Shortly after 6 PM tonight, Mike Dennison put up a report on Bullock’s presidential travel plans for this weekend.
Here’s a snippet from that:
“Bullock formed the Big Sky Values PAC in mid-2017, which is paying for his travels and extracurricular political activity. Through last year, the PAC had raised nearly $1.4 million and spent about $1.1 million.
Accompanying Bullock to Iowa this weekend will be his chief of staff, Tom Lopach, and communications director Ronja Abel.”
I thought it’d be interesting to see exactly what Bullock’s Big Sky Values PAC is spending money on.
I could dig through the 14 campaign finance reports the PAC has on file with the FEC, but that’s a lot of work.
Instead, to give us a snapshot I’ve chosen to go through the most recent report.
This is the year-end report, which was filed on January 31 and comes in at 91 pages. You can find that report and others on the FEC website, and it covers the period of December 2018.
The report tells us that the Big Sky Values PAC raised just over $905,000 in 2018 and spent nearly $933,000.
The PAC still has nearly $243,000 cash on hand, as they started 2018 with $270,000 in the bank. The PAC has zero debts.
Most of the money that Bullock’s presidential PAC has received has come from individuals, about $688,000. Another $5,000 came from PACs.
A whopping $211,000 came from “other federal receipts,” which can be things like dividends and interest. I’m not sure what this is exactly.
Even though he’s raising money to run for...something, Bullock still gave $26,500 to other federal candidates and/or committees.
Now let’s take a detailed look at where Bullock’s money came from in December 2018.
He raised just $61,000 for the month.
Here’s a graph showing that:
Besides Montana, most of Bullock’s money seems to be coming from New York and California.
Those 11 donations from Montanans came from the following places:
- Missoula: 2
- Butte: 1
- Helena: 1
- Great Falls: 1
- Kalispell: 1
- Seeley Lake: 1
- Lolo: 1
- Hamilton: 1
- Bigfork: 1
- Belgrade: 1
Bullock’s Big Sky Values PAC spent more than they took in for the month, with $144,000 going out the door.
Here’s a snapshot of that spending:
- $24,000 with D.C.’s Mothership Strategies
- $17,000 spent using the American Express card
- $10,000 with Missoula’s Brock Development
- $6,250 for fundraising consulting with D.C.’s Maura Hagerty
- $6,100 with Helena’s Power Street Strategies
- $6,000 at the Hilton New York
- $3,750 for policy consulting with D.C.’s Height Analytics
- $1,000 at the Hilton Des Moines
- $1,000 at the Doubletree Helena
- $700 at the Sheraton NY Times Square
- $600 at the Marriott Houston
- $600 at the Doubletree Dallas
- $500 on Delta travel
- $500 on Amtrak travel
- $500 on United travel
- $100 or so spent on Uber
All that stuff right there comes to nearly $170,000.
In addition to that we know that the Big Sky Values PAC is paying salary to the following people:
- Chicago’s Jack Segal, $1,500 a month
- Chicago’s Tina Olechowski, $1,200 a month
- East Helena’s Ashly Tubbs, $570 a month
Political Watchers will remember that Olechowski headed-up Rob Quist’s 2017 U.S. House campaign.
There’s no mention of either Ronja Abel or Tom Lopach on the PAC’s payroll, so I wonder who exactly is paying for them to go to Iowa and stay there. Perhaps these things are being taken care of with the American Express card.