At the conclusion of last week’s article Money in Politics – Conshohocken Democratic Committee, we promised to examine the donations of the Conshohocken Republican Committee as well (you can view the spreadsheet here).
As with the Democrats, we went back to 2011 and entered the donations into two columns, those that originate from a Conshohocken address and those that do not. Note that that process isn’t perfect. Some Conshohocken-business and property owners sent checks from an outside Conshohocken address (but we recognize the names). But for both parties, we went strictly by the address given on the campaign finance form.
Between 2011 and the end of 2017, the Conshohocken Republican Committee raised a total of $38,878.60. $21,033.60 originated from a Conshohocken address. $17,845 did not.
In comparison, the Conshohocken Democratic Committee raised $74,787.74. $16,292.74 originated from a Conshohocken address. $58,495 did not.
Why the difference?
There are a few possibilities, but its likely as simple as the Republicans have only held at most two seats on Conshohocken’s Borough Council during this period. For most of the this period, it only held one.
The Republicans did not receive any money (tell us where we are wrong) from those seeking appointed positions, such as solicitorships, within the Borough. On the Democratic side those donors gave $1,000 to $2,500 on a regular basis each election cycle.
The Republicans received very few large donations over the years compared to the Democrats.
In 2017, the Montgomery County Democratic Party gave a total of $7,500. That was not the case in previous years. The Colonial Republican Committee donated $2,000 in 2011.
One political action committee, the PA Future Fund, gave a total of $1,500 during the 2013 and 2015 election cycle. Political candidates often have a “Friends of” political action committee and some of the Conshohocken Republican Committee’s larger donations came from these type groups (most from its own candidates).
The Conshohocken Republican Committee has basically been kept operating by a handful of people and families (you see their yearly donations, mostly in the $50 to $300 range) across all the years. Most of these people have held or run for office at some point.
The question is whether things would be different if Republicans were in the majority or held more seats in the minority? Would the attorneys and consultants be as generous to the Republicans as they are with the Democrats? Would they split their donations between the Democrats and Republicans if the Republicans held three seats instead of one or two?
All interesting to think about.
Going through this process put one big question in our head about the donations that come from consultants, unions, PAC’s, etc. Are the donations sought? Or do they just show up one day in the mail box?
Tell us what you think in the comments.