Without so much as a tweet, Elections NL has quietly posted the financial contribution disclosures of candidates in the October 2011 provincial general election, a mere 55 weeks after the electoral event itself.
The reports on election and regular 2011 contributions to the parties themselves, as distinct from the candidates, are still wanting.
Some quick observations (most amounts rounded to the nearest thousand; subject to slight errors and corrections in the original Excel spreadsheet which generated all this numbery goodness):
- Candidates for all three parties collectively raised more money in 2011 than 2007. Liberal candidates raised $282,000 (up 23%) and PC candidates a whopping $811,000 (up 24%) during the campaign. The NDP, however, with the lowest total ($123,000) was more than tripled its candidate fundraising total from four years before.
- From all sources, the average PC candidate raised almost $17,000, the average Liberal $7000, and the average Dipper $3200. Nine of the top ten local campaigns were Tories, with Tom Marshall ($55,000), Jerome Kennedy ($41,000), Shawn Skinner ($37,000), Derrick Dalley ($35,000) and Kevin Parsons ($32,000) leading the pack. The top Liberals, in tenth and eleventh spot among all candidates, were Dwight Ball ($26,000) and Wayne Morris ($25,000). The top NDP candidate was Gerry Rogers in St. John's Centre ($14,000). By defeating Shawn Skinner, she gave him the honour of being the best-financed losing candidate in the election. At the other end of the spectrum, Christopher Mitchelmore only raised $500, in one union donation, but won his seat.
- $634,000 of the PC candidates' total came from business donors, or more than 78% of their total funds raised, and more than 52% of all money, from all sources, to all election candidates. This beats the previous record of 76.9% set by Liberal candidates in 1999. Business donors were more generous to the Liberals this time around than they were in 2007, up from $134,000 to $173,000. Business donors contributed just $12,000 to the NDP.
- Eleven candidates — Tories all — each fundraised more than $20,000 from business donors.
- For the record, these were Tom Marshall ($47,250), Shawn Skinner ($29,025), Kathy Dunderdale ($27,950), Jerome Kennedy ($27,600), Ross Wiseman ($26,250), Derrick Dalley ($24,950), Kevin Parsons ($23,500), Steve Kent ($22,975), Keith Russell ($22,200), Darin King ($20,300), and Susan Sullivan ($20,246).
- In fact, 33 of 48 PC candidates took in at least $10,000 from business donors, compared to just five Liberals and no NDP candidates. The top Liberal business fundraisers were Wayne Morris in Grand Falls-Windsor–Buchans ($19,084) and Dwight Ball ($16,925).
- Personal donations accounted for just 21.2% of PC candidates' revenues. The personal contribution amount was up slightly to $172,000 (from $160,000 in 2007), but personal donations to the PCs continue to slide as a share of their total, as it has in every election since 1996. For the first time since 1999, personal donations to the PCs represented a plurality of all personal donations to all candidates — 49%, vs 31% for the Liberal candidates and 20% for the Dippers.
- Personal donations to the Liberals rose from $91,000 in 2007 to $107,000 in 2011, and was virtually unchanged as a share of Liberal candidates' intake (39%, down from 40%).
- The NDP was the big gainer in the personal donations sweeps, up to almost $72,000 from just $17,000 in 2007. In fact, individual donations to the NDP in 2011 were more than in the previous four elections combined. Individual donations to the NDP, at 20% of the total personal donations, was that party's highest on record, never having hit a double-digit share in any previous election.
- In terms of personal donations, Tory Jerome Kennedy was top fundraiser, with $13,000, followed notionally by Liberal Sheila Miller in Virginia Waters, Dipper Gerry Rogers in St. John's Centre, and Liberal Marshall Dean on the Northern Peninsula. However, putting an asterisk besides the two Liberals (see below) Tories Derrick Dalley ($10,000) and Kevin Parsons ($8800) round out the top tier of personal fundraising.
- The average business contribution to the Tories was $591, compared to the $478 for the Liberals. The average personal contribution to the Liberals was almost identical, at $476, compared to $361 for the Tory candidates and $306 for the NDP.
- NDP candidates, as is customary, also took almost all of the union contributions, nearly $39,000 from unions, union locals, and other labour organizations. A Liberal received $500, and a PC $1000 in single union donations.
- That is, of course, unless you count the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary Association as a union: it also donated $1000 to former RNC officer Paul Davis in Topsail, carrying on the RNC's proud tradition of supporting democracy as long as it comes in blue.
- The Bell Island Sports Hall of Fame gave $200 to Tory David Brazil.
- Numbered companies gave $21,000 to PC candidates. (Another $3350 went to Liberal candidates.)
- The largest personal donations were each $10,000 — William Tapper to Liberal Sheila Miller in Virginia Waters, and Dean Marshall to himself in the Straits and White Bay North. (They both lost.)
- The largest corporate donations were $7700 from the Windsor Pharmacy to Liberal Wayne Morris in Grand Falls-Windsor–Buchans and $7500 from Coleman Management to Tory Tom Marshall in Humber East.
- The largest personal NDP donation was Alex Saunders' $5000 to himself in Torngat Mountains.
- The NDP received four union donations of $4,000 in four separately-booked contributions from CUPE.
- At least fifteen NDP candidates, eight Liberals, and three Tories donated to themselves, as did the one independent (John Baird) with declared contributions.
- The Corner Brook Port Corporation gave $500 to each of the three Tory candidates in metropolitan Corner Brook, and nothing to anyone else.
- The Conne River Indian Band gave $1500 to Tory Tracey Perry, and nothing to anyone else.
- Kurtis Coombs, running for the NDP in Mount Pearl North, donated $5793.02 to himself.
- John and/or Judy Risley of Bedford, NS, made two contributions totalling $5,000 to the two Tory candidates on the Burin Peninsula.
- Tory campaign manager, and revolving-door patronage appointee Len Simms contributed to two Tory campaigns, Susan Sullivan's successful one, and Selma Pike's differently-successful one.
- Ellsworth Estates Inc. made contributions totalling $4750 to eleven candidates, all Tories, all but one in the metro St. John's region.
- Emera of Halifax, NS, gave $1200 to Shawn Skinner, Tory candidate, and, as it turned out, outgoing Minister of Natural Resources. (Also the Mastermind of Muskrat Falls, for the record.)
- One Sandra Pupatello of Windsor, Ontario, donated $250 to a Liberal candidate.
- One Daniel Williams gave a single donation of $500 to Tory Kevin Parsons in Cape St. Francis.