We are looking at the July periodic campaign finance filing for New York City Council candidates for ShakingNews and we are tallying these records alongside the prior filings for the cycle. While many campaigns are brand new since the May filing, the relatively robust campaigns of incumbents are easy to distinguish from newer candidates, because the incumbents do campaign finance at a much higher volume. In other words, they have the money.

One interesting quantity to start with is to sample the top of the class when it comes to spending. A campaign which has already spent the most will have the least room to spend later, due to the nature of the CFB expenditure cap (for all campaigns who opt in to the CFB matching program). The big early spenders are spending their money farther from the election itself than our late spenders, so it logically follows that these expenditures are less directly connected to their election mechanics. It is thus no surprise that nearly every putative candidate in the insidery election for Speaker (which will take place after the November elections) appears in this list.

Here are the campaigns who have already spent the most money as of the July, 2017 filing. We look for the campaigns who have spent over $100,000 so far (Schedule ‘F’) and after accounting for two special cases, the yield is 11:

Rank Candidate Amount
0* David Greenfield $372,928.16
0* Julissa Ferreras-Copeland $328,572.91
1 Brad Lander $285,125.93
2 Corey Johnson $269,938.48
3 Mark Gjonaj $266,797.07
4 Mark Levine $181,964.86
5 James Van Bramer $156,214.57
6 Peter Koo $154,507.89
7 Jumaane Williams $152,318.92
8 Ydanis Rodriguez $147,377.45
9 Andrew King $121,661.16
10 Costa Constantinides $120,255.93
11 Ronnie Cho $113,619.14

* – Ferreras-Copeland and Greenfield have both announced their retirement and will not seek re-election. They have spent a combined $701,501.07.

A total of 179 city council campaigns have filed expenditures in this cycle. These top 11 spenders have spent $1,969,781.40 in pursuit of the city council, while the wider class of 179 city council candidates has spent a total of $5,898,471.67. That is to say, 33% of city council expenditures, to date, are accounted for by these 11 politicians, being only 6% of the committees in the field.

The two candidates who have truly spent the most–by a lot–have now dropped out of the running and before reaching Ronnie Cho, the next ten on this list are each incumbents who expect to hold their seats with little credible challenge.

So now let’s turn this around and look at the head of the class in fundraising. These are the campaigns who have raised over $200,000 so far (Schedule ‘ABC’) and again, once we remove our two former candidates, the yield is again 11:

Rank Candidate Amount
0* David Greenfield $883,676.00
0* Julissa Ferreras-Copeland $387,185.00
1 Mark Gjonaj $528,176.00
2 Rory Lancman $506,434.00
3 James Van Bramer $493,148.00
4 Corey Johnson $469,017.00
5 Elizabeth Crowley $411,600.00
6 Brad Lander $395,986.00
7 Mark Levine $395,937.65
8 Ritchie Torres $262,614.00
9 Ydanis Rodriguez $250,677.51
10 Peter Koo $236,275.00
11 Jumaane Williams $207,546.83

* -Ferreras-Copeland and Greenfield have both announced their retirement and will not seek re-election. They have raised a combined $1,270,861.00

A total of 196 city council campaigns have filed contributions in this cycle. These top 11 fundraisers we’re ranking here have raised $4,157,411.99 in pursuit of the city council, while the wider class of 196 city council candidates has raised a total of $12,554,000.46. That is to say again that 33% of city council contributions, to date, are accounted for by these 11 politicians, being only 6% of the committees in the field. Before accounting for how matching funds are allocated in the coming weeks, most of the money is going to the candidates who need it the least, and this same crowd, pretty much, are spending it with the greatest abandon.

Did you notice that eight out of these 10 were in the top spenders list too? I’ve italicized the two who were not so that you can see that for the most part, the same people who are spending the most money are also raising the most money.

In this capsule review of the top ten spenders, we touch on their ratio of dollars raised to spent, how much fundraising expenditure they are declaring as a ratio to their haul, and then we look at the count and sum of contributions as a feature. Lastly, we check in on whether the candidate is a leader of the pack in any of our rankings, and we review whether they’ve declared a consulting expenditure yet which links them to a well-known consulting firm.

Councilmember Lander has spent $0.72 for every dollar raised, and spends roughly $0.07 to raise $1. He has received 1,359 contributions and he is ranked #1 in this count. He is ranked #6 for the sum of his haul, $395,986.00. Lander hired the consultants Nashban Mansur, LLC.

Councilmember Johnson has spent $0.57 for every dollar raised, and spends roughly $0.02 in order to raise $1. He has received 909 contributions and is ranked #8 in this count. He is ranked #4 for the sum of his haul, $469,017.00. Johnson, a putative speaker candidate, also leads the chamber in contributions made from his committee out to other committees with $94,450 in “re-gifts” to other campaigns. Johnson is with Metropolitan Public Strategies.

Assemblymember Gjonaj has spent $0.50 for every dollar raised, and spends roughly $0.08 in order to raise $1. He has received 916 contributions and is ranked #7 in this count. Once you remove David Greenfield, Gjonaj is ranked #1 for the sum of his haul, $528,176.00. He boasts $1,000 from Martin “Pharma Bro” Shkreli. (EDITOR’S NOTE: A different Martin Shkreli donated to the Gjonaj campaign. We regret the error.)

Councilmember Levine has spent $0.45 for every dollar raised, and spends roughly $0.07 in order to raise $1. He has received 1,112 contributions and is ranked #4 in this count. He is ranked #7 for the sum of his haul, $395,937.65. Levine, a putative speaker candidate, is #2 in the chamber for contributions made from his committee out to other committees with $53,435.00 in “re-gifts” to other campaigns. Levine is with RKM Strategic Consulting and Kirtzman Strategies.

Councilmember Van Bramer has spent $0.31 for every dollar raised, and spends roughly $0.09 in order to raise $1. He has received 1,298 contributions and is ranked #2 in this count. He is ranked #3 for the sum of his haul, $493,148.00.

Councilmember Koo has spent $0.65 for every dollar raised, and spends roughly $0.08 in order to raise $1. He has received 352 contributions and is ranked #56 in this count. He is ranked #11 for the sum of his haul, $236,275.00. Koo is with H & C Consulting and Red Horse Strategies.

Councilmember Williams has spent $0.73 for every dollar raised, and spends roughly $0.09 in order to raise $1. He has received 651 contributions and is ranked #20 in this count. He is ranked #12 for the sum of his haul, $207,546.83. Williams is with Millennial Strategies, LLC.

Councilmember Rodriguez has spent $0.58 for every dollar raised, and spends roughly $0.08 in order to raise $1. He has received 746 contributions and is ranked #12 in this count. He is ranked #9 for the sum of his haul, $250,677.51. Rodriguez is #3 in the chamber for contributions made from his committee out to other committees with $38,761.34 in “re-gifts” to other campaigns. Rodriguez is with The Advance Group.

Councilmember King has spent $0.82 for every dollar raised, and spends roughly $0.40 in order to raise $1. He has received 419 contributions and is ranked #45 in this count. He is ranked #16 for the sum of his haul, $148,041.00. King is #2 in the chamber for fundraising costs, at $59,315.95. King is one of two top spenders who is not also a top fundraiser. King is with Red Horse Strategies.

Councilmember Constantinides has spent $0.65 for every dollar raised, and spends roughly $0.09 in order to raise $1. He has received 681 contributions and is ranked 17 in this count. He is ranked #14 for the sum of his haul, $183,776.00. Constantinides is with Momentum Strategic Campaigns.

Cho–the only top spender who does not currently hold public office–has spent an improbable $0.99 for every dollar raised, and spends roughly $0.12 in order to raise $1. He has received 773 contributions and is ranked #9 in this count. He is ranked #27 for the sum of his haul, $114,312.08. Cho is one of two top spenders who is not also a top fundraiser. Cho is with Hamilton Campaign Network.

Data: NYC Campaign Finance Board

EDITOR’S NOTE 7/31: The Gjonaj campaign responded that they accepted money from a different Martin¬†Shkreli, not the infamous “Pharma Bro”. We regret the error and thank the Bronx Chronicle for pointing it out.

Posted by Jon Reznick

Jon Reznick is the founding and managing partner of Competitive Advantage Research, and a self-taught Python programmer who also works with SQL on data analytics products such as the dashboard of NYC politics that you maybe just clicked on. He is an Ignite speaker, a graduate of NYU Tisch, and a mostly-retired photographer.

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  1. […] Who’s Raising and Spending? By Jon Reznick | Shaking News […]

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