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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Parsons, Aurand and Capozzolo: Show Me the Money!

Note (3:00 pm): This report has some errors. See my explanatory post

Democrats Mark Aurand, Joe Capozzolo and Scott Parsons are currently duking it out over their party's nomination to the newly minted 40th Senatorial District. Since this includes nearly all of Monroe and about half of Northampton County, it’s a pretty big deal. While they were willing to attend a debate at the Gracedale Chapel last week in which they largely agreed with each other, I know next to nothing about their campaign finances. Where they get their money from is probably just as important than what they say in a debate, but we know next to nothing about that.

Though they have all filed campaign finance reports with the Department of State in Harrisburg, they filed paper reports. So unless someone is willing to drive to Harrisburg, we’ll have to wait until well after the election is over to be able to follow the money. This defeats the whole point of campaign finance disclosure laws.

In most cases, state candidates file what are known as “courtesy” copies in local elections office. In fact the Department of State directs state senate candidates to "[f]ile with the Department of State and the county in which the candidate resides." Many of the state representative candidates, as well as State Senator Lisa Boscola, have complied.

Capozzolo and Parsons filed nothing in Northampton County. (Parsons filed today).

Whoever wins this race will face State Rep. Mario Scavello in the General election. He’s a Republican from Monroe County and is running unopposed. Unlike his Democratic counterparts, he did file a courtesy copy of his latest campaign finance report, and in Northampton County.

Scavello reports total funds of $406,891.32, consisting of lots of small as well as very large contributions. Despite being unopposed, he spent $110,035.48 in this election cycle. His spending even included a mailer to Democrats.

In any event, Scavello has demonstrated transparency by disclosing who is funding him. All three Democrats have failed a pretty basic test of transparency and accountability

Come on, guys! Show Me the Money!

Updated 12:45 pm. Scott Parsons has filed his campaign finance report. It turns out that Aurand did file his report on May 7. I missed it bc it was buried at the bottom, out of order, under a cover page. An earlier version of this story indicates Aurand failed to file with the County. That assertion was inaccurate and I apologize. 


Anonymous said...

They will get crushed in November. Oh and please no "Corbett will pull them down" nonsense

Corbett may lose but it will be close if he does. The other state Republican candidates will run wild.

Parsons ego will have to shrink down to his real size.

Bernie O'Hare said...

They need to file their reports.

Anonymous said...

Corbett will pull them down.

Kevin Cerino said...

Doesn't the Morning Call have a reporter in Harrisburg? This would seem like the kind of article they used to write before print media went downhill.

Anonymous said...

So they folowed the law, submitted paper reports by the deadline but you accuse them of hiding something. Scavelli is a scum bag of the highest level. He has less morals in his entire being than either of the 3 have in their little fingers. Scavelli is in the pockets of the money whores, and the voters know it! GO SCOTT!

Anonymous said...

Is that the KEVIN CERINO from bangor? There was a K Cerino on council in the 90's who had to flee town after defrauding people. HE voted for tax hikes every year. And caused bangor to have the highest taxs in 3 counties. He should stay in florida and his opinion here is not wanted

Anonymous said...

Maybe this will help:

Try this link:

Put in the last name of each candidate you wish to research.

As of eight AM, 5-15-14:

Aurand - two reports can be downloaded ("2nd Friday Pre-Primary" & "Late Contributions-24 HR" reporting).

Capozzolo - 2014 report "In Data Entry"...only results from 2013 can be viewed. There may be no "Late Contributions" at the time of this writing.

Parsons - Only the "Late Contributions-24 HR" reporting can be viewed. The "2nd Friday Pre-Primary" was late (signified by a forty $ fine) and is most likely "In Data Entry".

It would be interesting to find out the "In Data Entry" process in Harrisburg. Two people, with a computer and scanner each, could each upload about twenty reports (or more) an hour, or 320 total in a eight hour work day. If the maximum number of candidates, committees and PACs filing reports in a heavy year (..Presidential..) exceeds 640 (it could be a couple thousand...), then it could sometimes take more than two days.

As an alternate, the counties could scan the reports upon receipt for state legislative candidates, email the files to Harrisburg, and they could be posted easily within 24 hours (Harrisburg would only have to post the attachment to the email, not scan anything...).

Keep up the good work....

Anonymous said...

For those that qualify for the tax credit premiums are lower have lower. You fail to recognize while many may be paying higher prices, there us better bang for the buck.

Let's not forget Bush's Medicare reform the mandated the US taxpayer to pay more for American made drugs than Canadians pay.

What is your next argument? Benghazi? Let's review the Regan Bieruit bombings where he assurered the barracks was secure. Hundreds were kill there.

Anonymous said...

I don't know if this means anything. The 3 dems each have facebook pages, both senate and personal a quick check on the numbers shows Joe Cap in the "likes" lead and the personal friends. Again, don't know if its relevent. Cap=382 Parsons=252 Auran=169. Personal friends on home page Cap= 1120 Parsons=325 Aurand=172.

This new social media is starting to become an important tool for candidates to engage voters. The numbers may not reflect the big picture, but must be view as all statistics are viewed. Figures don't lie, lyers figure.

gen x

Bernie O'Hare said...

gen x, No, whatever you said, it doesn't mean anything. They obviously filed paper reports instead of efiling in Harrisburg. Thjis means no one will see their reports in Harrisburg until after the election. They are supposed to file copies of their reports in the county in which they reside. Not one of them did. This needs to be done immediately. Today, if possible.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Section 1631 of the Elections Code requires that their reports be filed both with the Department of state and in the county in which they reside. So basically, all thhree candidates violated our campaign finance disclosure laws and should be assessed a late filing fee, paid out of their own pockets.

Anonymous said...

Parsons has shown himself to be an honest politician which counts a lot these days. I don't know anything aboutCapozzolo. Aurand seems too pie in the sky about everything. He wants to stop fracking without any ideas about how to replace those jobs.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I don't dispute Parsons' honesty or that of Aurand. Joe Cap was involved in vandalizing campaign signs a few years ago, and I have reservations about his honesty.

Kevin Cerino said...


I am indeed the Kevin Cerino from Bangor who served on the Borough Council. But you are very mistaken if you believe that I voted for ANY tax increases. I suggest that you get your facts straight before making unfounded accusations.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Kevin, Sorry, but with the Mezzacrazy spam attack, I missed the anonymous personal attack. Your comments here are welcome,even if we do not always agree.

Matt Miles said...

In Monroe County, the median income is $57,773. In Northampton County, the median income is $$59,551.

When a self-declared Fiscal Conservative spends the equivalent of 2 Household's income in an uncontested primary, and has more than 4x the household income banked, there is something seriously wrong with how campaign finances are happening in the Commonwealth of PA... and I'll sign my name to that.

Lois Heckman said...

I just looked on-line and Mark Aurand has reported. can't you do the same before posting wrong information??!!!!!!

Lois Heckman said...

I just checked on line and I easily found Mark Aurand's filing report. Why couldn't you do the same???

Bernie O'Hare said...

Because when I checked last night, it was not there.

Anonymous said...

Callahan needs to be asked how Dolan scored the sweetheart deal for her non-profit. If Dolan is painted into a corner she might talk more than she has been. Hope the Grand Jury opens up the can of worms.

Lois Heckman said...

thanks for the update and apology...
i only posted twice because i didn't realize the posts were in reverse order.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Lois, You correctly took me to task.