Harp, Elicker Raise $100K Each

(This story has been corrected and updated.) As they enter Round 2 of the race for mayor, candidates Justin Elicker and Toni Harp have been raising money at roughly equal rates.

Elicker, who’s running as a petitioning candidate for mayor after losing a four-way Democratic primary on Sept. 10, faces an uphill challenge against Democrat-endorsed candidate Harp in a Nov. 5 general election.

In the 24 days after the primary, Elicker raised $85,000 from 454 donors, according to a press release his campaign sent out on Monday afternoon. Including money raised in the week before the primary, the Elicker campaign took in $100,353.21.

During the same period, Harp raised “just under $104,000,” according to campaign spokesman Patrick Scully. He said that includes money from individuals as well as committees.

The full details of how much money Elicker and Harp collected and from whom will be revealed Thursday, when candidates are required to file campaign finance forms with the city/town clerk. Click here and here for analysis of previous campaign filings.

Harp raised at total of $287,413 before the primary. Elicker raised $170,000.

During the primary campaign, Elicker participated in the Democracy Fund, the city’s public campaign financing program. He received public grants and matching funds in exchange for taking only contributions of $370 or less and not taking money from committees. Elicker can’t receive public money in the general election, but he has vowed to voluntarily abide by the fund’s requirements.

Harp is not participating in the Democracy Fund, and can take donations of up to $1,000 and money from special interests.

Throughout his campaign, Elicker has raised most of his money from New Haveners. Of the 454 donors who gave to his campaign in the most recent fundraising period, 89 percent live in New Haven, according to his campaign.

“To me what is significant about it is that we don’t have Democracy Fund matching dollars and we’re still doing quite well,” Elicker said.

Scully said the Harp campaign is happy to have topped $100,000. “We’re obviously extremely pleased with that number. It shows great momentum,” he said. “We’ve been concentrating not so much on fundraising but on policy, whereas the Elicker campaign seems obsessed with fundraising.”

During general election campaign, candidates can take in money from donors who already gave maximum donations during the primary campaign. Harp, for instance, can collect up to another $1,000 from someone who gave her campaign $1,000 during the primary. Elicker said he is resetting the clock on his donors as well, and accepting contributions from donors who may have given him $370 in the primary.

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posted by: Bill Saunders on October 7, 2013  6:23pm

Impressive, Team Elicker…..

I remember at Justin’s Election Nite Party him repeatedly and comedically kept interjecting “And I don’t Have Any Money” throughout his speech.

posted by: robn on October 7, 2013  6:25pm

Scully said the Harp campaign’s… “been concentrating not so much on fundraising but on policy, whereas the Elicker campaign seems obsessed with fundraising.”

Wrong Mr Scully. Elicker supporters are just focused on the fact that 80% of Harps donations are from out-of-towners; many with deep financial interests in the city, some shady.

Quid Pro Quo anyone?

posted by: New Haven Nuisance on October 7, 2013  6:26pm

89% of donations to Justin Elicker’s campaign has come from induviduals inside New Haven, tells you everything you need to know about this race.

posted by: Sarah.Miller on October 7, 2013  6:34pm

WOW for Elicker. Neck in neck with Harp and all from small donors. Harp got $30k from a single donor. The largest Elicker donor gave just $370. This demonstrates incredible grassroots support. NHI: is this a historical record in terms of total $ raised from New Haven residents and/or % of doors from New Haven in a mayoral campaign?

posted by: Eddie on October 7, 2013  6:47pm

Its worth noting that Elicker can also take money from “special interests.”  For one thing, if elected it is very likely that he will be under pressure to cut taxes, which according to his own analysis also entails cutting important services that are vital to many in our community.  This is a special interest insofar as it harms those who utilize these services.  In addition, he can accept money from developers and city contractors.  Interestingly, the city contractors who donate to his campaign might be harder to detect, because they only have to declare their status if they donate $400 or more.   

To those who think I’m being unfair, “special interests” is a very vague term that cannot be used to distinguish the the sources of funds for the two candidates.  It would be more appropriate to say that Harp can accept money from committees, even if this is redundant.  If “special interests” has a more precise meaning then that should be defined.

posted by: HhE on October 7, 2013  7:33pm

Mr. Scully’s comments are rather rich given the $1,000 per plus PACs vs. $370 from just people.  Who is obsessed with what?

If Sen. Harp and the machine are concentrating on policy, I put it to you, they are in catch up mode.

posted by: HewNaven on October 7, 2013  8:03pm


If you’re not as “obsessed with fundraising” as Elicker is, then why not abide by the spirit of the Democracy Fund and refuse special interest donations, PAC donations, and all donations over $370. To us voters, it looks like you and Harp are obsessed with getting paid by any means, without regard to where the money comes from. Have some decency!

posted by: Tim Holahan on October 7, 2013  8:13pm

I have been staunchly defending the NHI against accusations of bias from both Elicker-likers and Harpists for weeks. In general, the coverage here has done the city proud, and the Register has raised it’s game, too.

It’s easy to see why people get upset, though—this piece, like many others before it, misses the real news for the sake of an obvious horserace headline.

Yes, Harp outraised Elicker post-primary. It would have been a sign of the apocalypse had she not.

But given that she’s now both nominated and endorsed by the Democratic Party, that she’s refused to participate in public financing, and that her financial support has come overwhelmingly from the suburbs (including from people whose contributions clearly create conflict of interest) the amazing thing here is that Elicker got within 15% of Toni’s total.

It’s a testament to how well-organized and diligent his campaign is, and how passionate his supporters, including this one, are to see more open and transparent government in New Haven. Remember, the maximum individual gift Elicker will take is $370, slightly more than a third of the $1,000 Harp will accept.

I don’t think the Independent has displayed significant bias, except toward jamming the HTML out as quickly as possible. This race deserves better. It’s my strong hunch that when the numbers are crunched, we’ll again see that Justin’s support comes from lots of smaller gifts from New Haven residents, while Toni’s comes from fewer… non-residents.

Choose wisely, New Haven.

posted by: DownTownNewHaven on October 7, 2013  8:53pm

I’m sorry but Elicker East Rock fundraising machine is something anyone outside of East Rock should be afraid of, if the arguments that Elicker uses in regards to campaign finance hold any water. His donation come almost exclusively from the richest whitest parts of New Haven.

Toni Harp has contributions from all over New Haven in every neighborhoods and every ward, just like she had voters from all of New Haven, not just from enclaves of pissed of rich people.

Elicker thinks that poor people need to learn how to budget their food stamps better… Only someone completely out of touch with the needs and problems of those out side of east rock would even think something so offensive let, alone say it on the record to reporter.

posted by: Samuel T. Ross-Lee on October 7, 2013  8:58pm

This headline horrible misses the point.

posted by: SamuelRoberts on October 7, 2013  9:18pm

Has everyone who comes here to defend Elicker’s fundraising forgotten this map? http://www.newhavenindependent.org/index.php/archives/entry/money_maps/

Yes Elicker raises money in New Haven. By which I mean he raises money in East Rock and Westville. The man cannot and will not represent New Haven if all of his financial support comes from a single, narrow, minority (i mean in statistical sense) demographic: namely, wealthy, white, educated people who do not necessarily represent the diversity of the entire city. Nor do these parties (as valuable as they are to the city as a whole) actually understand the issues coming from areas such as Dixwell/Newhallville, Fair Haven, Dwight, The Hill, etc.

You can’t represent the city, if the only people you know and support you inhabit a small, privileged section of it.

posted by: Anderson Scooper on October 7, 2013  9:19pm

” Keeps Pace with Harp”

Even while capping donations at $370, Elicker raised nearly as much as Toni Harp….

posted by: Greg-Morehead on October 7, 2013  9:42pm

Can someone answer this question.  Does the total from Harp include the money she had left from after the primary?  Unlike Justin, she could use the money from the primary after because she was not participating the Democracy Fund.  It is very impressive that Justin has raised $85k in one month and Toni had money from the primary and is only at $103k.
It sounds like her donors are all tapped out and have reached their max.  With Justin raising that money in a short amount of time from mostly New Haveners, that shows right there people are fed up with the status quo and long money politics.

posted by: Greg-Morehead on October 7, 2013  9:47pm

Oh, and let me add this..
Justin would clearly be in the lead if you didn’t include the $30k donation from 1 business.  I wonder how this race would look if Toni participated in the Democracy Fund as well.  Do you think she would have played by the rules, even in the general?
I highly doubt it…

posted by: TheMadcap on October 7, 2013  9:52pm


Every candidate is constantly pressured to cut taxes, but Elicker was the only who has promised not to cut taxes.

Both candidates who benefited from bundled donations(albeit Elicker’s bundles are still smaller than they otherwise would be with the #370 limit vs $1,000)

If Elicker winds up winning, doesn’t that mean he represents the city? I mean let’s not forget that out of Harp’s donations that came from New Haven, hers were heavily concentrated in Westville as well, and to a lesser extent East Rock.

posted by: TheMadcap on October 7, 2013  10:00pm


Elicker said services should be offered to help people on food stamps budget better if they want to participate. Why is this a bad thing? The state/city already does this with nutrition to try to help people on SNAP be able to stretch limited budgets to healthier meals. He also wants to make the process easier to city residents to apply for food stamps so everyone eligible for them and wants to lobby for greater funding for SNAP, but New Haven alone can’t unilaterally do that, so it’s not bad to offer budgeting courses with the nutritional courses already offered.

posted by: robn on October 7, 2013  10:08pm

Sorry did I miss something or did the areas outside of New Haven where 80% of Harps donations came from (including East Haven where Boss Proto resides); did these outside areas suddenly become representative of “the diversity of the entire city”?

posted by: anonymous on October 7, 2013  10:13pm

Downtown and Samuel: The map you cite is incredibly limited considering it doesn’t show all contributions - just those from the period right after Toni joined the race.

In reality, Justin raised more donations from among city residents than the other three campaigns combined. Carolina tied Harp with 407 each.

Also, it’s hard to make the claim Toni’s support is more “widespread” just because she had five donors from Dixwell in that reporting period whereas Justin had two from Dixwell. Those figures are just too small. If you consider all reporting periods, not just the one NHI mapped, Justin handily beat out Toni in the vast majority of city neighborhoods in terms of the number of local contributions.

posted by: nhstudent4ever on October 7, 2013  10:47pm

I’m sure Justin would love support from all of the city. In terms of financial support, though, I’m sure it makes sense to ask people who aren’t strapped for cash for a donation rather than those who are living pay check to pay check. Unfortunately East Rock and Westville are two of the wealthier areas of the city. The point is, Justin is promising us that he won’t be the type of mayor that expects quid pro quo!

posted by: Citizen X on October 7, 2013  10:56pm

Alternative headline: Democrat outraises Republican.

posted by: SamuelRoberts on October 7, 2013  11:55pm

From the NHI Article which was in fact printed nearly 3 months after she was in the race.
“Harp’s map (above) shows the most even spread of donors across the city.”
“The candidate who really owns East Rock, at least contribution-wise, is Elicker. On his map (above), the entire East Rock neighborhood is obscured by overlapping red dots indicating the location of his donors.

Elicker took donations from 278 New Haveners in July and August.”
And out of those 278, my count gets at least 110 straight out of East Rock. Another 20 in Westville. That is, just shy of 50% from 2 neighborhoods.

And how precisely does this dismiss quid pro quo? Why should wouldn’t we assume that a largely unified demographic of people in these areas wouldn’t expect some pay back?

“The $22,150 Harp raised from groups is 13 percent of her total haul for July and August.” Again, 13% vs nearly 50%

posted by: HhE on October 8, 2013  12:51am

Eddie, you appear to confuse “can” with “does.” 

He has also said he does not intend to cut taxes.

Justin Elicker’s suports only expect good government from their donations.  Sen. Harp has public said she would give access to her major doners. 

Citizen X, why would the Koch brothers contribute to Justin Elicker?  As if they care about New Haven.  Even if Justin Elicker idology came anywhere near theirs, it would be a bad investment.  They would be far more likely to get value for money be contributing to Sen. Harp.

posted by: mstratton on October 8, 2013  1:16am

Harp is badly running out of steam. Her financial supporters are Hartford lobbyists, union bosses and contractors. They don’t want to be outed for being involved in pay to play like the suburban orthopedists were.  By having a clean government candidate like Justin we can finally focus on where the dirty money comes from. In prior races (kerekes excepted), all the candidates stank of dirty money. Now only one is. (This doesn’t make Harp bad—it just makes her another vacuous pol without an intrinsic moral compass).

The incredible thing is Justin is not even getting public matches this time. He is getting less than he should—that shows a discipline to principle over the politics of winning at any cost. Vote for a clean, vibrant, honest New Haven. This is not something I have seen in my lifetime. Lets not miss the boat.

posted by: True that on October 8, 2013  4:27am

I read that the Harp campaign had a $36,000 debt remaining from the primary.  Who in the world is her treasurer?  With all those endorsements and resources, Harp still cannot manage to stay out of the red?  This is what we can expect from a Harp administration as well - total incompetence in regards to the city’s fiscal affairs.  Maybe she should not have mailed so many shiny flyers to voters, or hired armed security to escort her in the mainly Black and Latino neighborhoods. We shouldn’t be surprised about her finances, as her family business still owes more than 1 million dollars to the state of Connecticut (imagine how many more people could get health insurance, or how many teachers could be hired if the family paid it’s bill in full the way I do each year).  That anyone would vote for Harp is mind-boggling. The largest tax scofflaw in the state deserves to be the mayor of the most politically important city in Connecticut?  Amazing, simply amazing.

posted by: HhE on October 8, 2013  9:16am

SamuelRoberts, because Justin’s platform is one of good government for ALL of New Haven.

posted by: Noteworthy on October 8, 2013  9:23am

ScullyWag Notes:

1. Toni Harp had no dollars left over after the primary. In fact, she had a $23,000 deficit according to a story in the Register. DEFICIT.

2. Given that deficit, it seems Harp is the one who has been consumed with ginning up fundraising and almost a quarter of that will be used to offset debt. That will be something new for a Harp.

3. The campaign knows precisely who gave and in what amounts. Count on it being a special interest bonanza.

posted by: SamuelRoberts on October 8, 2013  10:20am

HhE: Simply saying Elicker will be good for “ALL of New Haven” doesn’t actually make it happen. I’m glad you’re avoiding the issue.

Again folks, if we had a Governor’s race going on right now rather than a mayor’s, And we had two Dems up there, one who has years of experience and yes, widepsread institutional support from labor unions, etc that represent working people VERSUS a guy who was new, fresh, but got the vast majority of his money from incredibly wealthy lawyers, bankers, ivy tower folks, moguls, etc from Fairfield county (ie east rock and westville) you would likely be suspicious as to just how “clean” that money actually is. And yes of course there’s a parallel to Malloy here, and look what’s happened with him.

posted by: Indigo on October 8, 2013  10:48am

If campaigns were decided based on $ raised, Henry Fernandez would have won. It’s not all about the money. Furthermore, it’s not so difficult to raise $100k in increments of $1k-$30k. But when Elicker raises $85k in two weeks and his average donation is under $100, well, that’s a story. I am amazed at this $85k figure not because of the $ but because of what it represents about the breadth of his support among the people of New Haven.

Harp’s campaign debt is also a frightening indicator of what a Harp administration would be like. If she can’t balance the budget of her own campaign, how can we expect her to bring fiscal responsibility and sound budgeting to the entire city? Elicker’s campaign, meanwhile, has stayed out of debt and shown a remarkable ability to do-more-with-less. Since the city has fewer and fewer non-fixed resources to work with, we need precisely this skill in the Mayor’s chair. Anyone who questioned whether Justin possesses this skill now has the evidence.

To illustrate: recently I stopped by the Elicker office to drop off a donation. It was full of people, mostly young volunteers, busily working. The office has the vibe of an internet start-up, albeit without the swanky decor. The single office has two desks, both of them shared. No fancy executive suite for Justin. In fact, Justin was sharing one of the tables with someone else. Anyone who thinks this campaign is “elite” is just repeating baseless swipes and not really paying attention. Justin is the future of New Haven and is running a smart, lean, people-driven campaign. He would do the same in City Hall. Stop by the office to see for yourself.

posted by: Eddie on October 8, 2013  11:09am

Its nice to see Justin’s chief of fundraising lecture us about big money in politics. Elicker’s chief of fundraising, Mike Stratton, clearly knows something about buying political influence.  He has contributed well over a hundred thousand dollars to campaigns across the country.  This includes direct donations to candidates, donations to PACs (including this one: http://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/summary.php?id=D000000065), and soft money to parties. 

In fact, another candidate that has received Mike’s largess recently made the news.  In 2012, Mike contributed $500 to Republican congressman Lee Terry from Nebraska.  When congressman Terry was asked if he is taking his salary during the government shutdown, he responded “Dang straight”!!  While many are working without pay and others cannot go to work, Lee Terry said he needs his paycheck to pay for his “nice house” and kid’s college education (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/04/lee-terry-government-shutdown-nice-house_n_4044511.html).  This is also a congressman who is pushing the Keystone pipeline, advocates ending legal abortions, and of course, wants to eliminate Obamacare without articulating a viable alternative (http://leeterry.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2366:terry-votes-to-shutdown-obamacare-keep-government-open&catid=3:press-releases).

posted by: David S Baker on October 8, 2013  11:34am

Amused by the accusation that Elickers funding comes from elitist neighborhoods while watching growing poverty in my Ward, the effect my last donation had on my grocery budget, and all while surround by Elicker supporters dealing with the same problems.  If you want a REALY informative map, zoom way out and look at Harps donors in the “horseshoe of affluence” that surrounds New Haven.  A lovely land filled with McManisons, luxury cars, and backyard swimming pools.  The whole city boundary is saturated with party line towing Harp donors that treat this town like a giant board game for their own business interests.  All while New Haven citizens in the trenches pay more in taxes for a comparably crappy quality of life so outsiders can get sweet deals.
Explaining this while knocking on doors is SO easy.  (That and what a STATE Senator is.  Half of my converts were told she worked in DC!!!)  The average home takes five minutes to secure a solid “one”. 

Implying the Elicker machine is some elitist conspiracy is nonsense based obfuscation.  Crunch the numbers.  These people are smart, enthusiastic, and they don’t hold the voters hands, treat them like they are stupid, or dismiss them because they are socio-economically less likely to vote for a hyperactive skinny white guy with red hair and no giant “D” next to his name.  Easiest door knocking since Obama / McCain.
College towns; ya’ gotta’ love ‘em.

posted by: TheMadcap on October 8, 2013  11:57am


We already did your hypothetical metaphor on a national level and I’m for one gad we chose Obama over Hillary, and then Obama over McCain. In fact, the main charge leveled at Obama all through 2008 by both Republicans and the Hillary camp was that Obama was too fresh, inexperienced, and more flash than substance.

Also, if we’re going to just pretend entire neighborhoods are somehow monolithic units, then how is Harp’s donations which are 80+% coming from wealthier suburban units not going to mean she will owe them favors.(and on top of it, of the amount of donations she collected from the city, over 1/2 were from Westville and Beaver hills, two areas that are even richer than East Rock according to census block data)

posted by: newhavenpoliticswatch on October 8, 2013  8:58pm

Once again, the Indy uses a headline simply to get page views, rather than focus on the real substance here: Elicker’s donations are from small donors, within this city, whereas Harp, as we will see on Thursday, is pay to play politics, as usual. This city deserves something different than your standard career politician. I applaud Justin Elicker for his commitment to small donations, making this election fair and honest. Elicker 2013.

posted by: Scot on October 9, 2013  12:05am

@Samuel Roberts - Elicker’s donations come almost entirely from individual residents of New Haven. That being the case, of course donations are going to come disproportionately from East Rock, Westville, and other wealthier sections because those are the residents that can more easily afford to give $50 or $200 to a political campaign. I don’t see how you can criticize Elicker for this while you overlook the fact that Harp takes MUCH larger donations from businesses and special interest groups who don’t even live in New Haven. It would be nice if money could be entirely removed from politics but at least his donations are small donations from individuals that live in New Haven. 

Furthermore, East Rock and Cedar Hill are the wards that Justin represents as an alderman. His strong support from these neighborhoods is evidence that those who are most familiar with him think he’s really great! that should not be held against him. Don’t you think it’s possible they are supporting him because they’ve seen how hard he has worked as their alderman, not because they are expecting a quid pro quo?

As for understanding the needs of the entire city, I think Justin is at least up to speed with Harp. Justin has been an incredibly hard working alderman; for example, he attends weekly police meetings and is at nearly every BOA meeting.  Harp lives in a mansion on the outskirts of town and has been working in Hartford the past 21 years. On a day to day basis she interacts with lobbyists, special interest groups, and state politicians, not New Haven residents.

You ask, “Why shouldn’t we assume that a largely unified demographic of people in these areas wouldn’t expect some pay back?” While that’s a fair question, what do you think is more likely:  a Harp quid pro quo to a business that gave her $9,000 and has a contract with the city; or an Elicker quid pro quo with an individual in Westville who gave him $370?