July finance reports for Controller candidates

Continuing my look at July 2013 campaign finance reports for city candidates, here’s a look at the reports for the two Contoller hopefuls, incumbent Ronald Green and challenger Bill Frazer.

Candidate Raised Spent On Hand Loan ------------------------------------------------- Green 71,548 31,185 61,905 0 Frazer 52,648 45,956 31,826 15,000

Green report
Frazer report

Bill Frazer

Bill Frazer

As Greg notes, that’s a pretty respectable haul by challenger Frazer. It comes with two qualifiers, however. First, about $9,600 of the total raised was in kind, all of which was listed as catering/food/beverage for a fundraising event. Second, anyone supporting Frazer should be concerned about his burn rate. More than half of the money he spent was for consulting services – $24,500 by my count, $4K of which came from personal funds. Consultants are necessary for a citywide campaign, and good consultants are certainly worth what they’re paid, but that’s an awfully big share of the pie to go to what is basically overhead. That’s a lot of money that’s not being spent on signs or ads or other forms of outreach.

City Controller Ronald Green

City Controller Ronald Green

By comparison, Green spent about $8,500 on consultants, most of which was monthly retainers to his longtime campaign operatives. One could argue that Green isn’t spending enough on consulting services, or that he isn’t getting enough value for what he is spending, but I don’t know how to quantify that, and even if I could the bottom line remains that at this rate Green will have a lot more cash available to do actual voter contact. I know whose position I’d rather be in. Having said that, Green took in less than he did in the same period in 2011, when he raised almost $95K. Not sure what happened this time around.

Beyond that, there was nothing terribly remarkable about either report. Frazer spent some money reaching out to Republicans, who will undoubtedly be a big part of his coalition – $1,250 to the Harris County GOP to sponsor a table at the 2013 Lincoln/Reagan Day event, and $1,500 to the Spring Branch Republicans to sponsor a table at the San Jacinto Day Dinner; both were made from personal funds – but I didn’t see any contributions to him from the usual Republican heavy hitters. Green, who did get $5K from the late Bob Perry, got the usual contributions from the usual PACs and law firms, as do most incumbents. He also spent $31.78 on Twitter advertising. I’ve seen many expenses for Facebook ads over the past few years, but these were the first I can recall for Twitter ads. Yet another new frontier has been entered.

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