Sunday, May 9, 2010

How Far Off was the Tocco Hills Flyer?

Here's the picture of the the infamous Tocco Hills Flyer that caused all the agitation last Friday.

The Carter camp denounced it, Tom Stubbs denounced it, Thomas Wheatley over at Fresh Loaf called it total BS and there was some lively conversation on Peach Pundit about rogue 7th graders being behind it as well as an observation that Yasser has no shadow. Spooky indeed.

But how far off was it? The Carter camp disputed the statement that 40% of the campaign's money came from out of state and campaign manager Howard Franklin was quoted over at Fresh Loaf on the subject:

“We did an analysis of our donors,” Franklin says. “Jason’s got 820 donors; 655 are from Georgia. Of the total amount we’ve raised, only 27 percent of that money came from outside Georgia. We don’t know who’s behind [the flier]. We’re going to focus on the issues voters care about.”

Fair enough, they got data saying that 27% of the total amount raised came from out of state. According to the latest filing at the State Ethics Commission the campaign has raised a staggering $260,000 so far for this race. 27% of $260,000 equals about $70,000. Since the campaign has 820 donors and 655 of them live somewhere in Georgia that means the 165 out of state donors averaged $424 each, not bad at all. We could have used a few out of state libertarians with bats that size.

Now what about the statement that 70% of the money came from out of district sources? How factual is that? we ran a post here at Bludgeon & Skewer in April titled "Noodlin' Around Jason Carter's Financial Disclosure Forms at the State Ethics Commission Website" that got into some of the particulars about the 31 MAR 10 report but we didn't get around to looking into that aspect.

No time like the present.

Here are the zip codes for State Senate Dictrict 42, please note that some of these zips overlap into adjacent districts, but for the purposes of this particular exercise, any donor who has these zip codes will be counted as residents of the district. It's bit of a gimme, but who has the time to look up every single address on Mapquest? It's Mother's Day!

District 42 zip codes: according to the GeorgiaInfo site


That's 11 zip codes. Here are the results of screening those zip codes against all three contribution reports on file at the State Ethics Commission website in Excel spreadsheet format.

The most recent is the 15 Day report which had 160 donors

30306 11 donors
30307 13 donors
30319 3 donors
30324 2 donors
30329 3 donors
30030 18 donors
30033 5 donors
30340 0 donors
30341 0 donors
30345 0 donors
30360 0 donors

160 total donors for the 15 day report, 55 donors reside in the district call it 64%-65% of reported donors not residing in the district. Local money must be getting tight. Might have something to do with all that junk mail.

Next is the 31 MAR 10 report. It's a monster with 479 donors

30306 37 donors
30307 64 donors
30319 8 donors
30324 6 donors
30329 4 donors
30030 40 donors
30033 12 donors
30340 0 donors
30341 0 donors
30345 0 donors
30360 0 donors

So 479 total reported donors with 171 donors residing in the district. It's not 70%, but it's pretty close, call it 64% to 65% of the donors listed in the 31 MAR 10 report as residing out of district.

And now the December 31 report

30306 10 donors
30307 28 donors
30319 3 donors
30324 11 donors
30329 1 donor
30030 14 donors
30033 5 donors
30340 0 donors
30341 0 donors
30345 0 donors
30360 0 donors

The 31 DEC report totaled 226 donors with 72 residing in the district. Call that about 68% of the donors not residing in State Senate District 42.

Let's crunch everything all at once even though the percentages are gonna hang right at 65% or so. And please remember that we're only talking about where his reported donors live, not how much they gave the campaign.

Total donors: 865 by the spreadsheets
Donors in District: 298 by the spreadsheets

65% of Jason Carter's reported donors do not live in the 42nd District. The flyer said 70% and that was not correct! The 7th graders that put it together get a solid B with a plus for effort.

The last element of the flyer is the misinformation on Mr & Mrs Emami over in Hong Kong, $4800 is half of $9600 so the grade is a flat F. Sorry kids.

But interesting things happen when you use a search term like Amir Emami on Google. Turns out that Amir and Jason go back to at least 2006 because that's when Amir put $2100 into Jason's Carter for Senate Committee. Jason's been looking at a Senate seat since he was 28 years old. That's ambition.

So what does this mean in relation to the race? Not a whole bunch, the flyer came and went and Saturday was an AJC-Jimmy/Jason earned media love fest. Jason's burned up $172,000 dollars to buy a Senate seat that usually sells for about $50,000. Smart bidness? Not really. Even after he wins the run-off he'll have to face Tom Stubbs once again. And the next time folks might be looking a little harder.

What we'd like to see is every Swingin' Richard in District 42 to head to the polls next Tuesday and pull the lever for Libertarian David Montané. That would be poetic justice. Money can't buy you love, but it damn sure buys Georgia Senate seats.

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