Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Where Did The Money Go, Greg?

Mayor Greg Ballard may want to ask the people managing his re-election campaign why Democratic mayoral candidate Melina Kennedy has nearly as much cash on hand for her mayoral campaign as he has after his non-stop fundraising efforts the past three years raised largely from city contractors that should have netted his campaign committee close to $3 million. The Star's Jon Murray is reporting Melina Kennedy's campaign has about $1 million in the bank while Ballard's campaign committee says it has about $1.4 million, indicating that his committee has already spent close to half the amount of money it has raised to date before his re-election campaign even kicked off.

Democrat Melina Kennedy is starting the year with a nearly $1 million war chest for her expected bid against Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard, her campaign says.

That puts her not far behind Ballard, whose campaign estimates the Republican has $1.4 million on hand to seek re-election. Kennedy's campaign plans to announce today that she has $939,000 in the bank after raising nearly $900,000 last year.

The 2011 mayor's race is just ramping up, and Kennedy -- who plans to officially announce her candidacy Monday -- still has to defeat at least two other Democratic contenders before she can take on Ballard.

But the large sum solidifies the presumptive Democratic front-runner's status.

With that large of a sum of money on hand, some Republicans might conclude Evan Bayh dumped some of his amassed millions in left over campaign money into Kennedy's campaign but that is not the case. Kennedy's largest campaign contribution came from Nasser Hanna, the doctor who was upset in his Democratic primary bid last year to take on U.S. Rep. Dan Burton. Hanna gave Kennedy $60,000. Murray's story notes Ballard started last year off with $1 million in the bank compared to Kennedy's $220,000. Ballard spent only $375,000 in his upset win over Peterson in 2007. Kennedy is clearly raising and spending her money more efficiently than Ballard, which indicates she will have at least spending parity with him going into this year's election. If Bayh makes a substantial contribution to Kennedy as expected this year, Kennedy could actually have more money than Ballard to spend on her campaign.


Barnard said...

Where did the $ go? Let's just assume he spent $300K. That seems like a lot in a non-election year but what the heck. If he started year with $1M on hand that would mean he only raised $700K. That would mean a challenger out raised an incumbent mayor by $200K or 20+% in a non-election year.

Or if he raised the $1 - $1.5M you would expect an incumbent mayor to raise..... what the heck did he spend it on? I can't wait to see his report.

varangianguard said...

First, welcome back AI!

Second, with all the material Mayor Ballard has amassed in three short years, Ms. Kennedy's ad campaign ought to be very entertaining.

Paul K. Ogden said...


I pointed this out before about Ballard's 2009 report. The media all focused on how much was raised. But the astonishing thing in the report is how much Ballard an off year! That's not the way political campaigns work. In off years, you shut almost everything down so your expenses are a fraction of what they are in an election year. The war chest gets built up going into the election year.

When I looked at Ballard's 2009 report, his off year spending was almost as much as Governor Daniels'. The media though just focuses on how much raised.

If Ballard only has $1.4 million that means he is probably spending about 80% of the money he's bringing in. Unbelievable.

Good to see you back, Gary. You had me worried with the two week hiatus from posting.

guy77money said...

How in the world could Ballard have spent over $300,000 dollars in a off year? Sounds like some people on his staff are getting well compensated or they are just filling their pockets with money just like all his so called supporters. I will no longer be surprises by anything Ballard does for the rest of his term.

Welcome back Gary! Hope you had some blog less fun the holidays!

Paul K. Ogden said...

Guy77, Ballard's campaign spent $429,349 in 2008 and $362,504 in 2009, both off years. That is an astonishing level of spending by an incumbent in years when you're not even doing any media.

Marycatherine Barton said...