Taylor Leads Cox in Period Fundraising Because Of $1 Million Candidate Loan

In the Democratic Primary for Governor, at first glance it appears that Mark Taylor raised about $100,000 more than Cathy Cox.  Not all that surprising.  The general spin was that Cox had closed the gap in fundraising with Taylor.  One more cycle and their cash on hand would be about even.

However, upon closer inspection, it appears that Taylor’s fundraising numbers for this period included a $1 million loan from himself.  Without such loan Cox almost doubled Taylor’s fundraising numbers this period.

So what went from a good fundraising period for both candidates turned into a triumph for Cathy Cox.  This is particularly true when you notice that Cox only trailed the incumbent Republican Governor $2,594,997 to her $1,950,816! 


  1. buzzbrockway says:

    Good analysis Decaturguy. It shows that Cox has more support, which of course is backed up by various polls. On the other hand, Taylor has plenty of money to get his message out and now, with the Legislature in session, he’ll be a regular fixture on TV and in other media. This is going to be fun to watch.

  2. yellowdog says:

    So, Taylor outraised Cathy Cox by about $150k to make his lead $1.5 million, but the conclusion is that Cox has more support. While Taylor loaned himself $1 million, Cox used $1 million from her SOS campaign. I don’t see the difference, either way … Taylor still has $1.5 million more cash on hand. Each of the candidates money is going to spend just the same – Taylor will just have a lot more. If I were Cox – I would be concerned about not having a resume to run on, normally GA voters take the office of Governor kind of seriously. Dem voters are probably going to want a governor who has been apart of every piece of progressive legislation in the last 15 years. Cox’s rebuttal – we don’t want more of the good ol’ boys.

  3. Decaturguy says:

    The point is that he outraised her only because he loaned himself $1,000,000 on December 30 – the day before the end of the reporting period. He did this because he knew that he would be embarrassed by his fundraising showing this period and he needed to keep his campaign afloat, because if Cox showed that she outraised him by over $800,000 this period he would be through.

    When did Cox use $1 million from her Secretery of State campaign for the Governors race? According to my review of her Sec. of State filings she did not. I don’t even think you can do that under the campaign finance laws. Can you Erick?

  4. Greg Greene says:

    Decaturguy, you’re right — Cox could never have done that. To comply w/ the law at a campaign where I worked in ’04, we:
    (1) Took money the candidate raised to run for Office A; and
    (2) Handed it back out to high dollar donors to the Office A committee, who understood that;
    (3) We needed them to write new checks of the same size to the committee for Office B.

    You can cycle the money from one campaign to another, through your donors — but you can never just hand old campaign money to yourself.

  5. emily says:

    Of course Taylor loaned his campaign money to avoid embarrassment, but he also did it to avoid the changes in campaign finance laws that went into effect yesterday. The new law prevents candidates from raising money to repay loans over $250K. My guess is that his (unpaid) staff figured that out in time.

  6. stephaniemills21 says:

    Both candidates had flush accounts from their previous offices. Taylor chose to invest his Lt. Gov’s money in the 2004 Senate races, which undoubtedly helped JB Powell and Doug Stoner knock off Republican incumbents. Cox has cast her lot with the House Democrats, although they apparently came cheap. She took her SOS money (which was less than Taylor’s LG money) and did about 200K of “refunds” at the end of 2004, and those people turned around and gave mostly similar amounts to Cox’s governor campaign in 2005. Because of Taylor’s generosity to the Senate Democrats, he’s had to go back and ask many of his donors to give again, where as many of Cox’s donors only had to give once, because she kept the money.

    There is nothing illegal about what Cox did. At the same time, there’s nothing mischevous about what Taylor did. They call these reports because anyone can look at them and figure out where the money came from. Taylor is only “hiding” his loan from people who won’t look or won’t talk to others who did. Taylor has either given away or raised over a million dollars to support Democratic campaigns in Georgia in 2004 and 2006 — campaigns that aren’t his own. That generosity cost him time and money, and he’s chosen to make up for it by putting his own money in.

    Now he has a $1.5 million lead over Cox and neither can raise money. $4.5 million dollars start advertising on TV a lot earlier than $3. If Taylor and Cox continue to burn money at the same rate, he’ll still have about $4.25 at the end of the session but she’ll be done to $2.5. Cox “won” the money race for this quarter, but the only people that care about that are potential donors and political junkies, and potential donors can’t do anything until the session ends anyway. Even when you take away Taylor’s loan, Cox’s victory is less when you consider how much they spent. She netted about $1 and Taylor would have netted about $600K. If I was a Cathy Cox donor I’d be worried, I looked at all of the expenditures separately and then I looked at the total and I thought WHAT did they get for all that money they spent?

  7. emily says:

    Framing Taylor as some sort of Democratic Santa to the Party is a little overstated. His money “undoubtedly helped JB Powell and Doug Stoner knock off Republican incumbents.” Conveniently enough, didn’t Stoner just endorse him? Quid pro quo much?. There was clearly a motivation for him to give his money to the party, especially as he runs around telling every dem in town that he did it in an effort to, well, get more money. The Great Benefactor (as Ms. Mills would fashion him) probably assumed he’d get that money back and then some. Surprise! Now to be remotely credible he has to fund himself.

  8. stephaniemills21 says:

    I guess you are damned if you do help Democratic candidates get elected and damned if you don’t. Guess that’s why Cathy’s never bothered to raise money for anyone but herself.

  9. stephaniemills21 says:

    Also, do you think for one second that Doug would endorse Cathy for ignoring him? Doubtfull.

  10. emily says:

    I’m just saying that pointing out Taylor’s past contributions to Dem candidates doesn’t mean he gets automatic support. “But I helped you first” is not a viable enough argument to make to other elected officials or to Dem voters. It obviously didn’t work anyway, so Taylor had to dig deeper. If his past monetary support is the only leg the Taylor camp has to stand on, then, as someone has said before, “cry me a river.”

  11. landman says:

    Its good to see you Dems going at it!!!!From the right side of the aisle I will proffer the opinion that Money is Money and Taylor will be spending alot of it.These two will beat each others brains out and Taylor will pull out a thin margin win,only to be slapped around in the General. GO SONNY!!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. Romegaguy says:

    Even if you take away the one million loan, Taylor has $500k more on hand than Cox does. Neither can raise for the next 3-4 months. That leaves basically 3.5-4 months to raise before the primary, does anybody expect her to raise a million in that period to surpass Taylor?

  13. HeartofGa says:

    Well, in that same period last time, she raised 2.1 million. I think that if you look at her report, the real strength is in the overwhelming number of contributors- nearly three times what Taylor has. And the low dollar donors- sixty something thousans to his fifteen. Half a million through the Internet.

    Many of the people who have given to her will do so again after session. Many are rather passionate about her candidacy. Mark can’t beat Sonny. Cathy has the better shot. I think that she can make up the ground on money- if her campaign stops all the spending.

  14. DoubleDawg3 says:

    This is away from the Cathy/Mark discussion — but has anyone else noticed the new redistricting happening under the Gold Dome yet? Looks like the Jane Kidd / Bill Cowsert matchup is never going to happen. I suppose the Senate doesn’t want to risk losing one GOP seat.

    -Check out OnlineAthens for the story if interested.

  15. Jack S says:

    Let’s face the brutal facts here folks. The new senate districts up there while they lean GOP are not overwhelmingly so. Jane Kidd got killed in fundraising by Cowsert. She’s a radical liberal who is only safe in a district that is radically liberal Democrat. She’s simply a coward. She’s afraid of challenging a superior Republican candidate with superior funding in a district that is not overwhelmingly Democrat. Sure she can win a house seat in Athens as a Democrat. Wow, that’s really impressive. She’s really something. It’s similar to a Kennedy winning in Massachussetts. Wow!

    She has a truly competitive district and she sees that Cowsert outraises her 2 to 1 with Athens money and she starts whining.

    Typical liberal loser.

    Bottom line, she’s a wimp.

  16. Jack S says:

    And on this topic of Democrats raising money against Perdue.

    I have changed my opinion. I thought Perdue was in big trouble, but I was wrong. His numbers are great in the polls and he’s raised a ton of money. He’s set.

    I don’t care how much money daddy taylor puts in or what Cathy does, Perdue is rolling strong.

  17. Jack you are a moron. Bush won the current SD 46 and Kidd stepped up to challenge for the seat even though Democratic senate candidates have lost it two cycles in a row. Somehow that makes Kidd a coward? Cowsert and his allies in the legislature are changing the district precisely to make it more Republican so they don’t have to run against Kidd, even though Cowsert’s brother in law is the incumbent in the current district.

    Kidd told the Athens paper:
    “There’s a part of me that thinks it’s a compliment because obviously Brian (Kemp) doesn’t think his brother-in-law, Bill Cowsert, can win” with the current district.

    Sure sounds like a whining wimp to me. Were the Republicans the whining wimps when the Democrats butchered the legislative districts to prevent them from winning?

    You guys are amazing. Try some intellectual consistency for once instead of pretending that the GOP is right both times when it takes different sides on the exact same issue.

  18. landman says:

    To the victor go the spoils,as it should be.The smart thing to do is to give our guys the best shot at holding onto the seat and Im glad to see it happening. After watching the Dems do it for so long I dont care how you explain it, I think its just smart Politics!

  19. Decaturguy says:


    It’s going to take a lot more than a $500,000 advantage for Taylor to win the primary.

    Plus, given his incumbency status, I don’t think that Perdue’s $2.5 million raised is all that impressive.

  20. billy says:

    Smart Politics? After redistricting a bajillion times you think the voters of this state will be ok with it again? The worst case senario for Republicans in the Senate next year is losing districts 48, 11, and 25. That would be impressive for the Democrats if they got those districts. Yet, even then the GOP would hold a 25-31 majority. So, why? Why split up Athens? When Republicans whine and complain about Democratic redistricting (which we only did once every 10 years) they always talked about holding communities intact. Well, Athens is intact. A very nicely drawn, compact, and cohesive district. It even follows county lines for the most part. And now you say, “well, that’s politics?” How much of hypocrit can you be? You have power. It isn’t going anywhere. You already got maps you like.

    I don’t think the Democrats ever did anything like this mid-census.

    Has anyone seen the stat sheet on the districts? I’m curious how much more Democratic Hudgins district got with Oglethorpe and Athens in it now.

  21. Landman at least you are consistent and not living in a fantasy world like Jack where according to him somehow Jane Kidd is doing this to herself because she’s a coward.

    Still, I have a hard time seeing Sonny go for this seeing as he holds the mystical belief that anger over redistricting was part of the reason he beat Roy in the first place.

  22. landman says:

    Biily, you are trying to compare apple and oranges.There is no comparison to this redisticting and those you guys did.This deal will be done and Im good with it,mid-census or not.

  23. Landman they are apples and oranges but both are equally rotten! Think about it: the Democrats were trying to alter districts to make sure their candidate(s) would win. The Republicans are doing the same thing here. The GOP plan may look “prettier” but the principle is the same — they are dividing a jurisdiction that naturally belongs whole in order to further a partisan gain.

    Besides, who cares how the districts look? The current House and Senate map (which are fair) have some pretty ugly districts on them because the county and city boundaries they are based on have some pretty ugly curves! I just don’t understand how Cowsert and his allies in the legislature can do this with a straight face after years of decrying the Democrats for doing basically the same thing.

    I thought it would take Democrats years to regain the middle ground on redistricting, but with today’s Georgia GOP their principled stands from the recent past will be their opponents campaign planks in the near future.

  24. DoubleDawg3 says:

    As for the post above, I’m not sure how the Governor feels about this either, considering part of his campaign against Barnes and the Dem’s was based on the things they did while redistricting – maybe this is a case like last years Congressional maps – he’s being brought into it out of his own will. However, I’m sure someones alredy checked to make sure he’ll sign off on it – or it wouldn’t have been introduced.

    That said, I think that the GOP/Court redistricting in the recent years is an overall “good” thing – as the maps now look far better than those put in place by Barnes. However, I agree that it looks kind of greedy to be changing a district, basically b/c you feel there is a risk to lose one seat in the Senate.

    Will the day ever come where an independent commission will draw the maps in GA? Seriously doubt it – but it might be the best solution for this continuing fight.

  25. DoubleD, the court reapportionment of the legislative districts was done by an impartial drawer who looked at historical legislative maps (to see what communities had been kept in certain districts together) and followed county and city lines.

    There is a good reason he centered a district around Athens, instead of splitting Athens right down the middle: it’s the right thing to do. If you want an independent commission, just ask the Republicans in charge to do it and we could have one in two weeks. But effectively the current maps were done by an independent commission.

    If Hudgens, Cowsert et al change them this one time, I’m guessing that soon the maps won’t look anything like they do now. Every time a popular incumbent like Kemp retires from a swing district, they will have to redraw the map to make the open district solidly Republican so that they won’t lose it.

    I’m not sure that Sonny has signed off on it. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Senate is playing chicken with him to see if he’ll go along with their blatant powergrab. I hope he does the right thing, and I hope the adults in the Senate like Eric Johnson stop it before it starts.

    Speaking of Eric, I know he reads and comments on this site. Are you willing to open yourself up to massive hypocrisy by signing off on this? Before he became a part of the leadership he used to say some very colorful things, and said numerous things about how bad partisan redistricting was — I’d hate for those statements to come back and bite him in the ass.

  26. And another thing, Glenn Richardson once told a sob story in the well about talking to his children about redistricting, something along the lines of “Some powerful people don’t want Daddy to be in the legislature anymore.”

    Well I ask Glenn, what will Jane Kidd tell her children???

  27. Romegaguy says:

    I guess it is hard to beat an incumbent Governor that is ahead in polls and has raised over $20 million…. I think I have heard this before, like maybe 4 years ago.

  28. HeartofGa says:

    Regarding Jane Kidd, there was a time when people paid attention when Republicans tossed around words like “radical” or “liberal”, but not so much anymore. It’s an overused knee-jerk response to anyone perceived to be a threat. Jane is an excellent candidate and an excellent legislator who has served her district well. This whole situation- the name calling and moving the lines-reminds me of playground politics. If it seems like the other guy (or gal in this case) might win, just change the rules or try to shame them off the field. The real shame is that her opponent does not feel confident enough to simply be an adult, address the issues and win or lose on his own merit. Georgia voters will see this move as a grab for power. As a Democrat, I believe that voters’ choices in 2002 and 2004 reflected in large part the public’s opinion of the attempt by Democrats to gerrymander. Watch out, that dog will bite.

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