On Friday, August 18, all the municipal candidates across the state had to file their campaign finance reports with the Commissioner of Political Practices office in Helena.
These reports are called C-5’s, and most candidates file them electronically.
They’ll list all the fundraising and expenses for the various mayoral and city council candidates – as well as some judicial candidates – from the time they started their campaigns until now, 54 days until absentee ballots go out, and about 85 days until you can vote at the polls.
So there’s a lot to get into, and hopefully we’ll see some of the Helena and Billings blogs get into their races.
Today we’ll focus on Missoula.
Lisa Triepke is challenging 3-term-mayor, John Engen. She’s raised no money, according to the C-5 she filed on August 13, and which was received August 16.
Engen doesn’t have a report to view, meaning he either filed it very late on Friday and it’s not up yet, or it wasn’t filed.
I’ll keep my eye on this – by Monday we’ll probably have a better idea of what’s going on.
Triepke’s C-5 has been updated with amounts now.
She’s raised $11,040.34 and she’s spent $12,254.52.
Ouch...that’s moving in the wrong direction.
Currently she’s $1,214 in the hole.
She’s spent money on things like:
$10,923.50 for Advertising with Spiker Communications
$865.34 for a Filing Fee
$253.80 for Facebook Advertising
$117 for a Marathon Entry Fee
The rest is just small things, like postage or check fees.
I do think that the Facebook advertising is a good expense. This gets your name and message out there during the slow times before people and the media are really paying attention.
I’m interested in that filing fee. You’re not supposed to raises money to pay that, nor are you supposed to claim it as a campaign expense.
Well...that’s not quite accurate.
I called up COPP today and the woman I spoke to told me that the legislature changed this, so you can use campaign money for that now.
Wow...that’s a big help!
Also, I didn’t list my filing fee on my C-5, and I need to do that...as do all candidates now.
I also asked COPP about Engen’s campaign finance report.
Turns out the uploaded version didn’t work well, so he sent his 123-page excel spreadsheet to them.
I was able to access this and Engen’s raised $54,505 so far and he’s spent $39,947.71.
- $585 for 4,400 postcards at Alphagraphics
- $573 for 5,000 pieces of letterhead
- $628 for 4,000 fundraising envelopes
- $350 for 2,200 postcards
- $3,000 for campaign compliance services from Tammy Bodlovic
- $15,050 for campaign services from Brock Consulting
- $1,000 for event catering at Cafe Dolce
- $300 for portrait sitting and photos
- $1,000 for graphic design from Element L Design
- $1,236 for 1,000 bumper stickers and 125 magnets
- $324 for event catering at Famous Dave’s BBQ
- $226 for event catering at Le Petit Outre
- $4,509.97 in pay to Mackenzie Lombardi
There’s a lot more, mostly event expenses and mailings and printing.
Mackenzie Lombardi makes $1,879.75 a month from the Engen campaign.
Personally, I think the bumper stickers and magnets are a big waste of money.
I’m also interested to see how all the election/voter software helps out. Engen’s spent hundreds of dollars on it.
Bryan Von Lossberg has raised $200 in his bid to get reelected, and he’s spent $60.79 on a website.
There are no records for his opponent, Jamelet Laursen, but I think she may have dropped out.
Jordan Hess has raised $250 to keep his seat, and he’s spent no money so far.
Also in Ward 2 is another race. Ruth Ann Swaney hasn’t filed a C-5. Jack Metcalf was in the race, but he dropped out in late-July.
Heather Harp has raised $554.10 and she’s spent $116.30 so far on things like 500 business cards ($60), checks ($29.30) and some bank fees.
Thomas Winter hasn’t filed a C-5, and I don’t see one for John Van Dyke, either.
Jon Wilkins in the incumbent and he’s raised $1,220 so far.
He’s spent $225.48 on things like 300 door hanger walking cards ($158.75), 100 stickers for yard signs ($61.58) and a credit card transaction fee ($5.15).
Wilkins is smart, getting stickers for the old yard signs he’s saved. It’s a fiscally prudent move.
I see the owner of Garden City Funeral Homes has given Wilkins $165 and the owner of Westside Lanes gave him $330. Also, the Director of the Missoula Parking Commission gave him $75.
I see that Jesse Ramos either didn’t get his C-5 filed on time, or COPP just doesn’t have it up in their system yet. When I asked him he said it has been filed, so perhaps on Monday.
Chris Badgley (whose first name is actually John) has his report up and he’s raised $4,065 so far.
He’s spent $1,840.20 on things like:
- Fundraising envelopes & design: $932.50
- 1500 fundraising envelopes: $511
- Food and drinks for a fundraiser: $174.20
The rest consists of small purchases, like a PO Box, a name badge, stamps, thank you cards, and stuff like that.
I’m quite surprised he’s raised so much. I gotta tell ya – I don’t really recognize any of the donor names, either.
I see Monte Dolak gave him $100 and that’s it. The rest seem to be friends or business acquaintances or whatnot.
So he’s got the money…but how’s he gonna use it? So far it looks like appeals for more money, but eventually he’ll have to do mailings, inserts, and lots of handouts for the doors.
We’ll see how it goes.
I’m the final of the four candidates. I’ve raised $370 and I’ve spent $125.81. My largest expenditure was for campaign cards, $85. All the rest is Facebook advertising and Act Blue fees.
Stacie Anderson has raised $1,085 and she’s spent $371.12 on things like 500 fundraising envelopes ($271.01), checks ($29.30), website design ($16) and a name tag ($26). The rest are bank fees.
I do see that HD 99 Legislator Marilyn Ryan gave her $100.
There is no C-5 for Cathy Deschamps.
Julie Merritt is running unopposed in this race to fill Marilyn Marler’s seat. Marler is the shoe-in for Ellie Hill’s old House Seat, HD 91.
Merritt has no C-5 on file.
And that’s it.
I’m not going to get into the judges, though if you comment that you want me to…I’ll look them up.
It seems the big winner this year for fundraising so far is Chris Badgley…though we don’t have the mayoral numbers in yet.
Check back on Monday – I’ll update this post if I hear anything. Thanks!