What Candidates for First Selectman Are Spending [TABLE]

The campaign for the Republican candidate for New Canaan’s highest elected office has outspent its Democratic opponent by more than 15 times, according to the most recent data available through financial disclosure filings.

First selectman candidate Kevin Moynihan’s campaign committee had garnered expenses totaling $29,966.29 through Sept. 30, according to his financial disclosure statement, compared to $1,920.13 for Kit Devereaux’s campaign.

Moynihan’s campaign also had raised $35,980 in contributions from individuals through Sept. 30 through compared to $9,310 for Devereaux’s. The two organizations raised roughly the same amount during the third quarter: $7,400 for Moynihan and $7,360 for Devereaux.

Here’s a breakdown of each campaign’s financial disclosure statements:

Financial Disclosures: New Canaan First Selectman Candidates*

 Kit DevereauxKevin Moynihan
Contributions from individuals$9,310$35,980
Expenses$1,920.13$29,966.29
Balance at close of period$7,419.87$6,016.87
Source: New Canaan Town Clerk
*through Sept. 30, 2017

 

The larger line items among Moynihan’s expenses for the three-month period starting July 1 include $2,051.57 for advertising paid to Jason Perillo, a state representative from Shelton and president of Shelton-based Plumb Strategies, a public relations and political campaign consulting firm. The committee also paid $2,000 to campaign manager MacLean Wright, in consulting fees, during the third quarter, according to the disclosure statements. The Moynihan campaign also paid $7,033.75 for the period on Hersam Acorn Newspapers Network advertising, as well as for advertising in newspapers and online. It also paid $1,819.35 to a Redding-based marketing consultancy called Taylored Business Solutions and $1,184.68 to Stratford-based Premier Graphics.

The single-largest expense item in the third quarter for the “Kit For First” campaign supporting Devereaux was $675 with Stamford-based Newshound LLC for online advertising on NewCanaanite.com, followed by $350 for food and beverages at a local campaign event, according to the disclosure statements.

The campaign for Devereaux also spent $165.77 for yard signs; a line item for the Moynihan campaign includes $1,897.66 for yard and other signs, a banner, bumper magnets and stickers, and an additional $1,263.34 for bumper magnets. Moynihan for the three-month period ended Sept. 30 had spent $21,273.91 compared to $1,920.13 for Devereaux.

Devereaux and Moynihan debated at a League of Women Voters-run forum on Monday night.

In New Canaan, where registered Republicans outnumber Democrats more than 2-to-1, the local Republican Town Committee also out-fundraised (by roughly the same ratio as the electorate) and outspent the Democratic Town Committee (by a nearly 7-to-1 ratio). The local political committees support party-backed candidates.

Here’s a look at how the electorate breaks down by party:

New Canaan Party Count

 RepublicanDemocratUnaffilatedOtherTotal
Townwide6,4252,8694,15414113,589
*Source: New Canaan Town Clerk (data as of Oct. 3, 2017)

 

As of Sept. 30, the RTC had raised $32,182 in individual contributions and spent $28,839.29, while the DTC raised $13,380 and spent $4,214.54.

The DTC’s largest individual expenditures during the three-month period ended Sept. 30 included yard sign printing ($699.98), insurance costs ($589) and postcard printing ($291.85).

The RTC’s largest expenditures for the same period include a payment to Woodway Country Club for the annual Lincoln-Reagan Dinner ($14,446), $2,501 for a full page color ad in the New Canaan Advertiser, $1,875 for a digital ad on the Advertiser’s website and $1,563.08 for printing ballots for the July caucus.

Here’s a summary from the RTC and DTC financial disclosure statements:

Financial Disclosures: New Canaan's Town Committees*

 Democratic Town CommitteeRepublican Town Committee
Contributions from individuals$13,830$32,182
Expenses$4,214.54$28,839.29
Balance at close of period$14,586.61$12,164.29
Source: Connecticut Elections Enforcement Commission
*through Sept. 30, 2017

5 thoughts on “What Candidates for First Selectman Are Spending [TABLE]

    • Arnold, thank you for submitting this comment. I’m getting plenty of feedback on this story in my inbox today, and can’t tell whether it’s due to anxiety among some in town—I did receive an email today from one of your fellow Moynihan supporters calling this article ‘misleading’—or a rather more genuine yearning for an even more detailed spending comparison.

      What I can say is that the state Elections Enforcement Commission sets the filing periods for financial disclosure statements, not me. This one is July through September, which encompassed the July 18 caucus. There will be another filing deadline on Oct. 31, and we plan to report on that one, too. What it will show in terms of relative spending between these campaigns, I have no idea. You will note that the isolated third-quarter breakdown—which we can safely assume would shave off some GOP caucus spending—shows the Moynihan campaign spending 11 times the Devereaux campaign. I don’t know whether or how spotlighting such a figure is in the interests of one party or another, but then my own background and interests lie in reporting on government matters rather than politics, fraying nerves, guesswork and hyperventilation.

      If memory serves, the July 18 caucus date was known prior to July 1, and I believe Moynihan announced his candidacy May 30, for what that is worth.

      Regarding this article: We’ve included all the information that is publicly available, the story already notes the July 18 caucus in reviewing the RTC figures and we also included a link to the debate story from earlier this week, which delves deeper again into the caucus results with a link to our July 18 story.

      Thanks again and I hope to see you at the coffee next Thursday.

  1. It would be interesting to have a comparison of post-caucus expenditures by both candidates. From my perspective, and it’s admittedly non-scientific, the two candidates for First Selectman have had about the same level of exposure and support in the media (articles, letters to the editor, etc.) And, the level of awareness among New Canaanites about where each candidate stands on various issues seems about equal. Bearing in mind the difference in spending that this article shows, it seems that Ms. Devereaux is more efficient with her campaign money and that could foreshadow how she would handle the town’s finances if she is elected.

    • Chip, thank you for submitting your comment.

      I’m not sure what, if anything, we can glean about spending habits from these comparisons. A political campaign surely ought to spend what it raises for the purpose of supporting a candidate for office, and the simple truth may be that the Republican candidate’s committee is better at fundraising in this case. You will see that their Oct. 1 balances are about the same.

      To your main point: The most recent state-mandated reporting period is July 1 to Oct. 1, and we’ve included that breakdown as well as aggregate spending in this article. How much caucus spending the Moynihan campaign did before July 1, I do not know, though I believe the July 18 caucus date was known prior to July 1. (Moynihan announced his candidacy May 30.) In the three-month period ended Sept. 30, the Moynihan campaign outspent the Devereaux campaign 11-to-1. The next reportable financial disclosure period is Oct. 1 to 31, and certainly we’ll have an article on that, too. I imagine there are some one-off expenditures that will not show up for October—buying yard signs or campaign buttons in bulk, for example–though it may put to bed any anxious red herring questions of caucus spending that surely will keep certain others up at night.

    • The Republican First Selectman candidate Kevin Moynihan ran in a hotly contested caucus race against the 6 year current Republican incumbent, the Democratic candidate did not have an opponent in the caucus. All the rest is noise.

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