It is what it says it is.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Fun With Open Secrets

Well, we are nothing if not curious here at Ohio 13, so we decided to play at one of our favorite websites, opensecrets.org. We decided to see who the erstwhile candidates in the field had donated money to in Federal Elections. Always good for a chortle or a grin. Ya never know, maybe someone cut a check to Lyndon LaRouche, George Bush or some other fringe candidate/cult leader. The results only included donations of 200 dollars or more, so this may not be comprehensive, but it should be fun.

Deciding to get the big money out of the way first, we started with Capri Cafaro. She donated to Kerry and Ohio Dem party in 2004. No shock there. In fact, rather boring... while her family donates heavily (and did to her campaign), and some of the money goes across the aisle, Capri herself has no checkered donor history. Obviously, we've excluded her rather sizable donation to her previous campaign, but we were hoping for something really controversial, or at least interesting. Heck, with the reception she's received from NE Ohio bloggers so far, you'd think she'd donated to Joe Lieberman, but no.

Then, to continue, and hopefully find some adventure, we tried Tom Sawyer. In 2000, he cut a $1,000 check to Ted Celeste, and that's about it. Not necessarily exciting either. Maybe a little fewer donations than one might expect, but's hes had his own races to worry about, and without being a fantabulous fundraiser, money can be tight.

Well, maybe Betty Sutton would provide some excitement, we thought. And guess what? She did, at least a little. Turns out, Betty Sutton is hardly a prodigious donor; opensecrets listed only two donations of over $200 in sixteen years. One, a $1000 check in 1994 to Joel Hyatt, is rather boring, uncontroversial etc. But the other, a $1000 donation from her campaign committee in October of 1994, is far more interesting. Betty Sutton donated (or donated at least $200) to a grand total of one congressional candidate from 1990 to 2006. His name? Tom Sawyer. Apparently fair trade and NAFTA weren't important issues then.

John Wolfe isn't off the hook either; he donated $300 to Sawyer, in 1996. He also donated to Mary Boyle's 1998 Senate race.

Jack Schira donated $200 to the DNC Services Corporation in 2002, and otherwise, nothing comes up.

So, two candidates who strenuously oppose free trade have donated to a third, who's no longer in Congress almost entirely because of his support of free trade. Otherwise, these people are boring, donation-wise. No LaRouchies, no Bushies, not much activity in general. It will provide Tom Sawyer with one of those fun talking points; if my NAFTA vote was so abhorrent to Sutton and Wolfe, why did they donate to me shortly after it? And oddly enough, that kind of argument has somewhat more mileage that one might expect.

Otherwise, hope all is well throughout the 13th CD, and the people from DC who check in every once in a while. Remember, we filling out your consulting team, we're desperate to be underworked and overpaid.

The Ohio 13 Blog editors

we can be reached at ohio13 at gmail dot com

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