So I hoped to get that information out to you on Tuesday. COPP managed to get most of the candidates’ finance info out by that day, though Cooney’s didn’t make it.
This was not COPP’s fault - it was Cooney’s fault, or more likely, the fault of the people he pays to work on his campaign.
Here’s how Lee Enterprises put it early Monday morning:
“Cooney’s campaign said it raised about $200,000 in the final quarter, bringing the total for the campaign to more than $450,000. Those numbers came from a press release because the campaign said it was having issues uploading its report to the Commissioner of Political Practices’ website.”
Interesting. None of the other 16 or so candidates reporting this week had those issues. Just Cooney.
This is just one of Cooney’s problems. He has many. Let’s delve into five of them.
We know that Cooney raised $201,000 for the period, spent $165,000 and has $178,000 in cash on hand.
But Cooney is in a primary, so he’s raising for both the general and the primary. He has just $141,000 left to spend on the primary. That’s still more than the $124,000 Whitney has for the primary.
Still, Whitney has a lot more confidence that she’ll win the primary - she has $128,000 in cash on hand waiting to be spent on the general, while Cooney has just $37,000.
And then there’s the elephant in the room - Cooney raised $220,000 less than Whitney did this period.
Now, let’s be fair - this was Whitney’s first fundraising period, so she’ll probably raise more due to sheer excitement about her campaign. That will fade quickly with the out-of-state residents donating to her. Those living in Montana have yet to warm to her campaign, and I don’t think they will. Whitney reeks of wealth and entitlement. I feel she looks down on us ‘common types.’
Cooney is much more a man of the people than Whitney, but Cooney comes across as so boring and so unexciting that he’ll fail to energize anyone. No one is going to get excited to vote for him.
The money reflects that.
Whitney raised $440,000 right out of the gate, while Cooney took in $250,000 the first period and another $201,000 this period.
I don’t think Cooney is going to get past this $200,000-250,000 plateau. The good news is that I think Whitney will soon join him in that plateau range.
#2 Cooney is Taking PAC Money
Cooney is choosing to take money from PACs. This is incredibly stupid. Sure, he’s only taken $1,390 so far from two PACs, but it’s the optics of it.
And so what if these are ‘good’ PACs? They’re still PACs.
Cooney is taking from the American Wind Energy Association PAC and the BNSF Railway Company PAC.
Many Democrats are choosing to forgo PAC money. It’s all about the optics.
For Cooney, $1,390 is more important than optics.
#3 Rural Voters Don’t Care
Mike Cooney can’t raise money in rural areas. He won’t be getting a lot of rural votes, either.
MT Free Press has a map of where Cooney’s donations are coming from. Most hail from Helena, and next up is Bozeman. After that we get Missoula and Butte.
The cities. Safe zones for Dems. Each year our statewides cling to the cities. And each year they lose.
Gianforte has a lot more rural support. This will prove critical in 298 days when we have the election.
#4 Cooney Relies on a Tired, Failed Model
This period, Mike Cooney decided to give $1,500 to Chicago’s Apollo Artistry for digital consulting services and website design work.
While it’s true Cooney could have gone with a Montana business for that work, he thought it better to use a firm located 1,300 miles to the east of us.
Most candidates do this, and the reason is simple - they think out-of-state companies are better than Montana companies. With that kind of attitude, why try to represent Montana companies? I dunno.
No, what troubles me the most about this Apollo Artistry - and other companies like D.C.’s Mothership Strategies ($43,000 this period) and Brock Development ($15,000) - is that Democrats running for statewide office have been using these companies for years, and for years these Dems have been losing.
For instance, this time two years ago, Grant Kier was also using Apollo Artistry. He got off lightly, paying them just $400. The year before that, however, Rob Quist gave the outfit a whopping $6,500 for graphic design work.
We should not be surprised by Cooney’s decision to give Apollo that money. Hell, he gave them $1,000 the previous period!
Just one staffer.
#5 Emily Harris is on Staff
When you hire Emily Harris to work on your campaign, I know you’re going to lose.
- Rob Quist paid Harris $2,541 a month in 2017 to help him win a statewide office and he lost big time.
- Denise Juneau paid Harris $2,828 a month in 2018 to help her win a spot in Congress and she lost big time.
Emily Harris won big time both those years. How it works is simple - eager voters give their desired candidates money, and those candidates then use that money to hire staff. Those staff then get paid thousands of dollars a month to travel around, eat out, play on social media, and brag to their friends about how easy they have it.
Meanwhile, those campaigns flounder.
We’ve seen this with the previous two statewide campaigns that Harris has worked on, and I think we’ll see it happen again this year. Why people hire this woman is beyond me.
One look at her and you know she doesn’t represent the majority of Montanans, or even a large minority.
She’s a bull dyke. And my, oh my...do not get on her bad side. This woman has one of the thinnest skins in Montana politics that I’ve ever seen. When scrutinized, she’ll break out the sexist attacks and wage discriminate against you.
Common tactics of the left - attack the messenger. They have nothing else to fall back on.
Here’s a look at how Harris is currently enriching herself via the Cooney campaign. So far this period, over $34,000 went through this woman’s hands. I don’t know how much she’s being paid this year. I suspect she doesn’t want people to know.
An official COPP complaint needs to be filed against the Cooney campaign. Listing $8,800 each month for "day-to-day operations" is not acceptable, as it does not go into enough detail.
It's clear the Cooney campaign is trying to hide how much it's paying Harris.
Oh well. I’m actually glad that Harris is working on Cooney’s campaign. I don’t want Cooney to win the primary, and with Harris there, I know he won’t. Amazingly, this is Cooney’s only staffer!
I don’t think Cooney ever had a chance anyways. Oh, he might have won the primary before Whitney got in, but he was never going to win the general. No Dem is. 16 years of Dem rule in that office is too long.
Most everyone knows that Gianforte is going to coast into this office. It’s his race to lose. All he has to do is play it safe, stay out of the spotlight, and ride Trump’s coattails.