"We can't allow things that are inaccurate to stand." — The Word of Our Dan, February 19, 2008.

Monday, November 05, 2012

Case study

Here's an interesting case study in the growth of corporate money in local campaign financing in Newfoundland and Labrador provincial politics.

This chart shows the total amount collected in business (dark) and personal (pale) donations to Roger Fitzgerald, former PC MHA for Bonavista South.

In 1996, Fitzgerald raised more from individuals for his local campaign than he did from companies. About 43% of his total was company money. Three years later, the proportion was essentially flipped, with 56% of his enlarged local campaign kitty coming from business sources. (There was also a $1000 contribution from the IBEW that year, the only reported union donation of his electoral career.)

In 2003, the year the government changed hands, his corporate contributions topped out over $11,000, and accounted for 86% of his total intake. And in 2007, business donations accounted for 94% of his campaign war chest. But for a single personal donation of $500, from an out-of-towner, not a local,* it would have been 100%.

The 2007 corporate share is made all the more remarkable by the likely reason the total fell off compared to 2003: in 2007, Roger Fitzgerald was elected by acclamation.

Fitzgerald did not re-offer for election in 2011.

For comparative purposes, here's the chart updated and asterisked to include the campaign financials of his successor as candidate and MHA, Glen Little:

* A Townie named John Crosbie.



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