Greg Gianforte’s is 312 pages.
Let’s start with the shorter one first.
As you know, Schedule A individual contributions come first, and for Gianforte this takes up 282 pages of the report.
So that means we just have 30 pages of spending, which to me is where you really gauge a campaign’s actions and determine what it cares about.
Here are some things that stood out to me:
- $919,000 to Ohio’s Medium for a TV ad buy
- $204,000 to Virginia’s FP1 Strategies for consulting/advertising
- $115,000 to Virginia’s Allegiance Direct for mailings
- $88,000 to Virginia’s Campaign Solutions for lists and fundraising
- $57,000 to Oregon’s Moore Information for a survey
- $8,500 to Utah’s Arena for yard signs
- $2,700 to Zinke for Congress for a donor list
All that shit right there comes out to $1.4 million.
Let’s get to the staffers.
- $3,848.50 to Shane Scanlon for wages
- $3,847.50 to Elisabeth Scanlon for wages
- $2,387.20 to Kerri Seekins-Crowe for wages
- $1,173.26 to Casey Collins for wages
- $1,070.46 to Sam Rubino for wages
- $616.62 to Caleb Hinkle for wages
- $274.05 to Chase Sick for wages
That comes out to $13,214 for those 7 people.
On top of it I see that $2,285.89 was given to D.C.’s Brock Lowrance for a reimbursement…whatever that means.
So who are these other people?
- Caleb Hinkle mainly does stuff with the National Guard but did serve as a MT GOP field director for the 2016 campaign, and was an associate director for Americans for Prosperity starting way back in 2014. He was an intern for Representative Daines for 8 months in 2012 and before that a miner for Sapphire Gallery in Phillipsburg.
- Sam Rubino was serving as Director of Policy and Planning for Arntzen’s OPI as late as December 2016, though I’m assuming that he’s now gone.
- Chase Sick is an Iowan that worked for the Hawaiian Republican Party and served as a field coordinator for Turning Point USA. He currently lives in Bozeman.
- Kerri Seekins-Crowe is from Billings and ran for House District 50 in 2016, losing by about 10% to incumbent Democrat Virginia Court. Judging from her website it looks like she’ll be running for the Billings City Council this year.
- I can’t find anything on Casey Collins.
- I can’t find anything on Elisabeth Scanlon, but it’s a safe bet to assume she’s Shane Scanlon’s wife.
- Shane Scanlon was of course the communications person for the Montana GOP for awhile, at least when they fired their last director in October 2015. Before that he was Daines’ press secretary for the 2014 campaign.
Beginning in December 2016 he started working for Mercury, a “leading global, bipartisan public strategy firm” that was setting up shop in Helena.
Scanlon would serve as VP. Other big players at Mercury’s Montana office were Mark Baker and Denny Rehberg, the latter serving as co-chairman.
Ironically, the Bozeman marketing firm that was working with the Montana Office of Tourism for more than a decade – and which was bumped in favor of a Wisconsin firm – was also called Mercury.
Anyways, Gianforte’s spending $13,000 a month to keep those 7 people on staff.
He gives $1 more in salary to Shane Scanlon than he does Elisabeth Scanlon.
All of his spending together takes up about 20 pages and then it’s 10 pages of returned donations.
Long-time readers of this site know that this is the same ol’ song and dance.
Gianforte spent most of his money out-of-state when he was running for governor and he’s doing the same now.
Creating Montana jobs means nothing to Greg.
Nothing at all.
Follow the money.
Let’s get to Rob Quist.
Schedule A individual contributions make up 3,039 pages of Rob’s report.
When we get to the spending, here’s what stood out to me.
- $1.2 million to D.C’s Canal Partners Media for media
- $286,000 to Maryland’s Mothership Strategies for ads
- $75,000 to Maryland’s Revolution Field Strategies for salary
- $37,000 to D.C.’s Switchboard for a media buy
- $20,000 to D.C.’s Blue Labs Analytics for media
- $16,000 to the MT Democratic Party for salaries
- $14,000 to New York’s Global Strategy Group for polling
- $10,000 to D.C.’s Activate for consulting
- $2,500 to Vermont’s Democracy for America for phone banking
All that shit comes out to $1.7 million.
I didn’t add up all the Act Blue service charges that are incurred for people donating online, but I’d say there were over $20,000 in such charges.
Clearly, Rob is raising a lot of money online via Act Blue.
I also saw that hundreds of dollars were spent in Glacier Bank fees. Please, use your bank’s ATMs and save money, not some other banks’.
I was happy to see that Rob is spending more on graphic design and such in-state.
Most big purchases continue to happen out-of-state, though.
It’s a shame. I hope when Dems try and take this seat back again in 2018 they have a smart candidate that knows spending money in-state is a great thing!
Pointing out that your opponent is not is also a great thing.
Rob can’t do this because he’s spending tons of money out of state, just as Gianforte is.
This is due to the influence of his out-of-state staffers and the out-of-state-dominated-mindset of the MT Democratic Party.
Like I said, it’s a shame.
And what the hell are they making these rookie mistakes in the big leagues for?
To me this is political science 101 stuff here.
I guess that’s why I’m not making the big campaign bucks – I don’t sell out my state (though since many of Quist’s staffers aren’t even from MT, I guess it doesn’t really matter…to them).
Canal Partners, for instance, is listed on the FEC report as being from Georgia but when you go to their site their first contact information summary says the District of Criminals.
It’s nice putting Georgia on the report, however – makes it seem like the campaign is spreading the money around when in reality they’re not.
Sure as shit ain’t spreadin’ it in Montana, we know that.
And how about the staffers?
The ones he’s paying or the ones he’s just reimbursing, or that someone else is paying?
It’s kinda hard to tell at times.
Mostly we get names and tons of mileage and other, not-listed reimbursements.
So what’s going on?
Well, as I told you on May 6, Progressive Turnout Project began paying for a lot of salaries.
This is a great way to hide staff spending from your official FEC reports, which is what I feel Rob is doing.
It should come as no surprise – he’s spent the last decade hiding money from one group or another.
You can go into the FEC report and figure out what people are making…sort of.
When we look at Amanda Frickle, for instance, we see that she’s racked-up over $4,000 for April and another $747 for May.
I have no idea why.
Jessica Grennan is another one that’s making a lot, over $13,000 to be exact…and just for the month of April.
All of this is listed as "Reimbursement (vendors that aggregate over $200 listed below)".
I have no idea what that means, or where that money went.
Shady accounting, if you ask me.
Grennan was a White House intern and before that a lackey for Tester’s 2006 primary election. Now she’s on Forward Montana, which for those in the know is nothing more than a code word for ultra-liberal ideas that are unelectable anywhere outside of Missoula.
And these two women aren’t even on the staff, though I wouldn’t blame you for thinking so based on the absurdly high payouts they get each month.
Digging further into the report we see that Rob Quist now has 16 ‘official’ staffers, including himself.
Here’s how that breaks down:
- Molly Moody $4,920.44 (fundraiser for Denise Juneau)
- Tina Olechowski $4,213.06 (from New York)
- Brandon DeMars $4,119.14
- Alyssa Roberts $3,292.80 (from Colorado)
- Derek Ketner $3,292.80 (from North Carolina)
- Emily Harris, $3,292.80
- John Braswell $3,292.80 (from South Carolina)
- Rob Quist $3,000
- Dan West $2,660.14 (from Indiana)
- Nathan Kosted $2,366.34
- Rikki Henderson $2,359.95 (former Tester staffer)
- Matthew Powell-Palm $2,243.26
- Linda Howard $1,233.12
- David Griffith $860.37
- George Wolcott $497.32 (from Idaho)
- Helen Kaiser $497.32
That comes out to $41,141 to pay those people.
Quist is spending nearly $29,000 more for his 16 staffers than Gianforte is paying for his 7 staffers.
And Gianforte is winning.
I have no doubt that he’ll win this race, and easily.
Remember, I’m not here to make friends or get a cushy job or have people tell me they like me.
I’m here to hold our politicians accountable.
I don’t think anyone in the state does a better job at it than I do (if you don’t believe me look at this joke of a report by Holly Michels of the IR)
And my how I’m hated for it.
There’s a lot more but I think we covered the gist of it.
Gianforte brought in $624,000 this period while Quist brought in $2.3 million.
For the election, Gianforte has raised $2.4 million and Quist has raised $3.2 million.
Gianforte has spent $1.4 million this period and $2.5 million for the election.
Quist has spent $2.3 million for the period (or everything he raised over the period) and $2.5 million for the election.
Gianforte has $826,000 cash on hand while Quist has $669,000.
The big narrative for the next day or two will be the fact that Gianforte lent his campaign $1 million.
Dems love talking about this, and why not? It's a lot easier to attack someone than it is to talk about the issues that are important to people.
Strategies like that are why 3 of the major daily newspapers in this state endorsed Gianforte over the weekend.
They simply don't know where Quist stands on the issues.
Welcome to the club.
I’m so glad that I didn’t vote for Rob Quist.
It’s all in the spending.
You can see how the leeches on his campaign staff are profiting themselves.
Rob even bumped his salary up from $2,000 a month to $3,000 a month.
Hey, what the hell? Gonna lose anyways so might as well take a page from your staffers’ book – grab as much for yourself as you can before the ship goes down.
When I saw the campaign was paying Nathan Kosted I knew I’d made the right choice not to vote for Quist.
We have that MT Humans Rights Network zealot and then we have New Yorker Tina running the campaign…the very same woman that runs MT Cowgirl.
I despise those people.
The fact that Rob Quist actually thinks they’re good enough to hire, well…good luck with that.
Yep, voting for Wicks was the right decision.
I’m glad I did it.
As far as I’m concerned, the Montana Democratic Party can go straight to hell.
Alas, they’ve already been heading that way for years now.
At least the rats jumping from the ship made off like bandits.
Meanwhile you and I continue to live in a state that doesn’t much care about its citizens, good jobs, or the fact that we’re aging out and our young people have all left.
Welcome to Montana politics.