Energy, coal and media PACs fuel Ky. delegation's fundraising in 2nd quarter

07/20/2011 07:48 AM

With Congress in full swing, Kentucky’s delegation didn’t have many fundraising events over the last three months, but that didn’t stop the incumbents from collecting plenty of money from political action committees.

So far, only one of Kentucky’s federal House delegation has known opposition, U.S. Rep. Ben Chandler of Kentucky’s Sixth District. Republican attorney Andy Barr has already declared he will challenge Chandler for the second time in as many chances, after coming up short in 2010. Pure Politics last week analyzed their July financial reports.

Still, the other five incumbents continued to stock their campaign accounts, albeit largely on autopilot while collecting checks from PACs.

Here are the highlights of each of their 2nd quarter reports:

U.S. Rep. Ed Whitfield, Republican of the 1st District

Whitfield raised the most money out of any of Kentucky’s U.S. House delegation, bringing in $301,275 during the reporting period. More than $52,000 of that money came from individuals, the rest from PACs.

It gives Whitfield more than $1.3 million in his campaign bank.

Most of Whitfield’s individual contributors listed their occupation as a doctor, most specializing in treating pain. Another $1,000 came from Louis Camilleri, CEO of Phillip Morris International.

Whitfield, the chairman of the subcommittee on Power and Energy, received much of his PAC money from energy company and coal company committees, including:

  • $2,500 from Alliance Coal
  • $3,000 from American Electric Power PAC
  • $3,500 from Arch Coal Inc., PAC
  • $5,000 from COALPAC
  • $2,000 from ConocoPhillips Spirit PAC
  • $5,000 from ExxonMobil Corp. PAC
  • $4,000 from FIRSTENERGY Corp. PAC
  • $5,000 from Peabody Energy PAC

Other contributing PACs included Goldman Sachs Group Inc., PAC ($1,000), CBS Corp. PAC ($500) and $6,000 from KOCH Industries PAC – the committee from the paper towel and Dixie cup company owned by the Koch brothers, who are among President Barack Obama’s strongest critics.

As for expenditures, Whitfield preferred to hold fundraisers in Washington D.C. restaurants, which accounted for much of the $11,128 he spent on food from his campaign.

Here’s a flavor of where Whitfield likes dine with potential contributors:

$58 at Capitol Grille, Washington D.C.
$472 for Senate Catering, Washington D.C.
$274 at Pappas Brothers Steakhouse, Houston, Texas
$79 at Charlie Palmer’s, Washington D.C.
$1,060 to Mila’s Catering, Washington D.C.
$331 to W. Millar and Co., Washington D.C.
$99 at Capitol Grille
$408 at Good Stuff Eatery, Washington D.C.
$1,711 on four different dinners at the Capital Hill Club, Washington D.C.
$470 to Mindy’s Catering, Washington D.C.
$1,198 at Capitol Grille
$542 at Charlie Palmer’s
$388 to Star Catering, Hayward, Calif., on May 5
$358 to Star Catering, Hayward, Calif., on June 1
$1,217 to Acqua Al 2, Washington D.C.,
$2,254 at Capitol Grille
$209 at Carlyle Grand Cafe, Arlington, Va.

U.S. Rep. Geoff Davis, Republican of the 4th District

Davis pulled in $230,019 during the reporting period. That leaves him with $596,848 on hand.

Most of Davis’ individual contributions came from CEOs, executives and lobbyists, making up a small portion of the cash Davis pulled in this cycle.

But the political action committees gave more than $200,000 to Davis, including from:

  • Energy companies such as Duke Energy ($2,000), Marathon Oil Co. Employees PAC ($2,000) and Exxon Mobil ($3,500).
  • Distillers such as Brown-Forman ($1,500) and Jim Beam ($1,000).
  • GOP PACs, such as $5,000 from KOCH Industries PAC and $2,500 from the New Republican Victory Fund
  • And $5,000 from National Thoroughbred Racing Association

As for expenditures, Davis spent most of his money on software, consulting and compliance issues.

But he also had campaign meetings at a host of restaurants running the gamut from the mundane (Subway) to the swank (Capitol Hill Club) to the novel (Miyako Sushi in Crescent Springs) to the cleverly named (We the Pizza)

Here’s the full list of the $3,568 he spent on food:

$207 on a campaign meeting at Bonefish in Crescent Springs
$40 at Brewberry Coffee in Fort Mitchell
$183 at Capital Grille, Washington D.C.
$872 on two meetings at Capitol Hill Club in Washington D.C.
$297 on two meetings at Carrabba’s Italian Grille in Fort Mitchell
$103 at Famous Dave’s in Florence
$404 on two meetings at Longhorn Steakhouse in Florence
$187 at Miyako Sushi and Steak House, Crescent Springs
$42 on a meeting at Outback Steakhouse in Crescent Spring
$276 for two meetings at Panera Bread, Crestview Hills
$211 for two meetings at Red Robin, West Chester, Ohio
$147 on three meetings at Subway, Edgewood
$119 at We the Pizza, Washington D.C.
$480 at The Congressional Club

Davis also gave the National Republican Congressional Committee $32,500 to spend on other races.

U.S. Rep. Brett Guthrie, Second District

Guthrie, who represents a district that starts south of Louisville and stretches down to Bowling Green and west to Owensboro, raised $170,212 and finished the reporting period with $495,947 in his campaign bank account.

Guthrie received a lot of small contributions from executives and managers from Kentucky hospitals, as well as from health care PACs of Humana ($2,000) and Kindred Healthcare ($1,000).

Guthrie also landed donations from PACs of parent companies of media organizations, including $1,000 the Walt Disney Co. Employees PAC (the parent company of ABC News), $1,000 from the CBS Corp. PAC (parent of CBS News) and $1,000 from News America Holdings, the PAC of Fox News/News International owned by Rupert Murdoch.

Guthrie didn’t spend much money on expenses, with the largest expenditures going to consulting and $5,000 for dues to the National Republican Congressional Committee.

U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, Democrat of the 3rd District

Yarmuth, whose district covers Louisville, raised $34,069 during the quarter and spent $31,357. That gave him a net gain of less than $3,000 for the period. Yarmuth ended the period with $184,708 in his campaign account.

Contribution highlights:

  • $1,000 from AFSCME
  • $1,000 from Ford Motor Co. Civil Action Fund
  • $1,000 from General Electric Co.
  • $5,000 from Pipefitters and Plumbers Local 502 in Louisville

In addition to the normal phone and consulting fees, Yarmuth’s account spent $2,191 in unemployment insurance to the state of Kentucky.

Yarmuth also paid $2,000 for dinner tickets to the Louisville-Jefferson County Democratic Party’s Wendell Ford dinner. Yarmuth didn’t report any trips to restaurants, but his campaign did pay $1,226 for catering to Susan Gage Catering in Washington.

Yarmuth also still carries $130,000 in personal loans made to his 2006 bid to first win the seat, having paid off $50,000 to date.

U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers, Republican of the 5th District

The chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, Rogers is the longtime congressman of Eastern Kentucky and will carry forward nearly $1 million dollars in his campaign account.

Rogers raised $248,305 during the reporting period and has $929,972 cash on hand left over. But Rogers’ report differs from his other Republicans in Kentucky’s delegation because he raised almost half of his contributions from individuals.

He collected checks from several key businesses and individuals from his eastern Kentucky district including:

  • $2,000 from American Electric Power PAC
  • $1,000 from Ashland Inc., PAC
  • $250 from Robert M. Duncan, the Inez banker and former Republican National Committee chairman
  • $2,500 from Henry Hinkle, Executive, Hinkle Contracting Corp.
  • $2,500 from John Potter, Coal operator, Hawk Eye Coal Co.
  • $2,500 from Thomas Potter, Coal operator, Hawk Eye Coal Co.
  • $1,000 from James Taylor, President, University of the Cumberlands

Rogers’ expenditures were relatively simple, spending mostly on travel expenses and phone service. His biggest expense was giving $53,700 to the National Republican Congressional Committee.

-Reporting by Kenny Colston


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