Saturday, October 24, 2009

What's Your Burn Rate?

The 5th District campaign of Rep. Mike Murphy (R) sent out an interesting fundraising e-mail that points up the efficiency of his campaign operation compared to the other candidates. He uses the term "burn rate" to compare the percentage of funds raised that has been spent on campaign expenditures. Murphy's campaign spent 16% of the funds it raised in the most recent quarter and 21% of the funds it has raised to date in the campaign. Compare that with the other candidates' burn rates:

Burton = 81%
McVey = 48%
McGoff = 35%
Messer = 27%
Murphy = 21%

Sometimes the more a candidate raises during a campaign the more he or she wastes. I've been appalled sometimes reading campaign finance reports about how much money some candidates waste on various expenditures. The greatest abuse is in the area of political consultants who sometimes grossly overbill their candidate relative to the value of the services they actually furnished to the candidate. Seventh District GOP candidate Jon Elrod was a victim of this in last year's special election race. The Star's "Behind Closed Doors" column this weekend notes an expenditure by U.S. Rep. Andre Carson's campaign of $8,034 for a limousine service in D.C. for constituents who attended a Black Caucus event. The campaign told the Star it also covered the travel cost of participants in a panel discussion Carson led at the event: "Hip-Hop's Impact On The Political Landscape of America." When candidates start spending their campaign money on things of this nature, you know there is too much money in the system.

1 comment:

District5Mom said...

Does Murphy's "burn rate" include spending from his state account? He was a "sponsor" at several Lincoln Days this spring, but his federal reports don't reflect those expenditures.