Loose Lips

Bowser Grows Fundraising Gap With $1 Million in Cash

If mayoral candidates David Catania and Carol Schwartz are going to beat Muriel Bowser, it won't be by raising more money than the Democratic nominee. Campaign finance reports released last night covering June 11 to August 10 show Bowser outpacing her nearest rival by more than $500,000 in cash reserves.

Muriel Bowser

Raised: $511,160.52. Spent: $201,397.86. Cash on hand: $1,026,632.42.

Bowser's post-primary fundraising spree continues, with contributions from Bill Clinton advisor Vernon Jordan ($750), Wizards and Capitals owner Ted Leonsis ($2,000), Donna Brazile ($200), and Warner Bros. ($1,000).

Bowser also received money from former first lady of the District Cora Masters ($1,000), companies controlled by controversial gas king Joe Mamo ($4,000), and $1,142.50 in in-kind contributions of food from councilmember and former Bowser rival Tommy Wells. Attorney general hopeful Karl Racine put $225,000 of his fortune into his own campaign, but still had enough to give $2,000 to Bowser.

In a press release touting her fundraising advantage, Bowser says her money shows that her campaign is "only getting stronger."

That puts Catania campaign manager Ben Young in the position of comparing Bowser to other District pols—like Bowser mentor Adrian Fenty—who lost mayoral campaigns despite drowning their opponents in cash.

“You can’t buy a record, and fortunately you can’t buy votes," Young says.

David Catania

Raised: $219,449.36. Spent: $105,172.52. Cash on hand: $464,983.75.

Catania didn't get anywhere near beating Bowser in fundraising, but he still received contributions from some District heavies. Former Vince Gray re-election co-chair Judith Terra kicked in $1,000, and developer Douglas Jemal gave $1,000. Catania also received contributions from former councilmember and Catania campaign chairwoman Sharon Ambrose ($1,000) and prominent Dupont Circle haircutter Diego D'Ambrosio, who stocks Catania lit in the booths at his barbershop.

Appropriately for their reduced budget, Catania's campaign also managed to spend nearly half of what Bowser did. Among Catania's expenses: $960 on for sunscreen handouts that looked an awful lot like another thing regularly thrown out at District parades.

Carol Schwartz

Raised: $65,623.00. Spent: $15,248.44. Cash on hand: $50,374.56.

Schwartz got some help from Wilson Building lobbyist Tina Ang ($200) and some of her former D.C. Council colleagues, former chairwoman Linda Cropp ($300) and former Ward 8 Councilmember Sandy Allen ($200). But no one helped Schwartz more than herself, making a $33,000 loan to her campaign.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

  • Typical DC BS

    Her campaign is "only getting stronger"? Please, when this dimwit loses to Catania, the list of her donors needs to be put on a "Do not return call" list for the next four years in the mayoral office.

  • Marvin E. Adams

    One Race:

    Rep. Eric Cantor, R-VA: $5.4 million on-hand; His opponent, David Bart, < $225,000.00.

    To my fellow residents of the District: Do N-O-T be swayed by the dollars and cents. This race will be all about character, conviction and compassion, coupled with voter turn-out. PERIOD!

    Residents mantra: One person, one vote...

  • justsayin

    I hope you are right Marvin E. Adams, because too often, money talks and bull$&% walks right into city hall.

  • Adam 12

    Muriel, having lots of money doesn't mean anything. Robin Williams was a millionaire and he was unhappy and suffered from depression. Fenty had a lot of money in his war chest and he lost to Vincent Gray.


    Bowser's money can be spent on the triple package from Comcast...no, she will use it for the Wizard of Oz triple package:

    Maybe she can go see the Wizard and get a "brain". Or some "courage" to debate. Or a 'heart" to hold a hearing for the folks at Park Southern.

  • itsjustamess

    @REALDC - Hilarious!!!! Dave Chappelle should hire you!

  • Concerned DCer

    sounds like a Bowser mayorship will be about sweet deals for contributors. Vote Bowser, vote for "pay to play"

  • SWMurielSupporter

    Is there a wizard behind these ridiculous attacks on Bowser? Some of these comments sound like a Sulaimon Brown character, or just manufactured. The campaign contributions game is simply a show of support by the numbers. More money means simply more votes. I'm sure that you've heard the sayings, "put your money where your mouth is" or "put up or shut up." Councilmember Bowser has loyal supporters who are going to turn out the votes. Get used to the idea. She is going to win come November.

  • mike

    Adam12 - You're obviously a class act, and I'm obviously sarcastic.

  • mike

    You can say whatever you like about Bowser but this is clear: people clearly prefer to work with her than Catania because of his nasty disposition. While you don't have to be likable or personable to be effective you should avoid being outright mean and nasty. He can't escape his mean spirited nature now.

  • Maybe Catania can make himself a loan

    On 1/14/13 the Post reported:

    "D.C. Council member David A. Catania has left his $240,000-a-year executive job with a prominent local construction firm that is doing an increasing amount of business with the District government... [but] He is not breaking all ties with M.C. Dean, whose revenues approached $900 million in 2011. Catania said he is in talks to join an unnamed law firm, most likely in a salaried position, where he will manage existing litigation involving the company."


    How much money has Catania made to date from his "part-time" work while on the Council which appears to pay about double his annual Council Salary?

  • Just the facts

    From the 2-1-2014 Examiner:

    "That year, Gray also received $650,000 in illicit funds from a district businessman to help get him elected, an effort that federal prosecutors called a "shadow campaign."

    "Overall, Evans has still raised the most money — $1.2 million. Bowser is close behind at $1.08 million, and she has the most money left to spend — $791,000. Evans has $685,000 in cash on hand, and Gray has $560,000."

    "No candidate is coming close to the pace set by former mayor Adrian Fenty, who raised $5 million for his losing re-election bid against Gray in 2010."

  • SayWhat

    Stay focused Mayor-Elect Bowser and clean their clocks!


    @swmurielsupporter- No wizard behind the attacks, just real venom form ward 4 residents who had to suffer her and her nonsense for the last 7 years. But from your handle, you have the luxury of NOT having her represent you. Consider yourself fortunate. But for the Ward 4 residents, it has been PAINFUL! No significant legislation, no development, schools are ratchet, her office is a hot mess, she has no real solutions, nasty disposition, incompetence, etc. Trust me, Ward 4 would be happy to see her GO!

    Yes, its good for her to be unknown to the rest of the city, so folks will give her a pass.


  • DCShadyBoots

    Chile this cast of characters have had their snout in the trough of the District coffers for YEARS!!! TRUST AND BELIEVE, they don't give without an expectation of a windfall return. This is their M.O.

    No MAM, No thank you very much Ms. B!