Ithaca, N.Y. — Ever wonder what Congressional candidates raise and spend during their campaigns?
According to campaign finance reports released Tuesday, Representative Tom Reed, R-Corning, has already spent over half of the $2.4 million he’s raised for his reelection campaign.
Reed sits in the House of Representatives for NY’s 23rd District, which includes Ithaca.
Net contributions total $2,394,397 and net operating expenditures total $1,381,115, which leave him with $1,274,305 left to spend in his campaign as of June 30.
The race between incumbent Reed and Democratic challenger Martha Robertson have the two candidates raising a combined total of nearly $4 million for their campaigns, which surpasses the combined $2.9 million raised by Reed and Democratic challenger Nate Shinagawa for the 2012 election.
(Coming tomorrow: What is candidate Martha Robertson spending her campaign cash on?)
What can $1,381,115 buy during a campaign? Read on to see the breakdown of Reed’s major operating expenditures, which date from January 2013 to June 2014.
Of the 906 individual items reported in the net operations expenditures report, 91 were for catering costs. Some of the catered events were at local restaurants in the 23rd District, such as Reed’s hometown of Corning, NY.
But more than half were catered events in Washington, D.C., far away from voters.
According to a story in The Cornell Daily Sun, Reed has faced criticism that he relies not on local grassroots fundraising during his campaigns but on donations from wealthy out-of-state donors and PACs.
These catering costs dwarf Robertson’s catering events, which top out at $1,847.
Political Strategic Consultant: $70,182
Reed spent upwards of $70k on consulting with Roland-Kelly Inc., a strategic communications firm based in Florida, including one single session that topped $29,000.
Political Contributions: $31,985
Reed spent over $30,000 on political contributions, typically to support the Republican party. Ranging from dinner to donations, Reed contributed to other Republican candidates and committees across New York.
Travel and Lodging: $32,071
Reed traveled from Washington D.C. and Salt Lake City, UT, to Golden, CO, and Chicago, spending over $30,000 on both air travel and hotel rooms.
Reed spent a combined total of nearly $12,000 on advertising, which included his first TV ad of this campaign, entitled My Sister Mary.
Watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X87P3wvqBSo
Other advertising costs included “ad and two dinner tickets” and a race banner.