Harp Campaign Tops $100K

Official numbers aren’t in yet, but the campaign of mayoral candidate Toni Harp announced exceeding the $100,000 fundraising mark late Friday afternoon.

The five Democratic candidates for mayor are required to file detailed campaign contribution reports by next Wednesday with the City/Town Clerk’s Office on their fundraising to date. Those filings offer candidates a chance to present their campaigns as either juggernauts with broad public support, or magnets for grassroots small donors. The filings also offer opponents a chance to hunt for the names of controversial donors.

The Harp campaign sought to jump the gun on the other candidates by releasing a tentative number Friday afternoon.

The campaign reported having received $116,967 in donations so far. The final number should probably be higher by the time reports are filed, said campaign manager Jason Bartlett.

Bartlett said the campaign didn’t begin fundraising until after June 5, when the legislative session ended.

“The senator [Harp is a state senator] was in session. We didn’t really have any fundraisers until after session. So we literally added over $100,000 in three weeks. We’re excited. It demonstrates that people in New Haven and the region want to see a new leader and help her craft her message and get it out to to the people,” Bartlett said.

He added that at least 145 of the total of about 500 donations were in small amounts from city-based contributors.

According to a release from the Harp campaign, 80 percent of donations were for $250 or less, amounting to about $45,000, or 38 percent of the total.

“We’re on pace to keep up with the Democracy Fund candidates in terms of our small donors in the city,” Bartlett said.

Harp and another candidate, Henry Fernandez, have opted not to participate in the Fund, the city’s public-financing system. Three candidates—Justin Elicker, Kermit Carolina, and Sundiata Keitazulu—have signed onto the program. That means they limit themselves to $370 from any individual contributor, rather than $1,000; and they swear off corporate and other special-interest committee money. In return, they get a $19,000 grant and matching public dollars. Those participating in the program have criticized Fernandez and Harp for allowing special interests to have more of an influence on the process.

Fernandez, Carolina, and Keitazulu could not be immediately reached for comment.

Attorney Mike Stratton, fundraiser for the Elicker campaign, said the East Rock alderman has raised more than $116,000.

“If that’s Toni’s entire” fundraising total, “that’s less than the total that Justin has raised,” Stratton said.

“We plan on releasing our numbers later,” said Elicker. “And we’ve been focusing on all along on contributions from New Haven residents because the election is going to be won by votes from New Haven residents,” and the elected mayor will have to represent New Haven residents.

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posted by: cedarhillresident! on July 5, 2013  6:15pm

Where is the link to the donors???

We can see Elickers…were are Harps and Henry’s

Paul can you please post this info?

posted by: FrontStreet on July 5, 2013  6:40pm

pay-to-play, baby.  And how can we expect real change in New Haven, with the same old faces taking the same, worn out old money?

posted by: TheWizard on July 5, 2013  11:06pm

So “I’ve got more money than you” appears to be a key issue for some folks in our town.  Didn’t CT beat the &%$*!# out of Linda McMahon for running a big money campaign?

posted by: Noteworthy on July 5, 2013  11:10pm

I can’t wait to see the list of Harp’s contributors. You can take it to the bank, it’s a virtual who’s who of state contractors, lobbyists and special interests. Harp should quit the campaign and keep raising money to pay off her family debts to taxpayers - federal, state and local.

posted by: Christopher Schaefer on July 6, 2013  7:09am

“at least 145 of the total of about 500 donations were in small amounts from city-based contributors.” TRANSLATION: only c. 29% were from New Haveners—the remaining c. 71% of her donors are not even New Haven residents, but outside, special-interest groups who will expect Harp to do their bidding.  Cronyism is alive and well in New Haven.

posted by: Wooster Squared on July 6, 2013  7:18am

When is NHI going to release the list of Toni’s donors?

[Editor: When we get them. The campaign doesn’t have to release them until Wednesday.]

posted by: HewNaven on July 6, 2013  9:13am

The Register is reporting that ONLY 29% OF HARP DONORS ARE NEW HAVEN RESIDENTS. That makes 71% of donations coming from out-of-towners. Why was this left out of the story? Who does Toni Harp want to work for?


posted by: Walt on July 6, 2013  10:34am

Good point Cedar Hill.

How do we see Elicker’s?  Is it here and I missed it?


[Editor: Elicker and the rest of the candidates were contacted; none was yet ready to release a number. The lists of contributors get released mid-week next week.]

posted by: New Haven Taxpayer on July 6, 2013  10:48am

“at least 145 of the total of about 500 donations were in small amounts from city-based contributors.”
I guess we can assume 355 of the total of about 500 donations were in large amounts from out-of-town contributors!
JD 2.0

posted by: cedarhillresident! on July 6, 2013  10:37pm

Walt they are posted at eCRIS but not this months yet.

posted by: BenBerkowitz on July 7, 2013  12:56am


Excited to see the results Wednesday. Would be great to see an infographic(pie charts maybe?) of the four candidates’ contributions. (in-town v. out of town) 

Not sure if home address is part of those records but I’m sure some local data geeks would be happy to parse and visualize if made available.

Personally still undecided the source of contributions will be a key deciding factor for my vote.

posted by: David S Baker on July 7, 2013  3:15pm

@ Ben “Personally still undecided the source of contributions will be a key deciding factor for my vote.”

I can understand that if a candidate were grossly unqualified you might make that a greater factor in your decision making,  but I am floored that you made this statement in a public forum given the nature of your business.

posted by: BenBerkowitz on July 7, 2013  4:52pm

Hey Dave,

Fair point. I would have left that comment out had I thought that it would be taken as an up vote or down vote for any one candidate or party. 

I am open about many governance and electoral polices that I support. 

We have a corporate policy that I am not allowed to publicly endorse any individual politician or contribute any money to a campaign.  I take that very seriously and was the person who asked for it to be put in place.

I do make many voting decisions based on where the candidate’s money has come from at local, state and federal levels.  I think all people should take this into consideration when they vote.  I hope that the Independent is diligent in publishing as much data as possible so we can all make the most informed decisions available to us.

Thanks again for voicing your concern. I will be more careful in making comments that may be misinterpreted in public forums in the future.


posted by: Chucky_Deeds on July 7, 2013  5:40pm

She IS using “KENO” to raise all this money, right?  That seems to be the trend…

posted by: Winston on July 7, 2013  9:12pm

Sorting contribution data for the 2011 DeStefano for Mayor campaign reveals that only 18% of dollars raised were from New Haven residents:


So at 28% Harp is marginally better.  But if the vast majority of campaign contributions is still coming from outsiders, one has to ask whose interests are being served and if the interests of New Haven residents will come first or second.