Campaign cash rules Congress

By Jason Kosena
THE COLORADO STATESMAN

In politics, campaign cash is all-powerful.

An incumbent’s hefty war chest can scare away potential primary contenders and offer those who face stiff opposition in the general election much-needed ammunition for advertising, polling and staff.

Campaign dollars also are lifeblood for those who challenge incumbents, enabling them to promote name ID, broadcast their messages and pay for the expenses they incur as they travel thousands of miles to meet and greet potential voters.

Political contributions are powerful in races for “safe” districts, too. Campaign cash can help comfortable incumbents solidify their power base in Washington, D.C., and preserve their untouchable status.

Through the first two quarters of 2009, the sums raised by members of Colorado’s congressional delegation and their 2010 challengers run the spectrum from hundreds of thousands of dollars on one end to tens of thousands on the other.

It’s also interesting to note the wide range of ways Colorado’s incumbent members of Congress are using their money and where the donations are coming from.

Come out swinging: The competitive race

Colorado’s only competitive race to emerge so far in the 2010 cycle, the 4th Congressional District, has seen most of the early fundraising activity. Rep. Betsy Markey, D-Fort Collins, snatched the seat — a Republican stronghold for nearly four decades — from GOP hands in 2008 in a resounding victory over the three-term Rep. Marilyn Musgrave.

Despite Markey’s overwhelming victory, political observers and experts agree that the first-term Democrat could be facing an uphill run in 2010.

“The source of (Markey’s 2008) margin was a combination of her ability to connect with the district and very soft support for a beleaguered Musgrave,” said Kyle Saunders, a political science professor at Colorado State University. “The catch is, she’s not running against Musgrave this time.”

Saunders said Markey will need to raise more money than Colorado’s other congressional incumbents because Republicans are eager and determined to retake the seat in 2010. That makes raising substantial sums of money one of Markey’s primary goals as she moves forward in coming months.

She already has made a good start, raising money at a fast clip since winning election in November.

Markey raised a record $342,029 in the first quarter of 2009 and chalked up $242,567 during the second quarter. Her cash on hand at the end of June was $507,856.

It looks like Markey will need every penny. Republican challengers are lining up to challenge her for the seat, which the GOP believes is competitive.

Republican Rep. Cory Gardner, of Yuma, and District 4 University of Colorado Regent Tom Lucero, of Johns-
town, are vying to face to Markey.

Former Fort Collins City Council member Diggs Brown has expressed interest in the race but is currently serving with the Colorado National Army Guard abroad. His supporters started the Draft Diggs Brown for Congress group to raise money for an eventual campaign.

Markey’s early start has its advantages, Saunders said. It enables her to stockpile money while awaiting a Republican challenger and gives her time to reach out to important donors.

“Markey will likely keep most of her powder dry until after the Republicans’ primary election, other than perhaps a couple of positive ads touting her successes and credit-claiming,” Saunders said.

“After that, Markey will be able to focus on her challenger instead of scatter-shotting each of her rivals and, perhaps, wasting campaign funds,” he continued. “And, even then, the amount and quality of those expenditures will be made in response to public opinion polling done by the campaign or the press.”

But what about challengers in competitive districts? What is the best use of their money, which is usually a fraction of what the incumbent has raised?

“Name recognition is the mother’s milk of politics,” Saunders said. “If voters do not know who you are, they are not all that likely to vote for you. So the first goal of any campaign has to be to increase a candidate’s name recognition and familiarity.”

And that can be expensive. Just ask the Draft Diggs effort, or Lucero.

The Draft Diggs organization, led by Fort Collins GOP strategist Andrew Boucher, has raised a little more than $52,000, more than half of which came from influential business leaders in northern Colorado, including Jerry McMorris, the former owner of the Colorado Rockies.

But of the $52,000 raised, the campaign has spent more than $42,000, mostly paying for the political consulting services of Boucher’s firm, along with mailers and other campaign material.

“Since we began, we knew we’d have an uphill fight, so we laid out two clear goals,” Boucher told The Colorado Statesman this week.

“First and foremost, we set out to get Diggs Brown’s name out there and ‘hold a place’ in this race for him until November,” Boucher continued. “Second, we’re working hard to build a fundraising infrastructure for a potential campaign. We’re well on our way towards accomplishing both of those goals.”

Although Lucero was the first Republican to enter the race more than eight months ago, his campaign has struggled to raise money.

Even after holding a fundraiser in April hosted by radio talk show host Hugh Hewitt, Lucero banked only $28,000 through the first two quarters of 2009, according to handwritten finance reports filed with the Federal Election Committee this month. Most of that was spent on staffing expenses, leaving $3,600 cash on hand.

Much of Lucero’s expenditures have been on the payroll of Andrea Rasey, who served as campaign manager until last week.

By press time, Lucero’s campaign had not responded to interview requests made by The Statesman.

“Brown and Lucero are trying to spend their money now to gain name recognition in the district, which they likely then hope will lead to a snowballing of campaign contributions later in the fall and winter,” Saunders said, adding that Gardner, who entered the race in May, is in a different position.

Gardner raised more than $206,000 between early May and the end of June and finished the second quarter with $182,000 cash on hand.

“We are encouraged by the amount of support we have received from the 4th Congressional District and throughout Colorado,” said Mike Ciletti, the “eventual” campaign manager for Gardner. Ciletti is volunteering his time thus far.

“I think it’s a statement of where our campaign is coming from at this point,” he said.

Ciletti’s volunteer status illustrates a way challenger campaigns can horde cash early in the campaign season.

Some have said that, because Ciletti is a full-time political consultant, his volunteer work on the campaign should be noted as an “in-kind” donation, but he disagrees.

“(That) is not required,” Ciletti said. “I don’t write it down every time somebody walks in a parade for us.”

Regardless of the reason it’s there, Gardner’s cash on hand could prove beneficial to his campaign as it moves forward, Saunders said.

Because he has so much cash on hand, he is more likely to sit on it and allow the media to run stories on him. In other words, he has demonstrated that he doesn’t have to worry as much about name recognition or his campaign’s ability to raise campaign funds.

“Contextually, we must remember that Gardner is the only one of the three Republican challengers who has successfully run a legislative campaign (and) served time in party leadership as a whip in a legislative body,” Saunders said.

A walk in the park: Noncompetitive districts

Raising campaign donations in safe districts poses a different challenge than raising money in a district like the 4th — and the money is spent differently, too.

Although a few dark-horse candidates have emerged to run against the remaining members of Colorado’s U.S. House delegation, at this point no one poses a serious threat to any of the incumbents.

But that hasn’t stopped several of the incumbents from raising serious campaign cash.

Rep. Ed Perlmutter, D-Golden, raised $260,420 in the second quarter of this year.

His campaign finance reports indicate he held fundraising events at Vail Ski Mountain and at golf tournaments in Colorado. These efforts apparently worked, as Perlmutter’s campaign listed more individual donors giving less than $100 than any other congressional member in the state.

Despite expectations that he will walk to re-election with little Republican opposition, the second-term congressman has made a habit of raking in the dough. Perlmutter’s cash on hand is a hefty $816,027.

Other Colorado Democrats made noticeable moves in the second quarter as well.

Boulder Democrat Jared Polis raised $45,843 in the second quarter through his personal re-election campaign fund.

However, his Political Action Committee, the Jared Polis Victory Committee, was more active, giving $20,000 to Markey and to a handful of other Democratic candidates.

Polis also established a joint fundraising committee in April that offers an avenue for him to raise money that he can then share with other Democrats.

The FEC doesn’t require PACS or joint fundraising committees to report detailed receipt and expenditure lists until July 31, however.

Helping fellow party members isn’t the only goal for incumbents in safe seats who raise big bucks. Money also can also work to stave off potential primary challengers within their own ranks.

“Incumbents have the motivation, not just to stockpile a war chest of campaign funds to outspend potential opponents, but also to provide a psychological signal to credible opponents, whether within their party or in the other party, that it will be a very difficult to outspend them,” Saunders said.

“The larger the war chest, the more credible opponents will be dissuaded from engaging,” he continued. “Unless, of course, those opponents have experience and are certain of their own sources of funding.”

Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Denver, is one of the untouchable incumbents in Colorado.

Her district has been safely in Democratic hands for decades, and the Republicans often have offered only straw-man candidates to challenge her re-election. DeGette usually wins with more than 70 percent of the vote.

Despite all that, DeGette raised $75,400 in the second quarter of 2009 and finished the end of June with $86,445 cash on hand.

DeGette’s books show she sometimes spends her campaign funds extravagantly.

The six-term incumbent spent $375 on makeup for a photo shoot, $274 for flowers and more than $10,000 on travel for herself and her staff.

Saunders said such expenditures aren’t out of line with the spending of many other incumbents.

“For safe-seat incumbents like DeGette, they have much more leeway with these sorts of petty issues,” he said. “If there were a viable opposition to take advantage of these issues, then it could be a problem. And even then, only if there was enough persuasive momentum to overcome DeGette’s massive electoral margins of the last couple of elections.”

Not all safe incumbents are busy raising and spending campaign money, however.

After winning a bruising primary in 2008, Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-Colorado Springs, has nearly stopped his fundraising efforts. Lamborn raised $34,470 in the second quarter and has $73,824 cash on hand — hardly enough to scare off possible primary challengers.

But after 2008, when two Republicans tried to take on Lamborn in the primary and failed, he doesn’t seem to have much to worry about.

Another safe incumbent, freshman Republican Rep. Mike Coffman, of Aurora, has been busy raising money for a different reason — to pay himself back.

Often, Congressional candidates lend their campaigns considerable amounts of money throughout their election season. Such self loans have many benefits. First, there is no limit on how much money can be transferred, so for wealthy candidates, the practice offers a bottomless purse of funds.

But, almost as important, personal loans made to the campaign can be paid off after the election from contributions made by others.

Coffman raised $109,033 in the second quarter of 2009, of which he used $10,813 to repay personal loans he made to himself during the campaign. Since being elected in November, Coffman has repaid himself $24,320.

Although it’s easy to understand why people and political groups would donate to candidates in competitive districts, on the face of it, the logic behind donating to safe incumbents is less clear — until you factor in the persuasive power donations can have on legislation.

Billions of dollars are spent each year lobbying Congress. Part of that lobbying effort is directed through campaign donations.

“Contributors give to campaigns primarily to support their own viewpoint being represented in our democratic system,” Saunders said. “The campaign finance law and rules are based on the premise that money given to parties or candidates is a manifestation of their free speech, with few exceptions.”

Although everyone in Colorado’s delegation has accepted money from political action committees, some take more than others. Democratic Rep. John Salazar is one such example. During the second quarter of 2009, nearly eight out of 10 dollars donated to Salazar’s campaign came from political action committees — $114,600 of the $143,793 he raised.

The fact that Salazar holds a powerful seat on the House Ways and Means Committee could have contributed to his appeal for special interest groups, even though he’s a safe-seat incumbent.

“Individuals, groups or interests align themselves with the candidate or party that fits them best on the issues or perspectives they deem important,” Saunders said.

However, that also means that one side can out-raise the other due to inequities in the system. As a result, the access and representation that some groups get because they supported the winning side also means that others aren’t represented as vigorously, Saunders said.

“The lesson is that if you want to change how that battle is being conducted, you have to change the rules that govern it,” Saunders said. “Right now, both sides are playing by, and gaming, the rules as best they can.”

Editors Note: Below is detailed, district-by-district information on each incumbent and announced candidate. It includes amounts raised, top donors and interesting tidbits:

CD 1:

• Diana DeGette (Democratic incumbent)

> Amount Raised in Q1: $76,000
> Amount Raised in Q2: $75,400
> Total Raised in 2009: $151,400
> Total Cash on Hand: $86,445
> Candidate Loan Info: N/A

> Top Contributors ($1,000 or more): Joel Levine, surgeon; Stasia Davidson, retired; Kathryn Paul, health care CEO; Gordon MacDougall, governmental relations; Samuel Gary, oil executive; Robert Katz, resort CEO; Mary Reisher, commercial banker; Lynda Johnson, retired; and Frederick Graefe, attorney.

> PACs and Committees: 32

> Meals and Entertainment Venues: National Democratic Club Washington, D.C.; Sonoma Restaurant, Washington, D.C.; Zaidy’s Deli, Denver; Monocle on Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C.; Rosa Mexicano, Washington, D.C.; Sonnenalp Resort, Vail; Three Tomatoes Catering, Denver; The Source Restaurant, Washington, D.C.

> Payments to Consultants: $4,500 to Ridder Braden, Inc., Denver; and $10,289 to Erickson & Co., Washington, D.C.

> Contributions to other candidates: $1,000 each to Markey for Congress; Kissell for Congress; Perriello for Congress; Carol Shea-Porter for Congress; McNerney for Congress; and Minnick for Congress.

> In-kind Contributions: None listed.

> Miscellaneous: $375 to Michele Mundell Make-up for photo shoot; $224 to Bouquets in Denver for flowers. With such a safe seat, DeGette doesn’t have to worry about raising money for a serious challenge in 2010. As chief deputy whip, she’s even thinking of others. DeGette gave $1,000 to a half dozen Democratic candidates this quarter.

CD 2:

• Jared Polis (Democratic Incumbent)

> Amount Raised in Q1: $22,832
> Amount Raised in Q2: $45,843
> Total Raised in 2009: $98,209
> Total Cash on Hand: $44,983
> Candidate Loan Info: N/A

> Top Contributors ($1,000 or more): Steven Schutz, family member; Susan Schutz, family member; Jared Polis Victory Fund, $12,500; Joel Citron, executive; Jordanna Schutz, family member; Jorian Schutz, family member; and Anthony Yoseloff, money manager.

> PACs: None listed.

> Meals and Entertainment Venues: None listed.

> Payments to Consultants: $300 to James Reed, Erie.

> Contributions to other candidates: $1,000 each to Bennet for Colorado; Boccieri for Congress; Massa for Congress; Kratovil for Congress; Friends of Dan Maffei; Connolly for Congress; Halvorson for Congress; Teague for Congress; John Adler for Congress; Markey for Congress; Heinrich for Congress; McMahon for Congress; Minnick for Congress; People for Ben; and Perriello for Congress.

> In-kind Contributions: $143,184 to himself.

> Miscellaneous: Being a wealthy Congressman definitely has its advantages, which comes in handy since Polis pays for many of his own expenses. Having a supportive family also helps. They all maxed out with their $4,800 contributions to their celebrity son/brother/cousin, etc. Polis himself contributed to 15 other campaigns across the country, building up his power base in Congress in only his freshman term.

CD 3:

• John Salazar (Democratic incumbent)

> Amount Raised in Q1: $134,085
> Amount Raised in Q2: $143,793
> Total Raised in 2009: $277,878
> Total Cash on Hand: $588,010
> Candidate Loan Info: N/A

> Top Contributors ($1,000 or more): Kenneth Lee, attorney; Robert Katz, resort CEO; David Crow, legislative/regulatory president; Michael Lee, governmental relations; Gerald Gallegos, business owner; Andy Wiessner, public lands consultant; Barry Ruffalo, corporation president; Ray Kogovsek, lobbyist; Louis Moore Bacon, capital management CEO; Nolbert Chavez, lobbyist; Patricia Nelson, lobbyist; and Bernard Velasquez, temp services CEO.

> PACs: 60

> Meals and Entertainment Venues: Red Hot & Blue, Winston Salem, N.C.; Dixon’s Downtown Grill, Denver, CO.; Avalon Caterers, Alexandria, Va.; Windows Catering, Alexandria, Va.; Salazar Natural beef, Manassa, CO.; Eurest Dining Services, Chicago, Ill; B Smith’s Restaurant, Washington, D.C.; Burrito Brothers, Washington, D.C.; John Salazar, Manassa, CO.; Wal Mart, Alamosa, CO.

> Payments to Consultants: $6,750 to Barbara Straw, Highlands Ranch, CO.; $18,000 to Political Funds LLC, Denver, CO; and $12,000 to Political Development Group, Washington, D.C.

> Contributions to other candidates: None listed.

> In-kind Contributions: None listed.

> Miscellaneous: Salazar’s seat on the powerful Ways & Means Committee in Congress makes him a favorite with dozens of lobbying and special interest groups, which could be one reason he has so much support from PACs. But the conservative Democrat, a member of the Blue Dog Coalition, remains concerned with fiscal spending in his own right. Note that Salazar purchased beef from his own ranch for a couple of his fundraisers.

• Martin Beeson (Republican Challenger)

> Amount Raised in Q1: N/A
> Amount Raised in Q2: $6,100
> Total Raised in 2009: $6,100
> Total Cash on Hand: $6,063
> Candidate Loan Info: N/A

> Top Contributors ($1,000 or more): Jeff Carlson, car dealership president; and J. Young, bank president.

> PACs: None listed.

> Meals and Entertainment Venues: None listed.

> Payments to Consultants: None listed.

> Contributions to other candidates: None listed.

> In-kind Contributions: None listed.

> Miscellaneous: Beeson’s lackluster fundraising likely indicates he’ll go the way of the wolf, as in Wayne Wolf, the last Republican to challenge Salazar (unsuccessfully.) In other words, the incumbent doesn’t need to be too concerned.

CD 4:

• Betsy Markey (Democratic incumbent)

> Amount Raised in Q1: $342,029
> Amount Raised in Q2: $242,567
> Total Raised in 2009: $584,596
> Total Cash on Hand: $507,857
> Candidate Loan Info: N/A

> Top Contributors ($1,000 or more): Elana Amsterdam, consultant; Jesse Aweida, venture partners executive; Thomas Barron, author; Joan Benesch, retired; Shirley Bliss, retired; David Bonderman, investor; Alexander M.R. Brown, consultant; Norman Brownstein, attorney; Judson Cary, attorney; James Crowe, communications company executive; Pamela Crowe, homemaker; John Dangora, consultant; John Eckstein, attorney; Patrick Esch, farmer; Doug Ferraro, credit union CEO; Jim Franzen, retired; Margery Goldman, retired; Lynda Goldstein, consultant; Tom Grabanski, farmer; David Hatfield, information unavailable; Swanee Hunt, former Ambassador; Tom Jacobs, farmer; Dean Jagers, farmer/rancher; Gail Keithline, petroleum company vice president; David Kenney, political consulting firm owner; Ray Kogovsek, lobbyist; Frances Koncilja, attorney; Eric Lane, state weed coordinator; James Leprino, food company president; Frank Levinson, venture capitalist; Rebecca Shore Lewin, physician; Bill Long, business owner; James Lyons, law firm partner; Kathleen Markey, attorney; George McLaughlin, attorney; Patrick Meyers, attorney; Laurie Michaels, psychologist; Scott Charles Miller, financial advisor; Carol Mizel, design and decorating; Lee Newman, CEO/physician; Stulp Patty, ethanol marketer; Paisley Pettine, instructor; Barbara Powers, DVM, veterinary pathologist; Mary Price, retired; Laura Ricketts, travel company executive; Ed Robinson, dairy company Co-CEO; Mark Rosengrants, farmer/rancher; Peter Schmid, engineer/scientist; Jean Sutherland, retired; Tom Sutherland, retired professor; Greg Vance, software and technology company CFO; Judith Wagner, partner of investment firm; Stephen Weinstein, attorney; Eric Wepsic, financial executive; and Timothy Wolf, beer company executive.

> PACs: 68

> Meals and Entertainment Venues: Bistro Bis, Washington, D.C.; Fish, Fort Collins, CO.; Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant, Fort Collins, CO.

> Payments to Consultants: $10,694 to Kalik & associates, Inc., Bethesda, MD.

> Contributions to other candidates: None listed.

> In-kind Contributions: None listed.

> Miscellaneous: Secretary of State Bernie Buescher contributed $250 to Markey, so did former CD 4 Democratic hopeful Stan Matsunaka; Dairyman Ed Robinson, a Democrat, donated $1,000 to her campaign while his brother, Dick, a Republican, gave $1,023 in-kind to GOP rival Cory Gardner.

• “Draft Diggs Brown”
(Possible Republican challenger)

> Amount Raised in Q1: $29,240
> Amount Raised in Q2: $23,470
> Total Raised in 2009: $52,710
> Total Cash on Hand: $9,558
> Candidate Loan Info: N/A

> Top Contributors ($1,000 or more): Thomas Goding, bank president; J.S. Vanalsburg, business owner; Hans Coester, neurologist; David Nichols, beverage company president; Chris Richmond, insurance company principal; Tammy Swanson, management consultant; Margaret Geyer, CPA; Robert Everitt, business company owner; Terry Drahota, construction company president; Bud Duryea, retired from energy company; Daryll Southwick, retired bank president; Robert Tointon, construction company president; Edward O. Tynan, auto dealership president; and Larry Neal, retired academy president.

> PACs: None listed.

> Meals and Entertainment: None listed.

> Payments to Consultants: $7,500 to Boucher Strategies of Fort Collins.

> Contributions to other candidates: None listed.

> In-kind Contributions: $1,200 to Janet Meyer for accounting services; $2,645 to Tammy Swanson for management consulting.

> Miscellaneous: A lot of people dig Diggs, especially in the Fort Collins business community. But while the potential Congressional candidate is serving our country abroad, his stay-at-home campaign staff is taking care of itself. Of $23,470 reported in contributions this quarter by the draft Diggs Brown organization, $22,227 — or all but $1,243 — went for consultants and payroll expenses.

• Cory Gardner (Republican challenger)

> Amount Raised in Q1: N/A
> Amount Raised in Q2: $205,940
> Total Raised in 2009: $205,040
> Total Cash on Hand: $181,958
> Candidate Loan Info: N/A

> Top Contributors ($1,000 or more): Michael Ciletti, political consultant; Cindy Gardner, family member; John Gardner, family member; Mary Smith, homemaker; Harold Smethills, investments; Vernon Isaacs, retired; Peter Coors, beer company executive; Kaye Isaacs, homemaker; Tim Travis, metal products executive; Marilyn Coors, homemaker; Charlotte Travis, homemaker; Jennie Brown, self-employed in agriculture; Peggy Brown, self-employed in agriculture; Brent Bickel, self-employed in finance; Donald Brown, information unavailable; Douglas Jones, realty company president; Rich Beeson, small businessman; Rebecca Bledsoe, rancher; Dick Robinson, dairy executive; Robert Manning, private equity company; Janice Sinden, executive director of business group; Lanny Martin, founder of company; Rose Durham, homemaker; Thomas Roche, construction company president; Paul Gardner, family member; Faith Roche, homemaker; Anne Gardner, family member; Alex Cranberg, energy company chairman; Rod Bryant, electrician; Stanley Lewandowski, general manager of rural electric association; Jack Villines, farmer; Robert Noffsinger III, finance; Patrick Lynch, banker; Shane Leoffler, farmer; Robert Moody, government affairs vice president; Robert Starck, farmer; William Armstrong, CEO; Ethan Castle, student; Lawrence Castle, attorney; Caren Castle, attorney; Sarah Castle, student; Kristin Reid, managing partner; Douglas Benavento, attorney; Carmen Bryant, homemaker; Arlene Broidy, attorney; Jerry Bryant, banker; Wesley Castle, student; Sandra Yearous, banker; Michael May, hotel operator/legislator; Tanis Lea Hutchison, homemaker; Scot Sellers, real estate; Louis Ward Hutchson, Jr., principal of management company; Barbara Card, political consultant; David McReynolds, health plan president; Andrew Miller, real estate and investments firm partner; Roher Hutson, executive; Byron Weathers, farmer; and Daniel Ritchie, arts center CEO.

> PACs: 4

> Meals and Entertainment Venues: Mangia Bevi of Greenwood Village.

> Payments to Consultants: $1000 to Professional Data Services, Inc. of Athens, GA; $5078 to Starboard Group of Littleton, CO;

> Contributions to other candidates: None listed.

> In-kind Contributions: $250 each to three current and former legislators (Scott Tipton, Mark Hillman and Greg Brophy) for their mailing lists; $1023 to Dick Robinson for a catered event; $220 to Daniel Weaver for a catered event.

> Miscellaneous: Gardner is evidently planting lots of seeds in his campaign to oust Betsy Markey. He raised more than $200,000, and even got his campaign manager, Mike Ciletti, to fork over a thousand clams at the onset of his “volunteer” job. Gardner’s campaign also benefited greatly from numerous contributions from members of one of the top home foreclosure law firms in Denver, Castle, Meinhold & Stawiarski. Gardner raked in lots of money from family members, as well as a contribution from former legislative colleague (and Republican National Committeeman) Mark Hillman, who gave Gardner $250 in the three-way GOP primary. Former U.S. Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell’s PAC donated $1,000.

• Tom Lucero (Republican Challenger)

> Amount Raised in Q1: $13,380
> Amount Raised in Q2: $14,851
> Total Raised in 2009: $28,231
> Total Cash on Hand: $3,642
> Candidate Loan Info: N/A

> Top Contributors ($1,000 or more): Ronald Schmitz, executive; Prudence Schmitz, homemaker; Jeff Davis Sandefer, professor; Steven Bosley, CU Regent; Michael Whalen, business owner; Marla Schryver, executive; Daniel Ankarlo, no information available; and Jerry Grace, CEO.

> PACs: None listed.

> Meals and Entertainment Venues: Ovations Food Services, Loveland; Maggiano’s Little Italy, Denver; Mile High Wine and Spirit, Lakewood.

> Payments to Consultants: $13,500 to Andrea Rasey, apparently the only person officially on the campaign. (Make that past tense. Racey departed Lucero’s campaign shortly after this FEC report was filed.)

> Contributions to other candidates: None listed.

> In-kind Contributions: None listed.

> Miscellaneous: County Republican parties should appreciate this guy — he spent $602 on tickets to their dinners around the state. But Lucero, the first Republican to announce in this likely competitive race, already has serious problems. First, there’s that lack of support for his candidacy financially. Where are all those contributions from his much-touted financial advisory committee? Plus, Lucero may be able to get away with hand written financial disclosure reports and arithmetic mistakes in a low-profile regent campaign, but they clearly aren’t the stuff of U.S. Senate campaigns. Lucero might want to invest in some computer software for his campaign. (And probably a calculator, too.)

CD 5:

• Doug Lamborn (Republican Incumbent)

> Amount Raised in Q1: $21,117
> Amount Raised in Q2: $34,471
> Total Raised in 2009: $55,588
> Total Cash on Hand: $73,824

> Candidate Loan Info: $2,500 repaid to Lamborn in Q2

> Top Contributors ($1,000 or more): William Armstrong, III, company president; Carol Bogosian, private investor; and William Hybl, foundation president.

> PACs: 17

> Meals and Entertainment Venues: Capitol Hill Club, Washington, D.C.; Giuseppes, Colorado Springs, CO; Rocklands Real Barbeque, Washington, D.C.;

> Payments to Consultants: $6,201 to Chalise Roy, Alexandria, Va; $575 to The Starboard Group, Littleton, CO.

> Contributions to other candidates: None listed.

> In-kind Contributions: None listed.

> Miscellaneous: Paid $1,119 to Best Buy for a computer notebook; plus gave himself $2,500 as partial repayment for an earlier campaign loan. And Lamborn apparently has mended some fences — he received a $250 contribution from Colorado Springs businessman Steve Schuck, who had supported one of his GOP opponents, Jeff Crank, in both 2006 and 2008.

CD 6:

• Mike Coffman (Republican incumbent)

> Amount Raised in Q1: $59,728
> Amount Raised in Q2: $109,034
> Total Raised in 2009: $168,762
> Total Cash on Hand: $243,450
> Candidate Loan Info: $10,813 repaid to Coffman in Q2

> Top Contributors ($1,000 or more):
Sue Cannon, retired; John Medved, auto dealership owner; Mark Zeller, sales management; Carolyn Saeman, homemaker; John Saeman, business chairman; Terrence Stevinson, corporate secretary; Terry Considine, CEO; John Sie, retired; Gary Loo, investor; Timothy Travis, metal products president; Robert Manning. Jr., capital founder; Dick Robinson, dairy co-CEO; Tim Trumble, vice president of investment group; Allan Heinle, business president; Diane Heinle, secretary/treasurer of business; Robert Tointon, president of business; William Armstrong, III, CEO; Harold Smethills, manager of business; Brent Bickel, finance; Linda Trumble, regional director of company; Timothy Hascall, consultant; Pamela Hascall, homemaker; Judy Black, of counsel to law firm; James Nicholson, senior counsel to law firm; and Dorothy Cook, retired.

> PACs: 25

> Meals and Entertainment Venues: Capitol Hill Club, Washington, D.C.; Footers Catering, Englewood, CO.

> Payments to Consultants: None listed.

Contributions to other candidates: None listed.

> In-kind Contributions: $1,034 from Dick Robinson for food and beverage.

> Miscellaneous: How good it must feel to finally be in Congress! Even your former primary opponent likes you, or at least enough to throw some money Coffman’s way. Plus Coffman raised enough this quarter to repay himself $10,813 towards an outstanding loan.

• David Canter (Democratic Challenger)

> Amount Raised in Q1: $8,896
> Amount Raised in Q2: $5,431
> Total Raised in 2009: $14,327
> Total Cash on Hand: $2,511
> Candidate Loan Info: N/A

> Top Contributors ($1,000 or more): None

> PACs: None listed.

> Meals and Entertainment: El Tequileno, Aurora, CO.

> Payments to Consultants: None listed.

> Contributions to other candidates: None listed.

> In-kind Contributions: None listed.

> Miscellaneous: Canter needs to take it up to a gallop if he hopes to make it a real horse race with Coffman next year. Meanwhile, his predictable paltry fundraising in a basically Republican-leaning district is about on par with that of fellow Democrat John Flerlage.

• John Flerlage (Democratic Challenger)

> Amount Raised in Q1: $11,876
> Amount Raised in Q2: $7,337
> Total Raised in 2009: $19,213
> Total Cash on Hand: $7,695
> Candidate Loan Info: N/A

> Top Contributors ($1,000 or more): None listed.

> PACs: 2

> Meals and Entertainment: None listed.

> Payments to Consultants: None listed.

Contributions to other candidates: None listed.

> In-kind Contributions: $599 for in-kind fundraiser at Capitol Hill Mansion; $4,963 listed from himself for campaign expenses.

> Miscellaneous: Despite receiving the endorsement this week from Delta pilots and the Delta Master Executive Council, we kind of doubt Flerlage, a pilot himself, will be flying off to Washington after next year’s election. CD 6 is not the district for an unknown Democratic challenger.

CD 7:

• Ed Perlmutter (Democratic incumbent)

> Amount Raised in Q1: $202,708
> Amount Raised in Q2: $260,420
> Total Raised in 2009: $463,128
> Total Cash on Hand: $816,028
> Candidate Loan Info: N/A

> Top Contributors ($1,000 or more): Jose Rodriguez, community corrections operator; Robert Thibault, attorney; Michael Stratton, political consultant; Maria Garcia Berry, consulting firm CEO; Scott Chase, government affairs consultant; Michael Levy, attorney; Gabe Gilinski, banker; Timothy Gablehouse, attorney; James McCotter, retired; Tanya Kelly-Bowry, lobbyist; Halina Dziewit, attorney; Michael Dowling, foundation president; Julie Domenick, government relations; Jonathan Kaplan, plastic surgeon; Rick Mars, dentist; Albert Gonzales, consulting firm president; Byron Rex Stephenson, retired; Bruce Nassau, company executive; Patricia Hueni, retired; Suzanne Miller, health plan vice president; Gary Mars, attorney; Evan Zucker, financial executive; Spencer Williams, company president; Chuck DeNovellis, fraternal order of police officer; John Powers, rancher; Byron Rex Stephenson, retired; Jonathan Wornick, investor; Daniel Yohannes, retired; Robert Sanderman, housing company executive; Thomas Congdon, retired; Jerald Johnson, lobbyist; Ruth Wright, retired; Daniel Ades, capital management partner; Michael Feiner, real estate investments; Caren Jacobs Castle, attorney; Ray Kogovsek, lobbyist; Patrick Grant, stock show CEO; Catherine Carlson, policy advisor; Pat Stryker, philanthropist; James Lyons, attorney; Donald Siegel, oil company owner; Gordon Arbuckle, attorney; Robert Katz, resort CEO; Michael Feeley, attorney; John Sie, retired; Regina Biederman, community volunteer; Carol Mizel, design and decorating; Michael Dino, senior policy advisor; Norman Brownstein, attorney; Ray Pittman, development group president; Gregory Johnson, attorney; Alfred Mottur, attorney; Bruce Berger, writer; Gene Myers, real estate; Kyle Simpson, senior policy advisor; Frederic Garvett, attorney; and Lee White, investment banker.

> PACs: 28

> Meals and Entertainment: Twenty-First Fundraising Group, Washington, D.C.; 701 Restaurant, Washington, D.C.; The Monocle on Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C.; Corner Bakery, Washington, D.C.; Bobby Van’s Grill, Washington, D.C.

> Payments to Consultants: $12,072 to Political Development Group LLC, Washington, D.C.

> Contributions to other candidates: $1,000 to Connolly for Congress; Carol Shea-Porter for Congress; Steve Kagen; Perriello for Congress.

> In-kind Contributions: None listed.

> Miscellaneous: The amicable Perlmutter knows how to throw a party, or in this case a fundraiser. Golf tourneys, ski weekends and bowling, what’s not to like? His golf tournament expenses came to $9,875, including goodie bags for participants; $1,330 went for ski instructors at his Vail fundraiser and Perlmutter even provided campaign magnets to bowling guests. And when they were all over? The thoughtful congressman from Colorado’s suburban districts sent the event hosts either flowers or an edible fruit arrangement in appreciation. ($31.98 to 1-800-flowers.com, $40 to Edible Arrangements and $104.98 to FTD.) Who said civility in politics was dead?

• Brian Campbell (Republican Challenger)

> Amount Raised in Q1: $35
> Amount Raised in Q2: $6,886
> Total Raised in 2009: $6,921
> Total Cash on Hand: $415

> Candidate Loan Info: Loaned his campaign $1,658; owes his wife $2,000 for bookkeeping services.

> Top Contributors ($1,000 or more): Angela Campbell, bookkeeper; Brian Campbell, the candidate.

> PACs: None Listed.

> Meals and Entertainment: None listed.

> Payments to Consultants: None listed.

> Contributions to other candidates: None listed.

> Miscellaneous: There’s really not much we can say. The numbers speak for themselves.