Why Some Gave Significant Cash To Deval Patrick’s Presidential Campaign

Printed from: https://newbostonpost.com/2020/02/26/why-some-gave-significant-cash-to-deval-patricks-presidential-campaign/

Former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick’s presidential campaign did not go very far. But he raised an impressive amount of money for it.

The Democrat started his campaign with an announcement on November 14, never rose in the polls, and dropped out after getting less than one-half of 1 percent of the vote in the New Hampshire primary on February 11 – 58 days later.

From the outside, Patrick had slim odds of earning his party’s nomination. Shortly after he announced his run, Patrick acknowledged that, using a common football expression that refers to a Roman Catholic prayer and a desperate long pass toward the end zone at the end of a game.

At the time, according to The Week, Patrick said, “I recognize running for president is a [title of prayer] under any circumstances, but this is a [title of prayer] from two stadiums over.”

Even so, Patrick attracted hefty donations during the fourth quarter of 2019. In the final six weeks of the year, he raised $2.2 million, including $1.1 million from Massachusetts residents.

That was more than any other candidate raised in the Bay State in the final three months of the year – including the state’s sitting senior U.S. senator, Elizabeth Warren, who is a top-five Democratic candidate and has been since the beginning.

In the fourth quarter of 2019, Warren raised $21.2 million nationally, just over $1 million of which came from the Bay State, according to FEC filings.

Patrick raised this money despite having fewer than 1,500 donors on his Deval For All page on the Federal Election Commission’s web site. (Reports for donors from the first quarter of 2020 have yet to be announced.)

Notable donors to Patrick’s campaign include billionaire investor Seth Klarman ($5,600), Boston Red Sox chief executive officer Sam Kennedy ($2,800), Boston Celtics co-owner Stephen Pagliuca ($2,800), former U.S. ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy ($1,000), and Byron Allen ($5,600), chief executive officer of the U.S. television production company Entertainment Studios.

Pagliuca also serves as the co-chairman of Bain Capital, Patrick’s more recent employer, according to Patrick’s LinkedIn page.

If Patrick was such a longshot, why did people donate to his campaign?

New Boston Post tracked down and contacted 40 Patrick donors to ask about their campaign contributions. A handful responded.

Phillip L. Clay, former chancellor of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said he donated $250 to the Patrick campaign in December 2019 because of a personal connection.

“Deval is a friend and highly qualified,” he told New Boston Post in an email message.

Another MIT employee, Robert Stoner, who serves as the Deputy Director for Science and Technology for the MIT Energy Initiative, said he met Patrick during the former governor’s tenure as a visiting fellow at the school. However, he said, the main impetus for contributing $1,100 to Patrick’s campaign in 2019 was Patrick’s electability.

“I liked his plan to set up a social venture fund at Bain, and was delighted to see him enter the race for the Democratic nomination in November,” Stoner said in an email message to New Boston Post.

Stoner said Patrick was a formidable candidate, given his experience and his skills, and stood out from the pack of Democratic contenders.

“I’m not thrilled with the other candidates. I’ve also given Pete some money,” Stoner said, referring to former South Bend mayor Pete Buttagieg, “but have trouble picturing him, or any of the others — with the exception of Bloomberg — in a head to head race with Trump. I felt Deval had the experience, intellect and platform to have won the nomination and general election.”

Stoner argues that Patrick deserved more than he got.

“The press should have given him more attention, and he should have been more aggressive, and perhaps provocative, about getting covered,” Stoner said. “From here on in, I’ll continue speaking favorably about Pete and offering advice to his campaign about energy, economic development and climate, but I’ll be supporting Mike Bloomberg as long as he’s in the race. We’ve got to win.”

Not everyone’s connection was personal. Joshua Davis, an attorney at Goulston & Storrs, a Boston law firm, liked what he saw from Patrick as governor of Massachusetts, which explains why he donated $1,006.90 in the fourth quarter of 2019.

“I gave to Governor Patrick because I believe he would be a great president,” he wrote in an email message. “We spend too much time thinking about who is likely to win or who has momentum and not nearly enough time thinking about the qualities that would make a great leader. Governor Patrick has a broad vision of the country and its core values. Moreover, he is a great orator — capable of persuading, advocation and calling all of us to our best selves. Finally, he is a proven leader — as a civil rights lawyer, in business and as governor. This collection of qualities made him, I thought, the best possible president among the candidates.”

Patrick was one of four Massachusetts candidates to run for president in this election cycle and the second to drop out of the race. Previously, Democratic U.S. Representative Seth Moulton dropped out of the race in August 2019.

Warren is still in the race on the Democratic side and former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld is still in the race on the Republican side.