Many of these people will be in the legislature starting in January.
It’s important that we follow the money and hold these people accountable.
If there’s something we find questionable or just don’t like, we need to raise the cry of alarm.
That’s what this post is intended to do.
I’m sure it’ll ruffle some feathers, but I don’t write on this site to make friends.
I write on it so you’re informed about the state you’re living in.
Let’s get started.
HD 3 – Zac Perry and Taylor Rose (with a Libertarian thrown in)
Charter has given $170 to Perry.
He’s spent $2,027 on 14,500 mailers with Bozeman’s ArtCraft Printers and $4,500 with Billings’ MTS Mailing Service for 6 flights of mailers.
There is no campaign finance report for any period for the libertarian candidate.
Taylor Rose has raised $5,838 and has spent $1,910, leaving him with $3,927 in the bank.
His biggest PAC money comes from the Flathead Republicans, $350, and the Flathead County Republican Women’s Club, $850.
Besides that he’s received a lot of money from fellow Republicans.
His biggest expenditures have been $150 for a Daily Interlake ad, $170 for some t-shirts from a Kalispell company, $400 for 800 door hangers from a Kalispell company, and that’s about it.
HD 12 – Greg Hertz and Susan Evans
He’s funneled campaign contributions off to Steve Gibson, and his son, Adam Hertz. Each got $160. He’s also given $250 to the Missoula GOP.
His big expenditure was with Billings’ the Political Company for 3,026 mailers with postage at $1,966.
For Susan Evans…well, she’s raised $683 and has $378 of that left. Most of her money came from the Lake County Democrats and she’s spent most on internet media ads, $250 worth.
Not much to see here.
HD 21 – Hal Jacobson
He took $100 from the Phillips 66 PAC. Besides that, not much to report.
HD 48 – Jessica Karjala and Robert Saunders
Northwestern has only given her $100. Perhaps they think she might vote against them on something, so she didn’t get the usual $170.
She’s also received $170 from Carol’s List, MBWDA PAC, and MHA PAC…all out of Helena.
The thing with Karjala is that she’s got about $5,000 in campaign debt when she could have used cash.
I hate debt myself, perhaps because I’ve had so much of it over my life. Most of her expenses are for printing and postage and advertising.
With that much money you’d think she’d do some radio ads, but she hasn’t. It’ll be interesting to see what she does with the $7,000 she has left after the debts.
Robert Saunders doesn’t have a report up yet, or perhaps just didn’t bother to file one.
HD 74 – Amanda Curtis
The Treasure State PAC gave her $200.
Her largest expenditure was $250 to MailChimp to send out 20,000 emails. She also funneled $160 to Jessica Karjala.
HD 75 – Sabrina Steketee and Kirk Wagoner
Didn’t anyone tell the guy you can’t use campaign funds to pay off your filing fee?
That’s a little political joke there, but what’s not a joke is how poorly Democrats continue to do when it comes to finding viable candidates in rural areas like the Boulder/Clancy region south of Helena that HD 75 is in.
Steketee filed on March 11…4 days before the deadline. Wagoner filed on January 14…the first day that filing began.
I think Dems knew this was a lost race for them before 2016 even got started.
Steketee hasn’t filed a report yet, and maybe won’t.
HD 84 – Mary Ann Dunwell and Steve Gibson (with a Libertarian)
Carol’s List, Steve Bullock’s PAC, Treasure State PAC, and various county committees make up most of her PAC money.
Dunwell has spent a lot on printing and mailing with Bozeman’s ArtCraft Printers and she’s spent $910 with Helena’s Cherry Creek Radio for a hundred 30-second ads.
She’s spent $1,189 on 250 yard signs with Helena’s Element L Design and $3,825 with KTVH for TV ads.
Montana Radio Company in Helena got another $1,400 from her for 220 radio ads.
Dunwell also has about $4,700 in debts to Bozeman and Billings companies for printing and mailing.
Steve Gibson has raised $7,450 and has spent $4,356 of that for $3,093 left.
Charter gave him $70. This is another candidate that the company doesn’t trust enough to give the full $170 like they do for most.
Besides that he got $150 from the Helena Republican Women’s Club and $700 from the Lewis and Clark GOP.
Montanans for Affordable Housing PAC gave him $170.
Greg Gianforte gave him $170 and Terry Gauthier for SD 40 funneled $100 to him.
Big expenditures are $635 to Helena’s Allegra for 1,500 handouts, $1,080 to Cherry Creek Radio for 114 radio spots, and $1,134 to Montana Radio Company for 84 radio spots.
Besides that, a lot of printing and postage and such.
HD 87 – Mark Snider and Nancy Balance
Charter gave her $135.
Balance’s biggest expenditure was $198 for parade candy.
Hell, I bet that candy will impress voters a lot more than pissing away hundreds of dollars in mailings.
Mark Snider hasn’t filed a report yet.
HD 91 – Bryce Bennett and Tony Ostheimer
I was surprised that the GOP actually dredged someone up to run against him.
Then I see that Tony Ostheimer hasn’t filed a report for any of the reporting periods so far.
Not a good sign for the GOP.
Despite this, Bennett has $1,146 in the bank and has spent $451 for the general.
Bennett has taken $170 from Charter’s PAC and $200 from the Treasure State PAC.
I know my internet will never get better when shoe-in politicians like Bennett keep taking money from them.
Bennett used his campaign funds to kick $50 back to Andrew Person, another $50 to Dave Strohmaier, and $100 to Margie MacDonald. He really likes Steve Muggli, for he gave him $170.
He also spent $70 to keep his Post Office box and $11 for online fundraising.
Bryce Bennett has very little reason to raise money.
So why is he?
We should ask this more, but instead we as citizens ignore this and let these politicians go through their day with zero accountability.
I mean…taking money from Charter?
That company sucks, but to Bennett, they’re just a way to funnel money to his friends.
The sorry thing is that Charter gives to almost every Democratic legislative candidate in the state, and most of the Republicans as well.
They know it doesn’t matter who gets elected – their money buys off both parties.
Don’t ask politicians to spend their own money to do that. They have your money in the form of campaign donations, after all.
HD 90 – Ellie Hill and Bill Murray
Unlike most of the shoe-in Democrats, Hill doesn’t view this as a hurdle and chose not to raise money because of it.
I wish we had more common sense people like this.
Bill Murray filled his campaign finance report out by hand…the first candidate I’ve seen do that.
He’s raised about $1,100 and has spent $476, leaving him with $681.
He’s reporting his expenditures as loans and the largest is $189 to the GOP convention and then $175 to Facebook.
HD 96 – Andrew Person and Adam Hertz
He spent $6,403 so now he has $1,296 left. I wonder what happened to all that primary money.
Person loves PAC money, so in that regard he’ll make a fine Montana Democrat – cares more about out-of-state money than you and your family.
He took $170 from Charter’s PAC and $100 from Steve Bullock’s PAC. He also took $170 each from the Big Sky Democrats and the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers.
Another $250 came from the Missoula County Democrats and $170 more from the Montana Troopers PAC.
Big expenditures for Person include $793 to the Missoulian for ads and $925 to Element L Design for designing 7 mailing cards.
He gave more than $1,100 to Montana Senior News for advertising and more than $2,000 to Georgia’s Rocket Signs for 257 yard signs.
Person currently has nearly $8,000 in campaign debts to printers and photographers and mailing service companies.
Adam Hertz has raised $21,892 for this race, he’s spent $17,048 and has $4,844 left.
The Missoula GOP gave him $850, the Greater Montana IEC PAC gave him $100, the Montana Land Surveyors PAC gave him $300, and after that he has lots of individual donations.
For expenditures he has $780 for 150 large signs, $250 for a dinner, and $465 for 612 advocacy phone calls with candidate intro from an Iowa company.
He’s also spent $360 for a Missoula Independent ad, $600 for campaign consulting with Elizabeth Story, and then about $10,000 to Billings’ the Political Company for postcards and designs.
HD 99 – Marilyn Ryan and Susan Cundiff
Back then Ryan had raised about $12,000 and now I see that she’s carried over $5,693 for the general, but hasn’t spent any of that.
Susan Cundiff doesn’t have a new report up yet but at the end of June she had $761 in the bank.
I don’t know large areas of the state, so if there is a race you’d like profiled then just let me know.
Besides that…how about all that money?
I don’t like Charter and Northwestern giving to candidates, but perhaps that’s because I view these companies as not doing enough to help consumers.
I don’t like Democrats shuffling money around between them because I view this as wrong, even if it is legal.
By pointing out the things we don’t like, perhaps we can bring about some change.
That’s the idea, thanks for reading.