HELENA — Although Republican Rick Hill has raised slightly more money from Montana donors than Democrat Steve Bullock, Bullock’s advantage with out-of-state contributors gives him the overall financial lead in the governor’s race so far.
Bullock, the state’s attorney general, has raised 30 percent of his money from out-of-state, compared with 10 percent for Hill, a former congressman.
The National Institute on Money in State Politics, a nonpartisan, nonprofit group in Helena, did a computer analysis of the candidates’ fundraising reports filed for the Gazette State Bureau. The numbers analyzed are through Sept. 5, the end of the last reporting period. The next reports are due Oct. 22 at the state political practices commissioner’s office.
Overall, Bullock has reeled in $1,428,027 in total campaign donations. Of that, he has raised 70 percent, or $1,001,150, from Montana-based donors. The remaining 30 percent, $426,877, comes from out of state.
Hill, in contrast, has brought in campaign donations totaling $1,130,566, with $1,018,484 coming from Montana donors and $112,085 from out-of-state contributors.
In 2008, incumbent Gov. Brian Schweitzer, a Democrat, had raised 55 percent of his campaign money from in-state donors and 45 percent from out of state, through Oct. 15 2008. His unsuccessful Republican opponent, Roy Brown, raised 95 percent of his money from in-state donors and 5 percent from out of state, according to a similar analysis then by the institute.
In response to the money breakdown, the Bullock and Hill campaigns had comments, each with a slam at the other side.
“When people contribute to a candidate, they do it because that candidate represents their values,” said Brock Lowrance, Hill’s campaign manager. “That’s why thousands of Montanans have made an investment in Rick’s campaign, because they know he is going to do what’s best for Montana. Out-of-state donors, trial lawyers, and environmentalists have been generous to Steve Bullock’s campaign because they know he’s going to be generous to them.”
Here was the Bullock campaign’s comment from spokeswoman Kate Downen:
“There's a reason Steve Bullock has raised more funds and has more donors than Congressman Hill: He has a broader base of support across the state. While Congressman Hill has cashed campaign checks from fellow insurance executives who jacked up rates on Montana families, Steve Bullock has thousands of grass-roots supporters from every corner of Montana."
Looking deeper at the 2012 numbers in the Bullock-Hill race, here are the top 10 states (including the District of Columbia) outside of Montana where each raised the most money:
Bullock raised money from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. His top 10 sources of out-of-state money are: 1. California, $81,140; 2. Washington, D.C., $51,811; 3. New York, $41,984; 4. Virginia, $32,726; 5. Maryland, $32,177; 6. Texas, $30,746; 7. Washington, $16,590; 8. Illinois, $15,919; 9. Colorado, $15,226; and 10. Pennsylvania, $13,771.
Hill raised money from 40 states and the District of Columbia. Here are his top 10: 1. Washington, $14,517; 2. Minnesota, $13,910; 3. Colorado, $12,510; 4. Texas, $8,210; 5. Wyoming, $7,300; 6. California, $6,680; 7. Connecticut, $4,295; 8. North Dakota, $3,960; 9. Nevada, $3,710; and 10. Wisconsin, $3,400.
Four out-of-state donors contributed to both Bullock and Hill, according to the analysis.
Eugene Mallette, Parker, Colo., CEO of Alpine Air, gave Bullock and Hill the maximum donation of $1,260 each. BNSF Railway’s political-action committee, based in Texas, contributed $930 to Bullock and $630 to Hill. Employees of Pfizer, a pharmaceutical company in New York, gave Bullock $1,180 and Hill $320. Cablevision Systems of Bethpage, N.Y., which bought Bresnan Communications’ cable television business here and operates it as Optimum, donated $630 apiece to Bullock and Hill.
As for Montana donations, Hill collected donations from 266 Montana cities and towns, while Bullock raised money from 180 Montana cities and downs.
Helena proved the most fertile ground to raise money for both Hill and Bullock.
Here are Hill’s top 10 Montana cities for fundraising: 1. Helena, $149,664; 2. Billings, $112,034; 3. Missoula, $87,266; 4. Bozeman, $82,555; 5, Kalispell, $58,057; 6. Great Falls, $49,268; 7. Butte, $27,025; 8. Bigfork, $26,225; 9. Clancy, $24,475; and 10. Sidney, $20,200;
Bullock’s top 10 Montana cities for fundraising are: 1. Helena, $293,377; 2. Missoula, $151,154; 3. Billings, $110,976; 4. Bozeman, $70,329; 5. Butte, $67.430; 6. Great Falls, $65,430; 7. Whitefish, $20,965; 8. Kalispell, $19,525; 9. Livingston, $17,326; and 10. Clancy, $13,923.
In addition, the National Institute of Money in State Politics also ran the names of the donors to both campaigns through its database and categorized them by economic or other sectors.
In both case, the sector the institute calls “other/retiree/civil servant” donated the most to each campaign, giving $368,880 to Bullock, for 26 percent of his total donations. That category of donors provided $236,111 to Hill for 21 percent of his total money.
Here were the other top sectors, by candidate, with money counted from both in-state and out-of-state donors:
Bullock: 2. Lawyers and lobbyists, $340,415, for 24 percent of his money; 3. Finance, insurance and real estate, $118,042 for 8 percent; 4. general business, $77,432, for 6 percent; and 5. health, $77,432, for 5 percent.
Hill: 2. Finance, insurance and real estate, $153,542 for 14 percent of his total money; 3. agriculture, $108,688, for 10 percent; 4. construction, $100,591, for 9 percent; 5. energy and natural resources, $75,608, for 7 percent.