Yesterday was the day candidates were to get their latest C5 fundraising/spending report in.
Let’s explore a bit and see what we can see.
Alright. I wrote this up yesterday, before the final Engen report came out.
Let me try to explain.
Mayor Engen and his team continue to file their reports ‘hard copy,’ not electronically.
I talked to a guy at COPP and he said that municipal candidates aren’t required to do it electronically.
Of course, this means you have to search out those reports a bit more. I asked the guy if campaigns were trying to use subterfuge here, but he said no.
Anyways, I went ahead and took the extra steps and found Engen’s latest reports.
His October 3 report was not yet up, but I’ll get to my initial look before digging into that report.
Anyways, if you use the regular candidate search you see 2 reports from Engen. If you do a hard copy search you see 10 reports.
August 27 and 31 and September 7, 8, 11 and 13 interest me…as these reports aren’t in the regular system.
Let’s start with September 13.
Engen got 2 donations from the District of Criminals, one from Lolo, and 3 from Missoula.
One of those Missoula donations came from County Attorney Kirsten Pabst. She gave Engen $330.
Most of the people giving to Engen are retired.
In the September 11 report we see that Engen got 2 donations. The one from Virginia was from the President of AGB Consultants.
That acronym could stand for the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges, but I’m not sure.
The other donation came from a retired professor in Missoula. Both gave $100.
The September 8 report has 3 donations from Missoula, 2 from Helena.
These averaged $150. One donation was from long-time Dem David Hunter ($205). Tracey Stone-Manning gave Engen $230.
The Missoula donations came from a realtor and a retired person and a doctor.
The September 7 report shows us an in-kind donation of $300 for event catering, and a $100 donation from a choreographer/writer.
The August 31 report has donations from 3 Missoulians, including the owner of the Top Hat ($330). His wife gave the same amount.
The other donation ($100) came from an accountant at Kero Byington and Associates.
The August 27 report shows us a $100 donation from an employee of Neptune Aviation.
So we know that Engen had $16,000 cash on hand listed with his last electronic report, and since then he’s only raised $2,300.
He hasn’t had a single donation since September 13. If he has, he broke the law by not filing a report on that.
This must be depressing for the Engen campaign. Donations have dried up. I don’t see many Engen signs. Favor for the mayor is waning
Now, let’s update this.
Engen’s report came out late Tuesday afternoon. It shows he’s actually raised $26,000 from August 27 to September 28. He now has $20,000 cash on hand.
I’m not sure why this wasn’t reported earlier. Seems like it might be a campaign violation. I brought that up with Melanie Brock – who runs Brock Consulting and is paid $3,000 a month by the Engen campaign – and she just gave me a reporting schedule.
And boy…when you go through the list of donors to Engen, it’s a who’s-who of Missoula and even Montana politics.
Mostly seems to be retired people, government workers, self-employed people, non-profit workers, and lawyers and politicians.
People with money.
People that gain from Engen’s policies.
Are you gaining?
Lisa Triepke has been reporting her donations and expenses online, though she does have quite a bit in the ‘hard copy’ area too.
We’ll stick with the ‘online’ versions, and the latest report was filed September 28.
In that report we see that Triepke has $14,000 cash on hand…or about $6,000 less than Engen has.
Wow, this race got close!
Most of the people giving to Triepke are retired, though I see quite a few from Lambros and some from DeMarois. The owner of Big Sky Motor Sports and the owner of Eagle Self Storage also donated.
Triepke spent $5,000 for more “advertising” with Spiker Communications during the last week of September.
Triepke brought in $3,500 over the last week of September, or about $1,000 more than what Engen managed to raise over a whole month.
And that’s not even the half of it.
Between September 19 and 21, Triepke raised $2,500 from business owners, retired people, and white collar workers.
Between September 16 and 18 she brought in $2,800.
Between September 13 and 15 she brought in $3,200.
On September 12 alone she brought in $1,400.
That’s $13,400 raised over 16 days.
The City Council Races
Jordan Hess in Ward 2 and Julie Merritt in Ward 6 are both unchallenged.
That means these are shoe-in candidates. Zero accountability. It must be nice.
Doesn’t stop ‘em from raising money, either…even though they don’t need it. Hess has $923 in the bank. Merritt hasn’t engaged in this tomfoolery.
Bryan von Lossberg had $509 in the bank at the end of August and he hasn’t raised a dime since then.
If he had he would have had to file a report. Failure to do so is breaking the law, and I see no hard copy reports for him. He will have a new report up after today, so maybe he has raised something in the past 48 hours.
Jamelet Laursen is the UM student running against him. She isn’t even in the COPP system at all, not even for a statement of candidacy. Weird.
Two seats are up in Ward 2 – one that’s unchallenged and one that has just one candidate.
On Monday night that candidate, Ruth Ann Swaney, resigned from the City Council. Her only challenger dropped out of the race at the end of July.
The Council will now appoint someone to fill this seat, just as they did to get Swaney in there.
Swaney hadn’t raised a dime for her reelection effort.
Emily Bentley is not running again, though if she did, I don’t see her losing. She has the seat now, she runs the fairgrounds, and she’s in with the cabal that wants the fairgrounds to become yet another urban renewal district, or URD.
Just more of your money up in smoke.
So she’s gone but she wants Heather Harp to take her seat. I’ve seen quite a few Harp signs around town.
I haven’t seen any for Jon Van Dyke.
Harp had $5,000 in the bank at the end of September. Lots of familiar Dem names in her contributor list.
Van Dyke had $212 at the end of August.
Jon Wilkins had $994 at the end of August and he hasn’t raised any money since. He has been doing a good job getting out there and dropping his flyers off.
Jesse Ramos had $718 at the end of August and he’s filed 3 hard copy reports since then.
Again, you have to file a report within 48 hours of a contribution.
In those reports we learn he’s raised an additional $1,160, giving him about $1,900 cash on hand.
I don’t know what he’s going to do with all that money. He’s already saturated our ward so much with his signs that he’s now moving them into other wards.
Chris Badgley’s latest report was filed on September 28. We see that he has $2,200 in the bank. Lots of out-of-state donations for Badgley, including a Hollywood movie executive.
Greg Strandberg. This is me. I have $144 in the bank.
The incumbent here is stepping down so it’s a race between Stacie Anderson and Cathy Deschamps.
Anderson’s last report was filed September 27. She has $2,900 in the bank. The list of Missoula establishment-Democrats that are donating to her is long and depressing.
Julie Armstrong, who’s on the Council now. Bryce Bennet. Melanie Brock. Lauren Caldwell. Nancy De Pastino. John Engen. Annelise Hedahl. Jordan Hess. Dylan Laslovich. Marilyn Marler. Shane Morigeau. Kirsten Pabst. Paul Ryan. Bryan Von Lossberg.
When you have that many big-Dem names donating, you know they’re scared the GOPer could win this one.
That’s Deschamps, and her last hard copy report was filed October 3.
She has $1,250 cash on hand, lots of postcards printed up, and lots of door hangers on hand.
It’ll be interesting to see how close this race is.
Kathleen Jenks filed her latest report on October 1. She has about $1,500 cash on hand…but that’s after spending $14,000 during September.
She spent $7,200 with the Missoulian on August 31 for print and web advertising and another $4,950 with them on September 19.
Brendan McQuillan filed his last report on September 28. He has $7,500 cash on hand and spent $3,000 in September. Most of his money went for yard signs and mailings.
And that’s it.
Thanks for reading.
Thanks for your interest in local politics.
If you’re really interested, think about coming down to 3000 S. Higgins Avenue at 6 PM for a Ward 3 & 4 candidate forum. It’s the Lewis & Clark University Village community center. Hope to see you there!