Scott D'Amboise: Hero Of The Out Of Stater

Scott D’Amboise‘s filing with the FEC is finally online to take a look at.  I say finally because it took quite a bit longer to see than the others.  This is probably because D’Amboise filed his report a day late.  That’s the kind of thing unserious candidates tend to do a lot of.

It reports $141,599.12 in contributions, $22,585.00 of which are itemized (meaning they are contributions over $200).

I did a little counting, which was made harder since I had to do it off the PDF file, and found something which re-affirmed exactly what I expected to see in this report.  Scott D’Amboise’s support comes from almost entirely out of state, raised from national donors.

Of the 52 itemized receipts on his report, 46 of them – that’s forty-six out of fifty-two – came from out of state.  Most of this money came from California, Texas, and Florida, all of which are national hotbeds of conservative fundraising.

He had only six donors from Maine that needed to be itemized.  Except not really, because one of those six donors, Sun Tan City of Augusta, asked for their money back.  So, in actuality he only had five itemized donors from Maine, who contributed only $2,750.00 of the total.  That represents just 12% of the total itemized money he raised.  Oh and for further insult to injury, almost half of that total from Maine came from one person, Dr. David Steuer of Cumberland who contributed $1350.00.

Typically the itemized receipts on a FEC report are reflective of the money that came in that was unitemized.  In other words, if you raise 12% of your money in state from the donors you have to disclose, you usually raise the same percentage from the people you don’t have to disclose.

If that holds true with D’Amboise, that means that of the $141,599.12 he raised from individuals, only about $17,241 of it would have come from within the state of Maine.  I’m sure that figure is a little off, but even if he doubled the percentage to 25%, that is not exactly a groundswell of support from the people that would be voting for him.

And, I’m not going to spend a lot of time breaking it down, but it is also pretty notable how much of the money D’Amboise raised was sent out of state as well.  His disbursements do include a few companies from Maine (Adept Screen Printing & Graphics, Krack Media, Port City Graphics), but those disbursements were far outweighed by the more than $11,000 he sent to his Washington, D.C. based mail shop, his use of First Virginia Community Bank, spending $3,500 for an email list rental from NewsMax, or the $4,200 to the Prosper Group for fundraising consultancy.  Indeed, the single most frequent Maine based spending was reimbursements for mileage to himself and his wife.

Just for comparison’s sake, Senator Olympia Snowe‘s funding featured 242 donors from Maine out of the 992 total itemized contributors.  That is about twice D’Amboise’s share at roughly 25%.

But as I said the last time I talked about fundraising in this race, the burden of grassroots support falls upon the person trying to unseat the legend, not the legend herself.  I myself have absolutely zero problem with raising and spending money out of state, but in D’Amboises case, while there’s nothing wrong with his very clear out of state base, he is the one that needs to demonstrate that everyday Mainers are tired of Senator Snowe, and think he is a better option.

So far, he hasn’t come anywhere near showing that.

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Matthew Gagnon

About Matthew Gagnon

Matthew Gagnon, of Yarmouth, is the Chief Executive Officer of the Maine Heritage Policy Center, a free market policy think tank based in Portland. Prior to Maine Heritage, he served as a senior strategist for the Republican Governors Association in Washington, D.C. Originally from Hampden, he has been involved with Maine politics for more than a decade.