donations became much more visible than traditional PACs. Less attention was paid to regular PACs, but they remain a major force, particularly for incumbents. On a daily basis in Washington, DC, multiple PAC fundraising events are being held adding needed dollars to the war chests required to seek re-election. While more attention has been focused on the influence of multimillionaires such as Sheldon Adelson, the Koch Brothers and former New York City Mayor Bloomberg in funding of those Super PACs and outside donations, the status quo remains."

Impact of Special Interest Money -- and Support -- on Races

"While there has been greater awareness of the Super PACs’ role (thank you Steven Colbert!), here too the results have been minimal," said Israel. "Only one major race (the senatorial in Massachusetts) has been able to successfully get the candidates to neutralize the Super PAC funding by pledging that any amount spent by a Super PAC in support of their campaign would be neutralized. More recent efforts to get a similar agreement in other races have failed."

In the Rhode island gubernatorial election, Providence Mayor Angel Taveras came out in support of People's Pledge to curb outside spending -- and while Raimondo and Pell have gone on record saying they support a pledge, it wouldn't necessarily be the one Taveras put forth.

Israel spoke to the nature of the PAC groups' support of a candidate as being more than just a money issue.

"In Rhode Island the value of the issue will be dependent on who the final candidates are and how vulnerable their funding sources appear to make them. Will Raimondo appear to be beholden to Wall Street, Taveras to labor, Pell to leftwing liberals and Fung or Block to rightwing ideologues and billionaires?," asked Israel. "Whether the pledge is applied to the primary, general election, or both may also be a factor."

See how much candidates took in from PAC contributions during 2013 BELOW. 

 

Related Slideshow: PAC Spending in the 2014 Rhode Island Governor’s Race

With Election Day now just months away, GoLocal took a look at PAC spending in the Rhode Island gubernatorial campaigns.

Who is giving to who -- and how much?  And what's worth more, the money or the grassroots support?

Below is look at recorded PAC giving by the candidates in their campaign finance reports for the 2013 calendar year, by quarter.  Candidate Todd Giroux has an affadavit for an annual filing exemption.

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Gina Raimondo - Q1 2013

PAC money received: $7,000

AON Corporation:  $2,500*
Attorneys Partridge, Snow, and Hahn: $1000
Brokers for Better Health Care: $250
Engage RI PAC: $1000
Hinckley Allen and Snyder: $1000
Hinckley Allen and Snyder Rhode Island PAC: $1000
RI Medical PAC: $250
 
Cash balance ending March 31, 2013: $1,723,203.71
 
Excessive donation made in error, said would "be reflected" in 2nd quarter report
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Gina Raimondo - Q2 2013

PAC money received: $4,400 

Amica RI PAC: $250
Cox PAC: $1000
Federal Express RI State PAC: $250
IBEW Local 99: $500
Iron Workers Local 37: $250
Metlife Insurance PAC D:  $200
Plumbers and Pipefitters Local: $500
RI Bricklayers PAC: $500
RI Carpenters PAC: $200
RI Laborers PAC: $500
Sheet Metal Workers: $250
 
Cash balance ending June 30, 2013: $2,063,548.54
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Gina Raimondo - Q3 2013

PAC money received $1,750 

Citzens Bank PACOM: $500
Delta Dental of RI PAC: $500
DRIVE PAC: $500
International Union of Painters: $250
 
Cash balance ending September 30, 2013: $2,305,657.89
 
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Gina Raimondo - Q4 2013

PAC money received: $6,950

Attorneys Partridge, Snow, and Hahn: $750 
Building Industry PAC: $500
Capitol Communications Group LLC, PAC: $500
Emily's List RI: $1000
IBEW Local 99: $250
Plumbers and Pipefitters: $500
RI Laborers' PAC: $1000
RI Medical PAC: $750
RI Public Employees Education PAC: $1000
United Food and Commercial Workers: $500
Utility Contractors' Association: $200
 
Cash balance ending December 31, 2013: $2,508,647.86
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Angel Taveras - Q1 2013

PAC money received: $3,600

Capitol Communications Group, $500
Iron Workers Local 37, $100
IOUE (Intl. Union of Operating Engineers) Local 57: $1000
Moses and Afonso PAC: $1000
Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 51 PAC: $500
RI Carpenters PAC: $250
RI NERCC (NE Regional Council of Carpenters PAC) PAC: $250
 
Cash balance ending March 31, 2013: $560,779.72
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Angel Taveras - Q2 2013

PAC money received: $6,550

Attorneys Partridge Snow and Hahn: $250
Attorneys Partridge Snow and Hahn: $750
Building Industry PAC: $500
Chartercare Employee PAC: $250
COX PAC: $250
COX PAC: $750
Hinckley, Allen, Snyder PAC: $1000
Hinckley, Allen, Snyder Rhode Island PAC: $1000
IBEW Local 99: $100
Local 791 UCFW PAC: $500
Providence Firefighters Local 799: $200
RI Troopers Association: $1000
 
Cash balance ending June 30, 2013: $692,590.12
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Angel Taveras - Q3 2013

PAC money received: $1,300

Connecticut Healthcare District 1199: $500
Providence Firefighters Local 799: $800

Cash balance as of September 30, 2013: $759,150.22
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Angel Taveras - Q4 2013

PAC money received:  $6,100

American Association of University Professionals: $1000
Darrow Everett PAC: $500
Enterprise Holdings PAC of RI: $500
Enterprise Holdings PAC of RI: $500
Middletown Firefighters COPE: $100
RI Laborers Public Employees PAC: $1000
RI Medical PAC: $1000
RI State Association of Firefighters: $1000
United Food and Commercial Workers: $500
 
Cash balance as of December 31, 2013: $1,025,981.62
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Allan Fung -- Q1 2013

PAC money received: $1,550*

Amica PAC: $250
Cox PAC: $200
IBEW Local 99: $250
International Brotherhood of Police: $350
RI Troopers Association: $500
 
Cash balance as of March 31, 2013: $160,520.12
 
* A later filing amended the PAC amount to $1,650 and cash balance to $159,520.12.
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Allan Fung - Q2 2013

PAC money received: $1,600 

Amica PAC: $250
International Brotherhood of Police: $650
MetLife PAC D:  $200
Opticians PAC: $500
 
Cash balance as of June 30, 2013: $256,498.77
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Allan Fung -- Q3 2013

PAC money received: $1,100

CIRI PAC: $100
Darrow Everett: $500
RI Troopers Association: $500
 
Cash balance as of September 30, 2013: $336,553.93
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Allan Fung -- Q4 2013

PAC money received: $3,800

Amica / RI PAC: $500
Capitol Communications Group $500
Hinckley, Allen, Snyder: $500
MetLife PAC D: $800
Opticians PAC: $500
RI Medical PAC: $1000
 
Cash balance as of December 31, 2013:  $384,925.44
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Ken Block

Quarter 1:  No PAC $; cash balance   $20,000.07
Quarter 2:  No PAC $; cash balance   $73,987.53
Quarter 3:  No PAC $; cash balance $547,685.26
Quarter 4:  No PAC $; cash balance $634,126.60
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Clay Pell

Quarter 4 (first report filed): No PAC $, cash balance $1,105,152.43 

 
 

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