One of the things Linda McMahon said she would be doing differently in her 2012 U.S. Senate race is fundraising, but her first fundraising report shows she contributed over $600,000 of her own money and thousands in “in-kind” contributions to get the campaign off the ground.
The fundraising report was due just two weeks after she announced her campaign so it’s difficult to tell how good McMahon will be at dialing for dollars in the future.
Erin Isaac, McMahon‘s communications director, said the campaign has a fundraising team and McMahon herself is making phone calls.
“It’s a traditional fundraising effort just like any other candidate,” Isaac said Wednesday.
McMahon did receive $1,400 in contributions according to the third quarter report, but most of the $1.2 million spent by the campaign to date had come from her personal funds.
Just about all of the money went to operating expenses, mostly consultants and advisers – the big winner being both Sullivan & LeShane and Christopher LaCivita, president of Advancing Strategies LLC.
Sullivan & LeShane were paid more than $48,000, while LaCivita’s firm received $50,000. American Viewpoint, an opinion research and consulting firm received about $36,000 and more than $34,000 went to McLaughlin & Associates, another research and polling company.
Two other campaign consultants familiar with Connecticut politics, Ben Davol and Tom Scott also received sizable sums of money. Davol who is a veteran of numerous local, state and federal political campaigns received about $19,000 and Tom Scott, former state senator and radio host, received $26,000. Scott, who remains influential in conservative political circles, will help organize McMahon’s ground campaign and find support in conservative circles.
Already polls show McMahon is the favorite to win the Republican convention against former U.S. Rep. Chris Shays, Attorney Brian Hill of Windsor, and Vernon Mayor Jason McCoy. But she’s likely to have a more difficult time in a general election than Shays, if early polling proves accurate.
Last year she spent $50 million of her own money on the campaign, but her campaign says this year will be different. The results of a robust fundraising effort should be visible in the next quarterly report, Isaac said Wednesday.