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.