Curtatone’s 2009 campaign finance reports

by Staff on January 10, 2011

After obtaining copies of the most recent campaign finance reports for Somerville’s mayor and Board of Aldermen, Post Somerville has begun analyzing the data by putting it into spreadsheets. You can download them for yourself below.

Mayor Joseph Curtatone’s receipts for his 2009 re-election campaign, in which he ran unopposed, totaled more than $100,000 from roughly 600 contributors. You’ll find only donors in the report — interest from bank accounts that hold the money and some travel reimbursements are counted toward that total but we did not include that data.

The original set of documents is still available from MuckRock, which used to raise the funds needed to obtain the reports from the city.

As we’ve been converting the disclosures from paper to spreadsheet by hand, inconsistencies we spotted have been noted as comments. What you’ll see in the spreadsheets is almost exactly the same information as what’s in the report. That being said, there is plenty of room for error when transferring that much information. We’ll update the spreadsheet with any corrections we receive.

Moving forward, Post Somerville plans on using these reports to go beyond the numbers and examine the role money from campaign contributors has in the city’s government.

The 2009 aldermen reports will be available here in the days leading up to the Jan. 20 deadline for the 2010 reports.

Top Contributors

The maximum contribution for individuals giving to municipal campaigns in Massachusetts is $500 — below is a map of people who donated that amount to Curtatone in 2009.

Top Employers

Donors who contributed $200 or more to a political campaign are required by the state to disclose their occupation and employer. City of Somerville employees gave the largest amount of money, totaling $13,990 from 75 people. Other groups of contributors included individuals noting themselves as retired, attorneys and real estate developers.

Here is a chart showing the breakdown of employers:

When a contributor gives $200 or more during the course of the year and does not disclose employer information, the campaign is required to send a letter asking for it. Curtatone collected $6,450 from 25 individuals who failed to comply with the law, although some of them are easily found either through Internet searches or the city’s own records.

One example is two executives at Duncan Solutions, which became the city’s new parking meter vendor in June 2009, who gave Curtatone $750 in December without disclosing their role at the company.

As long as the campaign requests the information, there is no obligation to return the money.

Other indications of missing information, such as two people in positions on the city’s mayor-appointed Zoning Board of Appeals and Planning Board not disclosing those roles, are indicated as footnotes in the spreadsheet.

2010 Report Will Be Available from the State

Beginning this year, the state is requiring mayors of cities with populations larger than 40,000 to file their reports through the Office of Campaign and Political Finance. The office puts the reports they receive online.

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