This morning we went through the campaign finance forms for each slate of candidates running for the five open seats on the Colonial School Board. All figures are taken from campaign finance forms for the period of January 2019 to May 6, 2019.
There are two slates, they are as follows:
Colonial Democrats for School Board
The name for this recently changed on Facebook. It use to be Leading Colonial Forward – Democrats for Colonial School Board or something similar to that). This slate is endorsed by the Democratic Party.
Candidates – Felix Raimondo (incumbent), Leslie Finegold (incumbent), Jamina Clay-Dingle, Rachelle Pretz and Paula McCauley.
Protecting Colonial’s Future
This slate did not seek the endorsement of either party. It is made up of four Democrats and one Republican.
Candidates – Susan Moore (incumbent), Cathy Peduzzi (incumbent), Beth Suchsland (not an incumbent, but served previously), Chris Epstein, and Beth Patruno.
Colonial Democrats for School Board raised $16,822.20. It carried over $300 from 2018.
Protecting Colonial’s Future raised $19,316. It did not raise funds until 2019.
What it means – Five candidates working outside the party system and not receiving Political Action Committee money (more below on this) raised more money.
Small Donations ($50 or less)
Campaign finance forms do not track who donated $50 or less, so we just have the totals.
Colonial Democrats for School Board raised $1,862.20.
Protecting Colonial’s Future raised $4,055.
What this means – Grass roots fundraising heavily favors Protecting Colonial’s Future.
This is for services paid on a campaign’s behalf.
Colonial Democrats for School Board received two in-kind contributions. On April 29th, Friends of Jason Salus paid $1,527.94 towards a pizza party and supplies. On May 3rd, the Colonial Area Democratic Committee paid $5,000 towards an advertising campaign.
Protecting Colonial’s Future did not receive any in-kind donations.
What this means – As you will see directly below, The Colonial Democrats for School Board were out of money by the start of May and had to have catering and advertising paid by a PAC and the local party committee.
Cost of Campaign
Note that this only includes expenses as of May 6th.
Colonial Democrats for School Board spent $16,730.
Protecting Colonial’s Future spent $8,502.
What this means – The Colonial Democrats for School spent all of its known money as of May 6th. It only had $391.54 left in the bank according to the campaign finance form. Protecting Colonial’s Future still had $10,814 in the bank.
Local vs. Out of Town Money
Colonial Democrats for School Board received 16 donations totaling $2,610 from within the Colonial School District and 17 donations totaling $12,250 from outside the district.
Protecting Colonial’s Future received 59 donations totaling $12,341 from within the Colonial School District and eight donations totaling $2,850 from outside the district.
What this means – These figures, along with donations for less than $50, really show the local support for Protecting Colonial’s Future. If it wasn’t for the money coming from outside the district (the majority of which will be highlighted below under Political Action Committees), the Colonial Democrats for School Board wouldn’t have been able to fund a competitive campaign.
Political Action Committees (PAC) and Unions
Colonial Democrats for School Board received 11 donations from PAC’s (which includes unions) totaling $8,350. These donations are $500 from Friends of Jason Salus, $500 from T & M Associates (a firm that seeks public work involving environmental, engineering and construction), $1,000 from District Council 21 PAC (painters and allied trades), $1,000 from International Union of Operating Engineers Local 542, $500 from Bricklayers & Allied Craftworkers Local 1 PA and $2,500 from Local Union #98 IBEW Committee for Political Education. Four smaller PAC donations are $100 from Friends of Karen Sanchez, $250 from Hanes for Register of Wills, $250 from Friends of Ken Lawrence, and $250 from HRG PAC (which is the PAC of a civil engineering firm).
Protecting Colonial’s Future did not receive any donations from PAC’s.
What this means – One side took special interest money, the other did not.
Who Local Politicians Backed
Note that there could be donations in the $50-or-less category from local politicians (current and former) that we are unable to document. As we mentioned, those do not have to be reported specific to name. Also note that this money is broken out from the categories above. We also didn’t include if candidates donated to their own campaign.
Colonial Democrats for School Board received donations from Montgomery County Treasurer Jason Salus ($500 through PAC), Montgomery County Sheriff Sean Kilkenny ($250), Montgomery County Controller Karen Sanchez ($100 through PAC), Montgomery County Register of Wills Bruce Hanes ($250 through PAC), Montgomery County Commissioner Ken Lawrence ($250 through PAC), Whitemarsh Supervisor Amy Grossman ($100), Whitemarsh Supervisor Michael Drossner ($250), Whitemarsh Supervisor and current candidate for Judge Melissa Sterling ($100), Plymouth Council Member Marty Higgins ($100), and Conshohocken Borough Council Member Tina Sokolowski ($150).
Protecting Colonial’s Future received donations from Colonial School Board Member Mel Brodsky ($200), former Colonial School Board Member Heather Palmer ($200), and former Whitemarsh Supervisor Sara Earbaum ($500).
Who Else Wrote Big Checks
Colonial Democrats for School Board received two big donations (not from PAC’s). Accounting firm Brinker Simpson donated $2,500 and Frederick Ebert, the owner of Ebert Engineering, donated $1,000.
Protecting Colonial’s Future received 11 big donations. They are $750 from Janet Dradsfield (retired relative of a candidate), $600 from Charles Forster (retired employee of the Colonial School District), $1,000 from Mary McNamara (a local realtor), $402 from Ryan Daufenbach (local executive), $500 from Julian Miraglia (real estate investor and agent), $500 from Linda Hammond (retired), $500 from Patricia West (retired Plymouth Whitemarsh High School teacher), $500 from Sara Earbaum (former Whitemarsh Supervisor), $1,000 from Sheri Cummins (house wife) and Mary Ann Ball (retired).
You can view the campaign finance forms here: Colonial Democrats for School Board and Protecting Colonial’s Future).
Please let us know if you think we missed anything.
Let us know what you think in the comments.