Campaign Finance: McCain, Shelby Taketh, Martinez Giveth

Posted July 16, 2009 at 5:22pm

Back from another trip to the Senate’s public records office, which is busy processing the dozens of campaign finance reports that senators and candidates had to mail by a July 15 deadline.

Most of the reports, which cover receipts and expenditures for the second quarter of 2009 and often run into the hundreds of pages, aren’t yet available for viewing. (Unfortunately, the Senate doesn’t mandate electronic filing of campaign finance reports). But here are some useful nuggets of information from campaign reports I did view earlier today.

**Alabama**: Talk about low overhead. Republican Sen. Richard C. Shelby, a shoo-in to win a fifth term in 2010, raised $1.4 million and spent just $96,000 doing so. That’s less than 7 percent of his second-quarter receipts. Even at this early stage, most campaigns spend a larger percentage of their receipts on fundraising and staff expenses. (For example, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid raised $3.3 million and spent $976,000, or about 30 percent.) Shelby has a whopping $14.8 million cash-on-hand as July began.