But nonprofit PAC money is perfectly fine.
We see that in the latest FEC finance reports, which Lee Enterprises has reported on today. Here’s the IR version.
Both Heenan and Kier congratulate themselves on not taking corporate PAC money, but we know that:
- $5,000 went to Heenan from the American Association for Justice PAC
- $5,000 went to Kier from the 314 Action Fund
- $1,000 went to Kier from the Science, Energy and Environment Change PAC
Since these are nonprofit PACs, Democrats view them as good and they’ll take their money.
You might remember my opinion of nonprofits, which I told you about 4 years ago on MT Cowgirl.
So ‘disturbing’ were my thoughts for the Dem establishment that comments were closed down on that post.
I decided to dig into the pre-primary spending for Heenan and Kier. It’s not easy – Kier’s report is 191 pages while Heenan’s is 156.
Let’s start with Heenan…
Here are some expenses that I find questionable, both for their need and where they were purchased:
- $210,000 to Maryland’s Joe Trippi & Associates for a media buy and production
- $24,000 to San Francisco’s Terris Barnes Walters Goigon Heath for media production
- $5,200 to D.C.’s Berger Hirshberg Strategies for fundraising consulting
We also know from the report that Black Thompson, Jacob Bachmeir, John Fauerbach, Sam Ozer-Staton, and Tully Olson are all paid staffers for the campaign.
In addition, Heenan has spent about $1,800 on Facebook advertising over the past month.
Moving on to Grant Kier…
Here are some things that stood out to me in his spending report:
- $225,000 to D.C.’s Buying Time for media buys
- $95,000 to D.C.’s Beacon Media for media production
- $36,000 to San Francisco’s Tulchin Research for polling on April 9
- $14,000 to D.C.’s Break Something for fundraising consulting
- $4,300 to Indiana’s Shield Political Research for polling on May 7
- $2,000 to Chicago’s Blue State Digital for digital media consulting
- $100 to Chicago’s Apollo Artistry for website maintenance
In addition to this, Keir has Abigail Raush, Derek Mcdonald, and Jacob Brown on staff.
When we add it all up we find that Heenan spent $239,000 out-of-state over the past month, while Kier spent $376,000 with out-of-state firms.
How many jobs could that have created if it was spent in the state these two men claim they want to represent…help even!
You know how I feel – why are candidates spending so much money out of state when they could find Montana companies to do the same thing?
Don’t they want to create jobs here in Montana…or just in places like Chicago and D.C. and San Francisco?
And they know they can use Montana companies – Kier spent $650 with Bozeman’s Grizzly Creek Films for a media buy at the end of April.
I guess, as voters, we’re just supposed to assume that Montana companies can’t create the same, high-level products that other states can.
It’s a shame our Montana candidates think this way, but when you follow the money you see this is, sadly, the case.
My Opinion of UM Drops Even Lower
Besides this nonprofit PAC money and out-of-state spending, something else that I find incredibly disturbing is the recent news about UM.
The Missoulian had the article up last night, one called University of Montana Foundation invested more than $30 million in offshore funds.
The Foundation currently has over $186 million.
The newspaper has since taken the full story down and now directs people to the Montana Kaimin site.
What’s interesting is that the story actually came out May 14, but it took 15 days for us to hear about it.
This is a disturbing story of greed and excess, and one that won’t get much media attention in this state after today.
I know Republicans will ignore it, and I expect Dems to do the same. And that means UM can continue to funnel money offshore to avoid paying taxes and/or have the public know what they’re doing. ‘
“It’s just a way to avoid taxes,” a senior specialist in economics at the Congressional Research Service said of these Cayman Islands accounts.
It seems UM used “offshore hedge funds and private equity firms in Caribbean and Central American tax havens.”
Some of the investments that UM made will surely rankle a great many of the students attending that school:
- $5 million in a fund that supports the fossil fuel company, Royal Dutch Shell
- An unspecified amount invested in the Russian oil company, Gazprom, which has “close ties to the Kremlin”
- An unspecified amount invested in the Brazilian petrochemical company, Petrobras…a company which has so much corruption it “brought down…the two previous presidents of that country.”
- An unspecified amount invested in Philip Morris International as well as Imperial Tobacco Group.
UM went smoke-free on its campus in 2011, but it still invests in cigarette companies.
For years, UM students have protested the college’s role in fossil fuel investments, yet the college still invests in those industries.
None of the top brass at UM will touch this story with a 10-foot pole. They all decline to comment.
And why not? We pay them an arm and a leg in salary and they know this story will blow over and their cushy existence will be safe.
Meanwhile, the poor schmucks that actually go to that school graduate with tens of thousands of dollars in debt and poor prospects for the future.
UM’s administrators profit off this misery.
It’s figured that the offshore hedge-fund investment industry is worth $1.3 trillion, with most coming from the countries that UM hid its investments in.
What’s especially sad about all this is that UM didn’t even make any money most years.
Besides hedge-fund money being “totally locked up” so you can’t use it when you want, the rate of return is actually lower than common stocks and bonds.
These hedge funds that UM invested in have “actually performed worse than simple index funds like the S&P 500 by 6 or 7 percent since the 2008 crash.”
On top of that, UM paid $4 million in fees.
A University of Washington professor says that “hedge fund managers have convinced foundations to not disclose the amount they pay in fees because if the information was spread to the public…there would be outcries against the wasteful spending.”
And yet here in the Treasure State, we’ll see no such response.
Remember, this story came out 15 days ago and the corporate press didn’t bother to cover until two weeks later.
Oh, and trust me – there’ll be no legislative investigations or anything of the sort. This will all be swept under the rug and forgotten. Most disgraceful behavior at UM is.
This is a very long article, but I encourage you to read it. The section on the March decision by UM to keep “much of its financial records out of the public eye” is especially troubling.
In conclusion, I don’t see sunny days ahead for UM.
- For years now they’ve tried and failed to deal with their image as one of America’s top rape campuses.
- They have a top-heavy administration, with too many bigwigs eating from the trough, which forces up costs for students.
- The nepotism on campus is dreadful, with unqualified people getting jobs because of who they know, while more qualified individuals are never interviewed.
- But most of all, it’s just a rip-off to go to UM…or most colleges like it. You’re not guaranteed a job, though to find a decent one you’ll likely have to move out of state. And the amount of loans that students rack-up ensure they’ll have to wait years to start a family, decades to buy a home.