Over the weekend, the Beaver Countian released a blistering exposé on rising republican star Jim Christana. The amount of money the 29 year old, clean shaven, representative from Beaver County raised in the 2012 election cycle completely out-funded his 5 Beaver Country colleagues combined. According to the story, Rep. Christiana raised close to $310,000 in the 2012 election cycle, and out-funded his opponent by $290,000. The amount of money Christiana raised has even sparked questioning by Beaver County republicans. Beaver County Commissioner Dennis Nichols stated: “I find it very surprising to hear that amount of cash would be available to a state level candidate like Jim Christiana. I can’t help but to wonder why people would be giving him that much money.”
So here’s the breakdown, and you can answer Mr. Nichols’ question on your own.
Those funding the representatives campaign include school reform and natural gas political action committees, and individual donors from his district.
The Political Action Committees
- Students First PAC – donated $125,000 to his 2012 campaign. The Students First PAC is “backed by large hedge fund managers and wealthy national school voucher advocates.”
- The Fighting Chance PAC - donated $25,000 to his 2012 campaign. The Fighting Chance PAC is another public education profiteering organization.
- Parents and Teachers for Putting Students PAC - an affiliate of the Students First PAC and donated $7,500 to his 2012 campaign.
- Walmart PAC – donated $,5000 to his 2012 campaign
- First Energy PAC – donated $2,600 to his 2012 campaign.
- Small donations from the following PACS: PA Life PAC, Highmark Health PAC, Markwest Liberty PAC, Hospitals Association of Pennsylvania PAC, Chesapeake Energy PAC, Alpha Natural Resources PAC, Comcast Corporation & NBC Universal PAC, Z PAC (Pennsylvania Society of Anesthesiologists), The Bank of New York Mellon Corp PAC, PECO Energy PAC, Bank Of America Corp PAC, Eckert Seamans PA PAC, Keystone Leadership PAC, PA Insurance PAC, PA Bar PAC, PA Medical PAC, Family PAC, PA Bankers PAC
- Michael Guerra - Owner of a Washington County trucking company who donated 10,000 to his 2012 campaign.
- Chuck and Mark Betters – A local real estate “tycoon” who donated $5,000 each to his 2012 campaign
- Anthony Alexander – CEO of First Energy who donated $5,000 to his 2012 campaign
- David Barensfeld - CEO of Ellwood Group who donated $5,000 to his 2012 campaign
- Morry David – Brother of a local sherrif in his district who donated $1,000 to his 2012 campaign
There is one large donation that is in question. According to the article, Representative received a $120,000 donation from Commonsense for the Commonwealth, but how Representative Christiana received the check is in question. The donations were from Students First and Fighting Chance PAC, and were endorsed to Commonsense for the Commonwealth. Somehow, the checks were delivered to Representative Christiana’s campaign office in Beaver Co., and the story reveals that Chrsitana is “long time friends” with Scott Wolford, the treasure of Commonsense for the Commonwealth.
Living Like a Fat Cat off of Public School Profiteering
With all of this money coming into Representative Christiana’s coffers, the young and entitled representative has decided what life is like with an unlimited credit card. The representative’s campaign contributions went to the following:
- Tinderbox International (Harrisburg) – spent $3,000 on cigars
- Spent “thousands paying for meals during meetings”: Hershey Country Club, Laurel Valley Golf Club, Rivercrest Golf Club, the Club at Shadow Lakes, Heinz Field, PNC Park, the Capital Grille in Pittsburgh, and Cioppino Restaurant and Cigar Bar.
- Fort McIntosh Club dues – Spent $1,200 to be part of an “all mens” club
- Overnight package to Harrisburg – spent $1,895 to the postal service
- Donation reimbursement to Nick Trombetta - gave a $2,500 donation back to the founder of the Pennsylvania Charter Cyber School after their offices were raided by the FBI.
On a trip to the “Pennsylvania Society Holiday Dinner” in New York City, the representenative used campaign contributions for the following:
- The Art Of Shaving on Madison Avenue (NYC) – $114 haircut
- Cigars – $184
- Astor and Black and Johnston & Murphy - spent hundreds
- Waldorf Astoria (on Park Ave.) – $1,400 hotel bill
- PA Society Expense Reimbursements- $1,684 on “un-itemized” expenses
Keep it classy JC!