Pataki Campaign Money: Chapter 3


George Pataki’s presidential campaign’s newly filed financial report shows that it’s insolvent as of September 30th, with cash on hand of $13,570 and an outstanding loan from Pataki of $20,000.  It’s a shockingly low balance, requiring a strong imagination to believe that Pataki’s campaign can continue.

Pataki has struggled for money throughout his longshot campaign, raising a total of $389,000 (plus his $20,000 loan).  His most recent quarterly results are anemic, with $133,000 raised from July 1st through September 30th.  (Our look at his first filing is here, and our look at his super PAC’s initial filing is here.)  A campaign, even a barebones campaign, can’t survive with so little money.  Pataki’s campaign spent only $100,000 in September, but even that modest amount is unsustainable absent a substantial increase in cash.  As noted above, Pataki put in $20,000 of his own money in the last quarter and additional self-funding appears to be the only viable route for Pataki.

Here’s a detailed look at his receipts and spending:


Pataki’s largest receipt was his own $20,000 loan made on September 29th.  The few contributions he received skewed large, with about $83,000 of his $133,000 being $2,700 “max out” contributions.  The max outs came from longtime Pataki associates and friends, including John and Margo Catsimatidis (a Catsimatidis-owned company previously contributed $75,000 to Pataki’s super PAC), Charles Gargano, Michael McKeon and David Catalfamo.  Other contributions included $1,000 from John Cahill’s campaign committee and $2,000 from Tom Reynolds’ campaign committee (Cahill is Pataki’s law and business partner who ran for NY attorney general in 2014.  Reynolds retired from Congress after the 2008 elections, but his campaign committee continues with about $500,000 on hand).

Pataki also lists a $500 contribution from “Tom PAC Federal Multi-Candidate Committee.”  An initial search of the FEC database produced a “no records found” response.  The Pataki filing lists its own FEC ID number in the report where the FEC ID of a contributing federal political committee is required.  The status of this committee is unclear; we’ll update with any additional information.


The Pataki campaign spent $347,000 in this quarter.  It’s a small amount for a presidential campaign but unfortunately for Pataki it consumed the entirety of his beginning cash balance and all the contributions he received this quarter.  Unable to afford advertising, Pataki’s disbursements are primarily staff/consultants and travel expenses.  Other expenses include $12,000 to “Pagones-O’Neill Security, a firm run by Steven Pagones.  (Pagones was a Dutchess County Assistant District Attorney falsely accused in the infamous Tawana Brawley case.  He later won a defamation case against Brawly, the Rev. Al Sharpton, C. Vernon Mason and Alton Maddox.)

Pataki’s largest single expenditure was $40,000 to the South Carolina Republican Party, for the primary ballot filing fee.  It’s unclear whether the fee is refundable.