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Burnett: Campaign Finance Reports

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It’s all about the money

The long-awaited campaign finance reports are finally available covering campaign activity through September 14.

As usual, it’s all about the money.  In this day and age, if you want to run for and win an elected office, money is the name of the game.lou Burnett

And  incumbents  seeking  re-election  have  a  distinct advantage over their challengers.  They are either sitting on a pile of campaign funds compiled over the years they were in office, or they can quickly raise money if an unexpected challenge emerges.

When running for office, one has to have funds  for filing fees, push cards, yard signs, billboards, bus benches, mailouts, media advertising and a political consultant, if funds allow.  In major raises, radio and television  ads also come into play.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at the latest campaign reports in some of the major races on the ballot on October 24.  Keep in mind that the figures will not always appear to compute.

That’s because in-kind contributions are subtracted from the amount of cash on hand at the conclusion of the report.  Loans are personal funds of the candidate and are added to total receipts

Here is a look at who’s got the money in some of the state legislative races:

Senate District 36

    Rep. Henry Burns of Haughton (R)

Cash on Hand as of 1/1/15 – $0.

Total Receipts Through 9/14 – $171,352.

Total Expenditures – $145,435.

Cash on Hand as of 9/14 – $25,590.

    Bossier Attorney Ryan Gatti (R)

Cash on Hand as of 1/1/15 – $0.

Total Receipts Through 9/14 – $195,367 of which $157,167 was a personal loan to his committee.

Total Expenditures – $177,634.

Cash on Hand as of 9/14 – $17,732.35.

Businessman Todd Hollenshead (D)

Cash on Hand as of 1/1/15 – $0.

Total Receipts Through 9.14 – $73,155 of which $26,005 was a personal loan to his committee.

Total Expenditures – $41,986.

Cash on Hand as of 9/14 – $30,069.

House District 9

    Dodie Horton (R)   

Cash on Hand as of 1/1/15 – $0.

Total Receipts Through 9/14 – $44,377.

Total Expenditures – $21,505.

Cash on Hand as of 9/14 – $21,985.

    Mike McHalffey (R)

Cash on Hand as of 1/1/15 – $0.

Total Receipts Through 9/14 – $8,755.

Total Expenditures – $7,404.

Cash on Hand as of 9/14 – $1,361.

Shocking governor’s poll

A new poll on the Louisiana governor’s race has analysts and politicos scratching their heads.  The poll finds that Republican U.S. Sen. David Vitter’s popularity is declining as are his chances of becoming governor.

The poll was conducted by Public Policy Polling (PPP) on September 21 and 22 and surveyed 616 likely voters.  The margin of error is +/-4%.

The poll is pretty much in line with previous polls when all candidates are included in a question about whom you would vote for.  Here are those results:

State Rep. John Bel Edwards (D) – 28%.

U.S. Sen. David Vitter (R) – 27%.

PSC Scott Angelle (R) – 15%.

Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne (R) – 14%

Undecided – 17%.

It is assumed that Edwards, the Democrat, will make the runoff. But what is causing all the chatter is that in a head-to-head match-up question, Edwards leads Vitter 50-38% with 12% not sure.

When Angelle is matched up with Edwards, the result is 40-40% with 20% not sure.  Dardenne does the best against Edwards, leading 42-40% with 18% not sure.

PPP contends its figures are viable given the fact that only 34% of those surveyed now have a favorable opinion of Vitter while a whopping 51% view him unfavorably.

Edwards has a 35% favorable opinion and 27% unfavorable. Angelle has a 29% favorable and a 29% unfavorable, while Dardenne has a 33% favorable and a 32% unfavorable.

More bad news for Vitter, according to PPP, is the fact that Republicans have soured on him with only 46% rating him favorably and 44% unfavorably.  And he is quite unpopular with both independents (30/52) and Democrats (24/58).

When it comes to the runoff election between Vitter and Democrat Edwards, 28% of Republicans said they would vote for Edwards over Vitter.

PPP summed it up this way: “These numbers make it clear that the landscape around the Louisiana Gubernatorial race has changed dramatically.  A year ago Vitter looked like a clear favorite, but he’s become unpopular in the time since, and now it appears that there is a very good chance he will be defeated this  fall.”

Fear not poll watchers.  There will be more polls before the election, and we will see if they agree with PPP’s results.

Lou Gehrig Burnett is a seasoned veteran of politics. He publishes Fax-Net Update, a weekly political newsletter.