Someone commented on myDedham that they thought since Bilfar had collected the most money that he must have called in all the favors he had racked up on Beacon Hill. I looked at all the people who gave to Bilafer’s campaign and did find a few lobbyists on there. However, what surprised me more was how many people on that list didn’t live in the district, or even the state. Now we all have friends and family who live in other towns and states, and its only natural they are going to want to help out a friend during a time like this, but I genuinely was surprised at how few people on that list lived in Dedham, Westwood or Walpole.
Out of nearly 120 donations made to the campaign thus far, I only found 5 that came from inside the district, and 2 of those were from Bilafer and his wife. I only found 4 or 5 that I could readily identify as coming from lobbyists but many did not have their employer listed, so I am not sure it is fair to say that thats where all his money is coming from.
I also found 21 donations coming from out of state. To me, that is the bigger deal. If you are getting more than 4 times as many donations from out of state than you are from the district then that tells me something about the level of support you have from the community.
Joanne Flatley seems to have the School Committee locked up – as a member of that committee there is no surprise there. Fellow SC member Margaret Connoly’s campaign account gave a donation, and Committee members Margaret Mathews and Tracy Driscoll each made personal donations as well. One other name that jumped out at me on that list was Mary Wong of Brookline. She was the treasurer for Chris Gabrieli’s campaign and could prove to be a valuable resource if Flatley wins next week.
Cheryl Schoenfeld itemized 70 of her donations, of which over 50 came from outside the district. I was surprised this number was so high. Giving to her campaign were County Commissioner Fran O’Brien and fellow Precinct Chairman Joe Findlen. Both of those men can swing her some votes. The last Democrat, Thomas Boncek, didn’t file a report. I don’t know why.
On the Republican side, Bill McKinney raised the least amount of money, but he did get a $500 donation from Kerry Healy, the former Lt. Governor and gubernatorial candidate. Only 3 of his 27 contributions came from inside the district. Doug Obey only collected $200 of his nearly $15,000 total from inside Dedham. He touts that he has lived in both Westwood and Dedham, but from this report it doesn’t seem like he keeps in touch with his neighbors anymore. Obey is also the only person to have a paid campaign manager. More than 10% of his expenditures were for his salary.
Finally, Independent Paul McMurtry collected more than anyone else save for Bilafer, but more than 75% of his contributions were from inside the district compared to less than 5% of Bilafer’s. The big names on his list that jumped out at me include Town Treasurer Frank Geishecker, Dedham Civic Pride head Amy Black, former School Committee member Kevin Mawe, Blue Bunny owner and leader of the Dedham Square merchants Peter Reynolds, former executive director of the Dedham Community House Marilyn Weber, and Chairman of the Library Trustees Bob Desmond. It seems to me that McMurtry has the broadest base of financial support in town.
McMurtry has also been wise in saving most of his campaign funds. He still has 17.5k in the bank for the general, and he doesn’t have to face a primary opponent. Its going to be interesting, and I’ll try to keep BMG posted, but stop on by myDedham if I don’t and discover for yourselves how it is going.