Farnese vs. Saval: Different Paths to Dollars

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PENNSYLVANIA’S 1st Senatorial District runs along the Delaware River from the Airport to Port Richmond.

BY DAVID LYNN
An epic battle is shaping up in Pennsylvania Senate’s 1st District. Incumbent and 8th Ward Democratic Leader Larry Farnese is getting heat from Nikil Saval, former Democratic leader of Ward 2. The 1st runs along the Delaware River from Eastwick to take in most of South Philadelphia, all Center City and a part of the River Wards.

Both appear to have filed campaign finance reports for 2019 on Friday, Jan. 31, 2020.Summary information is as follows:

STATE SEN. LARRY FARNESE

FRIENDS OF FARNESE
Beginning Cash Balance (1/1/2019) – $61,681.68
Unitemized Contributions ($50.00 or less) – $218.00
PAC Contributions ($50.01 to $250.00) – $250.00
All Other Contributions ($50.01 to $250.00) – $5,625.00
PAC Contributions (Over $250.00) – $196,650.00
All Other Contributions (Over $250.00) – $229,950.00
Total Contributions Received – $432,693.00
Total Funds Available – $494,374.68
Expenditures – $198,039.98
Ending Cash Balance – $296,334.70
In-Kind Contributions – $3,008.16
Debt – $48,321.73

FRIENDS OF NIKIL SAVAL
Beginning Cash Balance – $0.00
Unitemized Contributions – $8,241.60

RECLAIM ACTIVIST NIKIL SAVAL

PAC Contributions ($50.01 to $250.00) – $0.00
All Other Contributions ($50.01 to $250.00) – $27,948.90
PAC Contributions (Over $250.00) – $0.00
All Other Contributions (Over $250.00) – $83,546.00
Total Contributions Received – $119,736.50
Total Funds Available – $119,736.50
Expenditures – $16,047.40
Ending Cash Balance – $103,689.10
In-Kind Contributions – $3,008.16
Debt – $0.00

Both candidates claim six-figure war chests, but the financial advantage clearly rests with Farnese. Farnese ended 2018 with only $61,681.68 in the bank, and $71,386.54. Debts at the end of 2018 included the following:

Montgomery, McCracken, Walker & Rhoads, $7,585.19 Legal Fees
Montgomery, McCracken, Walker & Rhoads, $16,301.35 Legal Fees
Jay Costa for State Senate, $17,500.00 Loan Received
Fumo for Senate, $25,000.00 Loan Received
Fumo for Senate, $5,000.00 Loan Received

Farnese appears to have engaged in some much-needed fundraising to shore up his finances and to face the challenge from Saval he may have seen coming. Much of the money he received was from large contributions from PACs and wealthy donors. He only received $218.00 from unitemized small donors, and $5,625.00 from individuals giving up to $250.00.

By contrast, Saval received $8,241.60 from unitemized contributions, and $27,948.90 from individuals giving up to $250.00. If the small contributions for Saval translate into boots on the ground for canvassing and primary day GOTV, it could spell trouble for Farnese.

On the PAC side, Farnese received a total of $196,900.00 from various PACs. Saval received $0.00. If these PAC dollars from Farnese (many of which came from unions) turn into footsoldiers, Saval will have a difficult time beating Farnese.

Large individual donors to Saval included Greg Garrison (two contributions totaling $10,000.00), Jeremy Glick ($10,000.00), Evan Husted (three contributions totaling $4,900.00), and Daniel Schlozman (two contributions totaling $2,800.00) Casual inspection of Saval’s 2019 annual report indicates he has a number of contributors from outside the Philadelphia area.

Large individual donors to Farnese included Leonidis Addimando ($5,000.00), Aimco Properties LP (two contributions totaling $4,500.00), Bart Blatstein (two contributions totaling $3,000.00), Thomas Caramanico (two contributions totalling $4,000.00), Cristina G. Cavalieri, JD, BSN (two contributions totaling $4,500.00), Christopher Chimicles (two contributions totaling $3,000.00), Steven Cozen (two contributions totaling $6,000.00), Allen Domb ($5,000.00), Ori Feibush ($10,000.00), Frank Giordano (three contributions totaling $6,000.00),Elmer W. Heinel (three contributions totaling $3,000.00), Leo Holt (two contributions totaling $5,000.00), Gary Jonas (three contributions totaling $5,000.00), Mark Nicoletti (two contributions totaling $5,000.00), Jason Nusbaum ($5,000.00), Matthew Pestronk ($5,000.00), Daniel J. Rhoads, Jr. (two contributions totaling $4,000.00), Thomas Scannapieco (two contributions totaling $6,500.00), Jay Shaw (two contributions totaling $3,500.00), Towne Real Estate Co., LLC ($5,000.00), Joseph Volpe (two contributions totaling $4,000.00), Michael Weiss ($3,000.00) and Joseph Zuritsky (three contributions totaling $4,000.00.)

Large PAC contributors to Farnese included AFSCME AFL-CIO 13 PAC (three contributions totaling $4,500.00), Carpenters Legislative Program of Greater Pennsylvania (two contributions totaling $15,000.00), Friends of Lisa Boscola ($5,000.00), Independence Blue Cross PAC (two contributions totaling $2,500.00), International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees Local 8 PAC (two contributions totaling $3,500), IUOE Local 542 PAC (four contributions totaling $20,000.00), IUPAT District Council 21 PAC ($5,000.00), Jay Costa for State Senate ($5,000.00), Pennsylvania Automotive Association (two contributions totaling $5,000.00), Pennsylvania SEIU COPE ($10,000.00), PFT Committee to Support Public Education (two contributions totaling $3,500.00), Philadelphia Builders for Affordable Housing (two contributions totaling $5,000.00), Plumbers Local 690 PAC (three contributions totaling $10,000.00), Sheet Metal Workers Union Local 19 League for Political Education (three contributions totaling $22,500.00), and Steamfitters Local Union 420 Committee on Political Education (two contributions totaling $7,500.00).

On the expenditure side of the reports, Saval busied himself with hiring staff for his campaign, spending $12,453.02 of his $16,047.40 on payroll-related expenses.

Farnese paid $5,000.00 to First Law Strategy Group, LLC for Legal Fees, $5,000 to Fumo for Senate for Loan Repayment, $17,500 to Jay Costa for State Senate for Loan Repayment, and $7,585.19 to Montgomery McCracken, Walker, and Rhoads in what appears to be a loan repayment. Rittenhouse Political Partners received $68,532.98 in consulting and expenses, and Farnese donated a total of $7,500.00 to the Senate Democratic Campaign Committee. The Dover Group received an $8,500.00 retainer related to website design and an additional $8,000.00 related to consulting and expenses.

Farnese’s debts at the end of the year were as follows:

Fumo for Senate, $25,000.00 Loan Received
Klehr, Harrison, Harvey, Branzburg,LLP, $16,301.35 Legal Fees
Klehr, Harrison, Harvey, Branzburg,LLP, $7,020.38 Legal Fees

David Lynn is an independent political analyst in Philadelphia. He provides free campaign-management software at http://papolcm.com and writes at http://winningcampaigns.vote.

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