After the Tea Party deluge: new GOP Latino reps in a bind
Following up yesterday’s post
On debt, the debt ceiling, and debt closer to home, including campaign debt
All of the new Republican Latino members of the House except Raul Labrador of Idaho, whose name was omitted by error earlier, voted finally to raise the debt limit. See the NYTimes tally here and tally with short discussion by Kos here. Shrieks about debt and deficit notwithstanding, almost every new GOPer of Latino heritage, whether elected with Tea Party support or over Tea Party opposition, joined in the mostly-Republican vote that pushed the debt ceiling over the line in the House, and Labrador is not among those most deeply in debt. (As previously written on this site, it was mostly Republicans who raised the debt ceiling.) So the members whose financial condition is sketched below are not among those members of Congress who, wracked with debt themselves, also worked to prevent any enhancement of financial stability for the nation at large.
For some of them, though, that’s the end of the good news.
Here in alphabetical order is a quick list of the Latinos among the Republican majority in the House of Representatives, newly elected in 2010, with the numbers showing where they currently stand financially. (Dollar amounts from the Center for Responsive Politics; 2010 totals as of Dec. 31, 2010; 2012 totals as of June 30.) All of this group except Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington and Raul Labrador of Idaho are from Texas and Florida.
By far the worst off of the group, financially, is Francisco Canseco (R-Tex.). Canseco enjoyed considerable Tea Party support in his part of Texas, and raised a lot of money.
For 2012, Canseco has raised $578,926, spent $238,919. Cash on hand $480,970. Debts $1,150,947. Net minus: $669,977.
For 2010, Canseco raised a considerable $1,569,081, spent $1,460,461. Cash on hand $140,964. Debts $1,146,250. Net minus: $1,005,286.
Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fl.) is by far the best off of the group financially. It probably helped that he ran unopposed in 2010. He is the exception to the straits represented by the others, but then he’s not really new, either, already a Congressman and took over the seat vacated by his brother, fellow Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart.
Diaz-Balart raised $739,771 for 2010, spent $541,148. Has $215,085 on hand. Debts zero.
For 2012, he reports raising $173,962, spending $114,242. Cash on hand $274,805. Debts zero.
Zero opponents, zero campaign debt. Does sound simple. It also suggests that the Democrats would benefit by running in all districts, or almost all, at least along the coasts.
Next up, or down, is William Flores (R-Tex.). Flores is second worst off in the group, even after some very successful fund-raising.
For 2012, Flores has raised $524,432, spent $165,502. Cash on hand $402,848. Debts $713,574. Net minus: $310,726.
Raised $3,353,665, spent $3,309,747. Cash on hand $43,918. Debts $730,872. Net minus: $686,954.
Jaime Herrera (R-Wa.), who after the 2010 elections announced that she will go by her husband’s name, Jaime Herrera Beutler, is second best off of the group. She is not a Tea Partyer herself and was challenged in the primary by a Tea Party candidate; enjoys financial support from large companies. A local blog casts a critical eye here.
Reports raising $439,101, spending $127,363. Cash on hand $334,292; debt $53,726. Net surplus, so far.
Reports raising $1,557,221 for 2010, spending $1,534,650. Cash on hand $22,571; exceeded by debt $41,262. Net minus: $18,691.
Raul Labrador (R-Id.), endorsed by the Tea Party:
Reports raising $193,752, spending $116,131. Cash on hand $102,617. Debts zero.
Raised $726,288, spent $686,293. Cash on hand: $39,996. Debts: $25,276. Net surplus: $14,720.
David Rivera (R-Fl.), significantly younger than the others, seems to have more top contributors among local businesses rather than big multi-state companies. A former PR consultant, Rivera ran against a Tea Party candidate, is now designated vulnerable by the RNCC, as previously written, which is good news for him since he will receive a portion of the proceedings from the most recent RNCC fundraiser.
For 2012, Rivera has raised $110,324, spent $59,274. Cash on hand $62,036. Debts $151,581. Net minus: $89,545.
For 2010, Rivera raised $1,895,640, spent $1,884,654. Cash on hand $10,986. Debts $137,474. Net minus: $126,488.
So far it’s looking as though Tea Party support for these particular members is not translating into great financial advantage, particularly on all three coasts, and Tea Party opposition is not translating into financial disaster.
Maybe it’s too soon to tell.
Note: A reader commented on my previous post that I did not distinguish between campaign debt owed to self, and debt owed to third parties. Correct. In this bookkeeping, I am drawing the line only between pluses (incoming) and minuses (outgoing). I respectfully disagree that the analysis is “fundamentally flawed” for that reason. The disparity is between what self-proclaimed GOP deficit hawks say and what they do for themselves, although political interest also lies in the way some of the candidates have been treated by their own party, apparently. The fundamental problem, of course, is the gangrenous role that money plays in elections in the first place, coupled with the anti-people policy that money buys.
Update: I left Rep. Raul Labrador’s name off the list earlier by mistake.