The sum Kassis reports is nearly twice the $36,873.10 raised by Sam Murray and considerably more than the $44,480.80 donated to Vic Scomillio. Together, all three judicial hopefuls have raked in $148,000, according to papers filed with the Department of State. That's no surprise. What amazes me is that Kassis, who holds himself out as tough on crime, has spent $37,600 for political consultant Tom Severson.
He was fined $14,000 and placed on three years of probation after a guilty plea in 2010 to filing fraudulent campaign expense expense reports, as well as tampering with public records. Now, a few short years later, a judicial candidate is paying him for the same kind of work that resulted in a criminal conviction.
Seversoin was also convicted in 2009 of misdemeanor harassment after a strange outburst during a funeral mass.
Why would a judicial candidate pay such a huge sum to a disgraced (and convicted) political consultant?
Maybe he thinks Severson has paid for his mistake.
In 1994, before he was a judge, Emil Giordano accused Severson of "sleazeball politics," calling him the "leader of the pack." For a judicial candidate to use Severson, and pay him so much money, is an insult to the voters, most of whom will never know that a "tough" prosecutor is using a convicted criminal to garner a judgeship. This poor decision is also an insult to many fine Lebanese families who put their faith in Kassis.
Vic Scomillio has raised $44,480.80, with the largest sum coming in the form of a $5,000 check from L Anderson Daub. His law partners have helped with generous $2,000 contributions. He even picked up a $500 check from Wilson Police Chief Steve Parkansky.
Scomillio has spent $27,541.31, including $5,000 for polling. He has sent out at least two mailers, and has $16,939.57 left in the closing days of the campaign.
Scomillion has also lent $7,275 to his campaign.
Sam Murray raised $36,873.10, including $5,000 out of his own pocket. He has spent $33,319.54, leaving him with $3,553.46 in the closing days of the campaign. In contrast to Scomillio and Kassis, Murray has relied on numerous small contributors who were able to give between $50 and $250. That's where he got $13,000 of his warchest. The Palmeri family has been generous, and so have several attorneys with whom Murray has worked closely over the years.
Murray has received in-kind donations from Abe Atiyeh (billboard) and developer Gary Strausser (opening announcement). He is employing H Street Strategies and Joe Welsh for campaign consulting. So far, he has sent out three mailers.