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Harp, Elicker Neck & Neck In Fundraising

by Thomas MacMillan | Oct 10, 2013 4:56 pm

(21) Comments | Commenting has been closed | E-mail the Author

Posted to: Campaign 2013

(Updated with a list of top Harp donors.) Mayoral candidates Toni Harp and Justin Elicker raised money at equal rates in September. Harp burned through her money, leaving her with just $1,829 on hand as of Oct. 3. Elicker had $78,000 to spare.

Those numbers are revealed in the candidates’ latest campaign finance disclosure statements, submitted Thursday to the city clerk’s office.

Democrat Harp and petitioning candidate Elicker are running to be the next mayor of New Haven. Election day is Nov. 5.

The latest financial documents cover a time period spanning Sept. 3—a week before the primary—and Oct. 3.

Click here to read Elicker’s campaign filing. Click here, here, and here to download Harp’s filing in three sections.

During that time, the Harp campaign raised $85,155 from individuals and $17,500 from committees, for a total of $103,955.

The Elicker campaign took in $96,823.21 from individuals and $3,530 from the Democracy Fund, the city’s public campaign financing program. Elicker’s total haul for the period was $100,353.21.

(A previous Independent story, before the official filings came out, incorrectly reported that the Harp campaign had pulled ahead in fundraising.)

Both candidates went into September with about $33,000 on hand, giving them roughly equal war chests for the month. But while the Elicker campaign spent $55,081.77 in September, the Harp campaign shelled out $139,730, well more than twice as much as her rival.

As of Oct. 3, the Harp campaign was down to $1,829 on hand, while Elicker had $79,000.

The Harp filing states that the Harp campaign carried over $23,448 in unpaid expenses from before Sept. 2, and added $2,000 more in September. Campaign manager Jason Bartlett said that’s an error. The total unpaid expenses is actually about $4,500, he said. That includes about $2,500 the campaign still owes him, he said.

Bartlett said the Harp campaign will file an amended disclosure on Friday, correcting the error.

The Elicker campaign didn’t report any unpaid expenses for September, but had $580 of debt from prior to Sept. 2.

Harp spokesman Patrick Scully said the campaign is not worried about having so little cash on hand.

“We’ve raised a significant amount of money in the last week” since the filing period ended, he said. “We’re not concerned. The response has been fantastic.”

Who Gave How Much

Elicker participated in the public-financing Democracy Fund before the primary, agreeing to collect individual donations of only $370 or less and not to take money from committees. In exchange, he earned grant money and matching dollars from the fund. Elicker can’t participate in the Democracy Fund in the general election; he has vowed o continuing to follow its fundraising requirements voluntarily.

Harp isn’t a Democracy Fund candidate and can collect donations of up to $1,000, and money from committees.

Harp’s Top Donors

Harp’s list of top donors includes 13 who are city contractors (marked with a *) and one person, former mayoral candidate Matt Nemerson, who identified himself as a lobbyist (marked with a †).

A total of 66 people gave Harp $370 or more. They are:

Norman L Bender, Retired, $370
Yehoshua Rosenstein, Rabbi, $370
Charles Pillsbury, $400
Dianibel Aviles, Branford Board of Ed, Coordinator, $500
Kent Bloomer, Yale, Professor, $500
Steven J Calcagni, Calcagni Associates, Real Estate, $500
*Mark J Cerreta, Lindley Acquisition Corp, Executive, $500
Marian R Chertow, Yale, Professor, $500
Richard E Couch, Martin Couch and Assoc., Engineer, $500
Patrick J Egan, City of New Haven, Asst. Fire Chief, $500
*James H Gatling , New Opportunities, Inc, President/CEO, $500
Gordon T Geballe, Yale, teacher, $500
Joanne Goldblum, National Dept Bank, Social Worker, $500
Linda Goodman, Self, social worker, $500
*Paul Haynes, Haynes Group, Owner, $500
Elaine F Katinger, Adv. Radiology Cnslt., Xray Tech, $500
James H Maloney, Ct Inst Comms, Executive, $500
*William L Mathis, Springs of Live Gvg Water, Pastor, $500
*Vincent C McDermott, , $500
Richard E McLaren, Terracon Consultans, Engineer, $500
Steven G Murphy, Envision Healthcare, SVP Gov’t/Nat Ser, $500
Randel G Owen, Envision Healthcare, CFO/COO, $500
W Martyn Philpot Jr., Self, Attorney, $500
Erin A Pringle, AMC Environmental, LLC, Treasurer, $500
Leonard P Rosati Sr., Tri-State Brick of CT, Sales, $500
*Gilbert J Rossomando, Lindley Acquisition Corp, Food service, $500
William Sanger, Envision Healthcare, CEO, $500
John F Stafstrom Jr., Pullman + Comley LLC, Attorney, $500
James Calvin Tillman, student, $500
Edward Van Home, AMS, Ambulance Service, $500
Todd G Zimmerman, EmCare, CEO, $500
*John M Milone Jr., Milone & MacBroom Inc., Engineer, $750
*Alfonso F Barbarotta, AB Management, $1000
Edward James Barrett, The Morganit Group Inc., Construct Estim, $1000
Anna Blanding Pilliner, Self, Consultant, $1000
Thomas W Bucci, Willinger, Willinger & Bucci, Attorney, $1000
William Clendenen Jr., Clendenen + Shea, Lawyer, $1000
Ardell Cowie, , $1000
Branford S Dimeo, Dimeo Construction Company, Executive, $1000
William Dyson, CCSU, Teacher, $1000
*Laurie Fusco, Fusco Corporation, Project Manager, $1000
*Lynn Fusco, Fusco Corporation, President , $1000
*Mary R Fusco, Village Francais, Managing Partner, $1000
*Edmund Fusco Jr., Fusco Corporation, CEO, $1000
Francine Goldstein, Self, Marketing, $1000
Timothy Gunn, The Morganti Group Inc., Vice President, $1000
Toni Hirst, New Opportunities, Inc., CAO, $1000
Kenneth Horton, Horton LLC, Electrician, $1000
Jocelyne Istambouli, The Morganti Group Inc., System Manager, $1000
Lorna Lamoureux, Iota Inc., Business Manager, $1000
Reginald Mayo, , $1000
John McClutchy, , $1000
Lesley Mills, , $1000
Elisabeth Morten, Self, Producer/Author, $1000
John H Motley, Self, $1000
Sandra T Nasti, Retired, $1000
Frank L Nasti Jr., Retired, Chemical Engineer, $1000
†Matthew L Nemerson, CTC, President/CEO, $1000
Marshall S Ruben, Ruben Horan PC, $1000
Marie Sgueglia, Advanced Office Systems, Management, $1000
Nabil Moussa Takla, The Morganti Group, CEO, $1000
Robert Tripi, The Morganti Group, Bus. Development, $1000
*Robert C Viani, New Haven Plaza LLC, Real Estate, $1000
Sandra G Wagenfeld, Self, Aerospace, $1000
Ann Marie W Willinger, Willinger, Willinger & Bucci, Attorney, $1000
Charles J Willinger, Willinger, Willinger & Bucci, Attorney, $1000

Elicker’s Top Donors

With the primary over, the donation limits are reset. Donors who gave $1,000 in the primary can give $1,000 more in the general election. Elicker is now collecting money from people who contributed $370 to his primary campaign. Some Elicker donors listed in the last filing period thus gave a total of over $370, counting donations from before and after the primary.

None of Elicker’s top donors are city contractors or lobbyists.

A total of 159 people gave Elicker $370 or more. They are:

Laura Clarke, arts advocate and volunteer, self, $740
David Leffell, physician, Yale, $740
Karen Wynn, Professor, Yale University, $740
Sharon Milikowsky, librarian, Norwalk Public Library, $555
Susan Campion, Contractor, Self, $496
Denise Acampora, Lecturer, Yale University, $470
Paul Campion, Vice President, Adecco Group USA, $470
Jessica Feinleib, anesthesiologist, VA, $470
Douglas Rae, professor, Yale, $450
Allie Perry, Pastoral Counselor, self-employed, $440
Sean Hundtofte, Student, Yale, $430
Mary McGrath, Student, Yale University, $420
James Alexander, Retired, Retired, $370
Martha Alexander, Retired, Retired, $370
Victor Altshul, $370
Nancy Antle, Writer, Self, $370
Rick Antle, Professor, Yale, $370
Christine Barker, Attorney, Zangari Cohn, $370
Jennifer Baron, $370
Eric Berger, physician, self, $370
Ethel Berger, Book Illustrator, Self, $370
Steven Berry, academic, Yale University, $370
Phil Bleich, retired, Retired, $370
Wojtek Borowski, $370
Helena Brett-Smith, Research Physician, Bristol Myers Squibb, $370
Grace Bright, Library Asst, Yale University, $370
David Budries, Sound Design, Yale University, $370
Maureen Burke, Lecturer, Yale, $370
David Cameron, Educator, Yale University, $370
Carolyn Casillo, consulting, self, $370
Belinda Chan, Physician, CMG, $370
Mimi Chapnick, Chiropracter, Self, $370
Randall Chapnick, Lawyer, Self, $370
Henry Chauncey, Retired, Retired, $370
Judith Chevalier, Professor, Yale, $370
Kevin Coady, Real Estate, Self, $370
Roxanne Coady, Bookseller, RJ Julia Booksellers, $370
Katha Cox, NA, NA, $370
David Crosson, Student, $370
Eliezer Cruz, Administrator, Community Foundation for Greater New Haven, $370
Jan Cunningham, Artist, SELF, $370
Anthony Cuomo, Real Estate Mgmt, Self, $370
Jeptha Curtis, Physician, Yale University, $370
Renate Dicks, Office Mgr, Key Human Services, $370
Michael Doolittle, Photographer, Self, $370
William J Doyle, retired, none, $370
Ashley Elicker, Senior Mgr Finance, Panera Bread, $370
Gordon Elicker, Retired, NA, $370
Joan Elicker, NA, NA, $370
Harold Ellis, Self, Self, $370
Nicholas Evans, Software Developer, CogState, $370
Joel Faxon, atty, self, $370
Rocco Fiore, Water Treatment Plant Operator, Regional Water Authority, $370
Terry Gilbertson, Building Officer, Town of Woodbridge, $370
William Goetzmann, Professor, Yale University, $370
Duncan Goodall, Entrepreneur, Self, $370
Melissa Goodall, Deputy Dir of Sustainability, Yale University, $370
Nancy Greenberg, Real Estate Development, Verdigri’s Ventures LLC, $370
Donald Harvey, Retired, NA, $370
Robert Henninger, IT, ATT, $370
Matthew Higbee, Comm Fdn for Greater NH, $370
Gisela Hobman, Retired, Retired, $370
Joseph Hoffman, physiologist, retired, $370
Susan Holahan, Teacher, City of New Haven Bd of Ed, $370
Lisa Howie, Director of Investments, Yale University, $370
Mary Hu, Yale University, $370
Bernadette Huang, Coordinator, Yale University, $370
Alison Illick, NA, NA, $370
Christopher Illick, Physician, Digestive Disease Associates, $370
Heather Jessen, Writer, Self employed, $370
Bruce Johnson, Retired, Retired, $370
Gerald Kahn, Attorney, Gerald Kahn LLC, $370
Fay Kandarian, Retired, None, $370
Helen Kauder, Arts Admin, Artspace, $370
Cindy Kissin, $370
Jonathan Knisely, Physician, North Shore LIJ Health System, $370
Richard Kramer, Retired, Retired, $370
Michael Krauss, Architect, Self, $370
David Ladd, Investment Advisor, Ladd Capital Mgmt, $370
John Lapides, manufacturer, United Aluminum, $370
Anthony Law, Architect, Self, $370
Cindy Leffell, Self, Self, $370
Jim Levinsohn, Professor, Yale University, $370
Kay Long, Consultant, FTI Consulting, $370
Elizabeth Lopez, Self, Self, $370
Henry Lord, Investor, N/A, $370
Donald Margulies, Playwright, Yale University, $370
Anna Marie Festa, NA, NA, $370
Richard Marottoli, Physician, Yale New Haven Hospital, $370
Sven Martson, retired, self, $370
Bailey McCallum, Renewable Energy Development, Element Power, $370
Hope Metcalf, Lawyer/Teacher, Yale Law School, $370
Andrew Metrick, Professor, Yale University, $370
Susan Metrick, homemaker, none, $370
Bonaventura Mezza, Retired, N/A, $370
Jennifer Milikowsky, Student, Student, $370
Sarah Miller, Editor, Yale University Press, $370
Grayson Murphy, NA, Retired, $370
Barry Nalebuff, Professor, Yale univ., $370
Robert Narracci, Architectural Designer, PCPA, $370
David Newton, Consultant, Elm Advisors LLC, $370
Christopher Nicotra, Investor, Olympia Properties, $370
Andrew Nyhart, Architect, Pelli Clark Pelli, $370
Barbara O’Brien, Attorney, IRIS, $370
Katherine O’Leary, Attorney, Geenty Group Realtors, $370
Carol Orr, shop owner, self employed, $370
Robert Orr, architect, robert orr and associates, $370
Sharon Oster, professor, yale university, $370
Robert Pellegrino, Attorney, Pellegrino & Pellegrino, LLC, $370
Christian Pettker, Physician, Yale University, $370
Patricia Pierce, Retired, Retired, $370
Charles Pillsbury, law professor, Quinnipiac University, $370
Lauren Pinzka, Lecturer, Yale, $370
Steven Podos, Research Scientist, Achillion Pharmaceuticals, $370
Celia Ponvert, NA, NA, $370
Jason Pricey, Physician, Yale New Haven Hospital, $370
Deta Reid, Art History, W. Hartford Public Schools, $370
Heidi Richard, Director, Yale University, $370
Joan Elicker Richards, Former Educator, retired, $370
Susanne Roberts, historian, retired, $370
June Sachs, Self employed, The Yarn Store, $370
Lisa Sanders, Doctor, $370
Robin Sauerteig, Self, $370
Jane Savage, Mgmt, Yale, $370
Debra Schaffer, Bank of America, Banker, $370
Ted Schaffer, Real Estate, Self, $370
Peter Schott, Professor, Yale, $370
Alan Schwartz, Law Profesor, Yale, $370
Marjorie Shansky, Attorney, Self, $370
Thomas Shrader, Corporate Partnerships, Yale, $370
Claire Simon, writer, self-employed, $370
John Simon, Professor Emeritus of Law, Yale University, $370
Eric Smith, attorney, Stratton Faxon Trial Lawyers, LLC, $370
Hunter Smith, Lawyer, David Rosen & Associates, $370
Judith Snow, Exec. Mgmt, N/A, $370
David Steinhardt, CEO, D.S. Sewing Inc, $370
A Douglas Stone, Professor, Yale, $370
Mary Stone, Psychiatrist, Yale, $370
Susan Stone, $370
Barry Stratton, Real Estate Agent, Geenty Group Realtors, $370
Colleen Stratton, President, CGS Business Financial Services, $370
Michael Stratton, Lawyer, Stratton Faxon, $370
Sabra Stratton, Student, NA, $370
Lynn Street, Physician, Self, $370
Jeffrey Summerville, Owner, Summerville Consulting, $370
Martha Summerville, Owner, Summerville Consulting, $370
Laura Sundstrom, Midwife, Women’s Health Associates, $370
Shel Swanson, Midwife, Self, $370
Arlene Szczarba, sales, self employed, $370
Christopher Udry, Professor, Yale Universtiy, $370
Stephen Victor, Program Planner/Archaeologist, Retired, $370
Brian Virtue, Owner, Christopher Martins Restaurant, $370
Suzanne Whitty, CPA, Yale, $370
John Witt, Professor, Yale University, $370
Amy Wrzesniewski, Professor, Yale University, $370
James Yu, Physician, Yale University, $370
Andrew Zehner, Attorney, University of CT, $370
Edward Zelinsky, Law Professor, Cardozo Law School, Yeshiva University, $370
Seth Zeren, Project Manager, RCG, LLC, $370

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posted by: TheMadcap on October 10, 2013  5:13pm

So, now it’s not even the fact Justin’s contriburtions come 80% from New Haven vs Harp’s near 80% from the suburbs, Elicker has now collected more money from people now as well, and that’s with the lower limit.(and yeah, people can bundle contributions together, but Harp supporters can do the same thing with a much higher limit)

posted by: J.R. Logan on October 10, 2013  7:07pm

This is a pretty amazing achievement for Elicker, particularly when you consider the self-imposed clean election limitations of abiding by the principles of the Democracy Fund. My guess is that his dollars will go further because he has been so successful at building his base of supporters, volunteers and advocates in New Haven. Throughout the campaign I have been continually impressed at how adept he has been at managing challenges and making the most of opportunities. These are skills that bode well for what he can bring to the table as mayor. I have the outlook that New Haven is great, but can be even better. I see many who share this optimism volunteering, including myself, to help Justin reach more people. All facts that give me the impression that Justin’s chances of winning are getting better day by day.

posted by: citoyen on October 10, 2013  11:12pm

Justin deserves enormous credit for the principled and disciplined way he has both raised money and spent money.

Bodes well for a city managed under an Elicker administration.

Makes me decide to add to my donation (still under a total of $370).

Justin is the real deal.

posted by: ELMCITYPROF on October 11, 2013  11:00am

Privilege is truly an amazing phenomenon. Especially when we are either unable or unwilling to acknowledge our own privilege. I think it’s great that Elicker has been able to raise so much money “in the City.” But let’s be clear, that money is coming from particular segments of the city that are quite economically distinct from the average New Haven resident. If in fact that argument being made by many posters is that Elicker’s ability to raise lots of money from such interests makes him more accountable than Harp, then we also have to be honest about to whom he will be accountable once he’s elected. There have been a number of articles about how race will shape residents’ vote choice. When do we start talking about class?? That seems to be a major line of division in this city whether we’re talking about policy priorities or campaign donations.

posted by: cedarhillresident! on October 11, 2013  11:46am

When doing the data map (if one is done) I would love to see a state map included. If 80% of harps donations are from out side New Haven it would be nice to see who are they are on the map.

posted by: woosterbill on October 11, 2013  11:56am

@ELMCITYPROF

News flash: disadvantaged “lower class” people living in poverty don’t have the financial ability to donate to either candidate. Both are being financed by overwhelmingly by people with disposable income.

The difference is that Elicker’s rich donors actually live in the city he’s hoping to represent, while Harp’s rich donors don’t.

If you want to talk about privilege, then you can’t help talking about about the fact that Harp lives a million dollar mansion that’s financed by her family business that happens to be the largest tax evader in the state. Is that really where you want to take this conversation?

If you want to criticize Elicker for the affluence of his donor base, then you can’t help but see that Harp’s rich donors have far more to gain from her administration, since so many of them are suburban-dwelling contractors and union members. New Haven has a long, dismal history of pay-to-play politics that have hurt the low-income residents more than anyone; Harp has already suggested that she will continue these practices by selling access. Is that really where you want to take the conversation?

Trying to spin Elicker’s impressive fund-raising (impressive both for its success and its ethics) as anything but a positive reflection of his candidacy is a fool’s errand. You should try saying something good about your own preferred candidate instead.

Good luck with finding something positive to say about Harp on this issue.

posted by: TheMadcap on October 11, 2013  12:21pm

@ELMCITYPROF

Let’s not pretend Harp’s big donations are not also mostly coming from the same exact privileged demographic, it’s just her privileged people don’t even live in New Haven.

posted by: dmarie on October 11, 2013  12:29pm

ElmCityProf, do the poor donate to any political campaigns? No, they can’t afford to. So to imply that either candidate will not represent the interests of the poor in this city because they are not collecting donations from those people is a stretch. So, given that you won’t see donations from the poor in either candidate’s column, which class of donors WOULD be more interested in seeing the plight of the poor improved—Justin Elicker’s donors, who share their home town with these poor people, or Toni Harp’s, who live in the suburbs and may work in and for the city, but don’t actually have a stake in it?

posted by: Citizen X on October 11, 2013  1:09pm

Now that the Elicker camp seems to think that getting political donations from citizens is the new measure of success, I must ask, “Why has Elicker NEVER donated to any Democratic candidate?”

He is a man of means. He grew up in a million-dollar home. There are a lot of slaps on the back for people deciding to write checks for a man who has never written a such a check.

Something very strange with his claims of being a “passionate Democrat.”

posted by: Jonathan Hopkins on October 11, 2013  1:25pm

“Some Elicker donors listed in the last filing period thus gave a total of over $370, counting donations from before and after the primary.”

Was the same done for the Harp contributions, or is Harp’s list only from the latest filing? Have any of the 66 people on Harp’s list donated to her before or are they all first time donors?

posted by: anonymous on October 11, 2013  1:26pm

This is the most important line in the piece:

“None of Elicker’s top donors are city contractors or lobbyists.”

posted by: webblog on October 11, 2013  1:43pm

The only thing this list demonstrates is that the average Joe in New Haven gets no respect, the average Joe’s of New Haven only role in this campaign is to provide the vote.

But even there of with all eligible voters, including those listed above, only 29% turned out in the recent primary and 29% in the 2011 general election. The prediction by Elicker is that the % would rise by 4% in the 2013 general election.

so let’s hope that the average Joe’s get hired at a good rate by the two campaigns to work at the poles, instead of all the money going to pollsters, TV and the campaign managers.

posted by: flash_demo on October 11, 2013  1:44pm

Contributions to the Harp Campaign from lower income residents will come in the form of votes.  Votes bought with barbecues and buffets for the innercity and (an almost aggressive assault) on senior centers.  Buses, vans will all be on hand and the collection of absentee ballots is strong armed and aggressive as well. If one didn’t know better, one would think that New Haven was comprised of blacks and a few Hispanics.  Talk about exclusionary!

posted by: Fairhavener on October 11, 2013  1:46pm

@Citizen X: I think I may have a hunch about your question. Justin seems first an foremost to be an ethical man with strong principles. Could it be that he has just not seen any Democratic candidate whose campaign he has not been willing to donate to? I am young and I had never given to any Democratic campaign, either, until I was able to find in Justin a candidate worth supporting with more than my vote.

The Harps and DeStefanos of the world who rely on pay-to-play politics to win elections are, for me, not nearly as inspiring enough to give more than one if any of my dollars.

posted by: TheMadcap on October 11, 2013  3:05pm

@Citizen X

Two camps can play this game. Why has Harp, a big name state Democrat who has been a state senator for two decades, who is worth millions of dollars, only ever given two donations in the past decade according to the FEC? Apparently they’re both pretty terrible democrats who don’t care about the party that much. You railed against the Elicker camp trying to use campaign donations as a metric for anything but want to point to political contributions from the candidates themselves. If this matters so much I hope you voted for Henry Fernandez in the primary because the FEC search engine has him listed with the most donations to Democratic candidates.(although I do believe the FEC search only shows larger donations of at least 3 digits). At least Elicker actually spend several years of the past decade living most of the time in Hong Kong and Taiwan, which gives him a reason for not being too interested in donating to elections back home at the time.

posted by: HenryCT on October 11, 2013  3:41pm

The manifold charges that Harp represents developers and lobbyists would have some weight if those making the charges provided any evidence that she has ever done so.

She has a long record in government. Several years as Alder, 20 years as State legislator. Surely you can dig up some real dirt.

If not, the thoughtful voter is left wondering how you draw dire conclusions from zero facts.

posted by: David S Baker on October 11, 2013  5:18pm

If one more Harp supporter accuses me of being an elitist, or socioeconomicly biased because of my Elicker donation, I’m going to go hide in the wine cellar of my party house.

posted by: Citizen X on October 11, 2013  10:46pm

Two things, Madcap.

Has Harp ever run as something other than a Democrat?

Has Harp ever endured five years of serving a corrupt Republican administration in Washington?

There is reason that all of this adds up to Elicker being hard to understand. He is all over the map and, therefore, untrustworthy.

posted by: HereWeGoAgain on October 12, 2013  9:45am

Notice the $1000 contribution that Reginald Mayo made to Harp’s campaign - his insurance to remain a behind the scenes player in the New Haven school system.  The nepotism, political payoffs in the form of administration/teaching jobs, etc.  will continue if Harp is elected.  There needs to be a change - and Elicker is that change!

posted by: ohnonotagain on October 12, 2013  1:41pm

Impressive Justin Elicker…...keep up the good fight and the high integrity! Wonderful candidate and happy to be supporting him.

posted by: ELMCITYPROF on October 18, 2013  3:53pm

I love the totally incorrect assumption that I’m voting for Toni Harp because I dare raise a critique of supporters’ claims about the connection between donations and accountability. Save the snark, let’s focus on substance.

I am an Elicker supporter. That doesn’t diminish my point that we all need to take a step back and stop acting as if accepting money from the Democracy Fund or raising lots of money in the general election means that a political candidate won’t be beholden to certain interests. The fact that so much energy is spent dissecting campaign donations supports the broader point that the increasing importance of money in US elections further silences the voices of voters and communities in greatest need of effective political representation. That critique is valid regardless of candidate or political party

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