Another very handy resource is the Massachusetts Office of Campaign & Political Finance’s database of political contributions and expenditures.
For those not familiar w/the OCPF, if you are running for public office in Massachusetts and spend any money at all on the race, you have to file campaign finance reports with the OCPF that show all your campaign contributions and expenditures. This includes in-kind contributions, like if a local restaurant provides food free of charge for your meet-and-greet event.
All of the data on those contributions and expenditures—including the details of who they are from and who they are to—are then made available via the OCPF’s website so that the public can see who is contributing to which campaigns and what the campaigns are spending money on. While it is not foolproof, it is a great way to get a sense of where local political dollars are coming and going.
Greenfield is small enough that you can get a fairly good picture of where money is coming and going among the local campaigns simply by setting the “Choose a MA city or town” field, although you do need to skim past all of the big data dumps from labor union PAC contributions.
Unsurprisingly, most of the local money action right now is in the mayoral race. The Wedegarter and Desorgher campaigns have both officially organized and filed with the OCPF—Ginny in January of this year and Roxanne continuing her campaign account from her 2019 mayoral run. Neither of the other two people who have taken out papers for this year’s mayoral race have yet organized.
While there is not a direct correlation between filing with the OCPF and taking your run for office seriously, I tend to be a bit more skeptical of candidates who have not done any advanced planning or organization in a contested mayoral race. It’s one thing if you are in an uncontested precinct where you won’t need to do any events or yard signs or social media boosts, but unfortunately, running for mayor (even in a small city like ours) tends to require money and organizing.
As of its 6/2/23 filing, the Wedegartner campaign has $4,436.13 in the bank. It started the month with $4,602.81 on hand, and subsequently spent $166.68 on campaign buttons.
The Wedegartner campaign has seen a handful of smaller donations (in the $20-$100 range) very recently. However, the large bulk of the campaign’s current financing comes from a set of four $1000 donations at the end of December 2022 and January 2023. These donations came from Timothy and Wendy Van Epps, the owner and CEO respectively of Sandri Energy. They each donated $1000 in those two months.
Meanwhile, the Desorgher campaign has $719.70 on hand as of its 6/2/23 filing. They started the month of May with $3,476.42 and look to have spent a bunch of that on various campaign supplies: t-shirts, printing, and probably yard signs.
Looking at the contributions to the Desorgher campaign, they are mostly in the small-dollar category. There are a handful in the $200-$500 range; the rest are anywhere from $10 to $200 and look to be coming from a bunch of different contributors.
As far as I can tell, none of the people running for City Council or School Committee have yet organized with OCPF. That is not surprising, since few of those races appear to be contested yet.