Monday, August 31, 2015

Raising cash at Comcast on eve of 'brutal' PA Society weekend

David L. Cohen of Comcast and Alan Kessler of Duane Morris collect $125K for Rob McCord at a fundraiser that sends a message

Raising cash at Comcast on eve of 'brutal' PA Society weekend

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David L. Cohen of Comcast and Alan Kessler of law firm Duane Morris hosted a fundraiser at Comcast headquarters this morning for Pennsylvania State Treasurer Rob McCord. On hand were lawyers Mark Aronchick and Daniel Berger, investor Joe Weiss, parking mogul and developer Joe Zuritsky, apartment developer Carl Dranoff, maybe 40 donors in all,  "a pretty good representation of the usual suspects," as Kessler told me.

The group raised more than $125,000, following another McCord event last night backed by law firm Blank Rome.

Democrat McCord isn't expected to run for governor when GOP incumbent Tom Corbett stands for re-election, but he has had interest in higher office at least since I first knew him as a politically-active venture capitalist in the 1990s.

"Right now he's focused on getting re-elected as Treasurer," said Kessler. Today's event tells anyone else who covets the job know "it will be a huge uphill fight" to take on McCord and the Philadelphia money backing the Lower Merion resident, on the eve of this week's marathon Pennsylvania Society political-business receptions and events up in New York.
(PoliticsPA lists major Pennsylvania Society events here.)

Kessler praised McCord's ability to impress on "prominent business leaders" his financial understanding, from pension re-funding to capital budgeting. I noted McCord's opponents in the past had scoured his practice of taking campaign donations from state contractors, including money managers who have at times lost taxpayers millions. Doesn't happen anymore, Kessler said. Just lawyers and developers, mostly.

"This may be the toughest environment for political fundraising," Kessler added. "Next year is a huge year on the election calendar." The Pennsylvania Society politicking will be extra "brutal," he predicted. "Your back's going to wear out," as "any number of candidates will be hoping to connect. And many of us have business agendas we need to remind people about."

Which is the whole point in bringing the Pennsylvania political and business classes all together in New York: "It's very helpful. It's like shooting fish in a barrel, you have everyone."

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About this blog

PhillyDeals posts drafts, transcripts and updates of Joseph N. DiStefano's columns and stories about Philly-area business, which he's been writing since 1989.

DiStefano studied economics, history and a little engineering at Penn and taught writing at St. Joseph's. He has written thousands of columns and articles for the Inquirer, Bloomberg and other media, wrote the book Comcasted, and raised six children with his wife, who is a saint.

Reach Joseph N. at JoeD@phillynews.com, distefano251@gmail.com, 215.854.5194 or 302.652.2004.

Reach Joseph N. at JoeD@phillynews.com or 215 854 5194.

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