A Virginia state senator hauled in more than $44,000 for his re-election efforts in the first quarter of this year, but he reported that only $200 of that — less than 0.5 percent — came from a real, live human being.
Between January and March, William R. “Bill” DeSteph Jr., a Republican seeking a second term representing Virginia Beach, received $29,250 from PACs and $14,836.21 from businesses, which can donate directly to candidates under Virginia law.
According to DeSteph’s campaign finance report filed on Monday, the only person who contributed to his campaign in the quarter isn’t even a constituent but a resident of White Post, a community in Northern Virginia near the West Virginia border.
A majority of the contributions — $25,000 — came from GOPAC, a national political action committee that has contributed millions of dollars to Republican candidates since 2014, according to OpenSecrets.
DeSteph’s total haul was $44,336.21, including $50 in unitemized contributions that could have come from any source and the cost a lobbying firm paid to host a fundraising breakfast for him.
According to state records, DeSteph has raked in more than $400,000 in contributions since taking office in 2016, more than 85 percent of which has come from businesses and PACs.