We’ll get into the governor’s race, secretary of state, state auditor, OPI, as well as the supreme court race.
In the next day or two we’ll have the legislative races.
These recent reports are for the month of September.
Before we begin I’d like to share some information I’ve received.
Democratic Campaign Shake-Ups
I hear he got pushed to the side and that Aaron Browning is now running things.
Now we’re seeing the old Baucus connections come into play.
Browning has been running legislative campaigns since 2002, according to his profile page on Hilltop Public Solutions.
He was on the board of Forward Montana a few years ago, and might still be.
Browning was also named in a 277-page complaint filed against the Bullock campaign in 2013 for illegal coordination with Hilltop during the 2012 election.
Then-Commissioner of Political Practices Jim Murry recused himself from that case as he’d been the treasurer of the Democratic Governors Association of Montana prior to being appointed commissioner.
That was long ago but I guess there’s a rumor going around that Bullock was only 1 point up in the recent DGA poll.
Supposedly the Bullock campaign got scared and decided to restructure.
That’s why Browning is in, Hyers is out.
It’ll be interesting to see what the Montana Democratic Party does over this final month.
They’ve spent $391,505 on salaries so far this year, so those people are doing fine.
They’ve also spent $30,000 on fundraising and consulting fees, $13,500 on polling, $25,000 on campaign strategy, and $34,000 on campaign data and technology.
Besides that, the Montana Democratic Party has also transferred $864,600 up to the national party. They’ve given just $97,400 to local parties.
Another $16,000 was spent on event food and expenses.
Just $10,000 was given to Denise Juneau’s campaign.
Nancy Keenan has been given $36,000 so far this year, Colleen Martin $51,000. Kendra Miller has received $26,000 so far, Andrea Marcoccio $21,000.
Now, let’s get to the governor’s race, starting with Gianforte.
Gianforte’s September Finances
Gianforte now has $223,758 in the bank.
He gave himself three payments of $500,000 this past month as well as $12,903 in in-kind expenses.
That means that just $272,000 came from other people...which is still a substantial amount.
Besides that he picked up $70 at a Roundup pass-the-hat event and another $20 at one in Boulder.
The Montana Republican Party gave him $65.
After that we have about 40 pages of people giving individual donations.
When we look at Gianforte’s spending we see a similar pattern:
- Using Kansas City’s Axiom Strategies for 56,000 pieces of mail at a cost of $33,424.
- Spending another $43,000 for 81,000 pieces of mail with postage from the same Kansas City company.
- Spending another $42,000 with them for 40,000 palm cards and 72,000 pieces of mail with postage.
- Spending an additional $33,000 for another 56,000 pieces of mail.
That comes out to $152,000 worth of work that could have went to a Montana firm but instead went to a firm in Missouri.
So much for wanting to create Montana jobs, huh?
In addition to that spending, here are some things that stood out to me:
- $1,000 spent for a “statewide date subscription” with Baltimore’s I360.
- $32,500 with Portland, Oregon’s, Moore Information for “polling.”
- $48,735.61 for “retainer and online advertising” from Indiana’s Prosper Group Corporation.
- $8,000 for website development from the same Indiana company.
- $89,500 for TV and radio ads from Virginia’s Red Print Strategy.
- $1,361,819 with Ohio’s Strategic Media for radio and TV airtime.
- $5,642.50 to Indiana’s Bopp Law Firm.
- $15,768 for 5,000 bumper stickers and 19,819 pieces of mail from Wisconsin’s Unisource Direct.
Every single big-ticket purchase that Gianforte made was done so with an out-of-state company.
Money talks and bullshit walks.
It’s clear Gianforte would rather create jobs out-of-state than here in Montana.
Bullock’s September Finances
So Bullock took in just $9,000 more than Gianforte when it comes to donors.
Bullock likes taking PAC money. In September he took from:
- $8,950 from BNSF Rail PAC out of Texas
- $660 from Corrections Corporation of America PAC out of Tennessee
- $2,500 from CTA BuildMT PAC out of Bozeman
- $10,610 from Deloitte PAC out of D.C.
- $200 from Friends of Moffie Funk out of Helena
- $200 from Helena Firefighter L448 PAC in Helena
- $500 from Hill County Democratic Central Committee in Havre
- $10,610 from IBEW PAC Voluntary Fund in D.C.
- $300 from Janet Ellis HD #81 out of Helena
- $8,000 from MEA-MFT COPE out of Helena
- $330 from Monsanto Citizens Fund out of Missouri
- $5,000 from Pfizer PAC out of New York
Bullock then has 60 pages of individual contributors before we get to expenses.
This is what stood out to me:
- $4,714 with Billings Times for 38,500 envelopes and 17,000 letterheads
- $2,000 to Brock Consulting of Missoula for fundraising consulting
- $441,816 with Georgia’s Canal Partners Media for a “media buy”
- $9,166 with New York’s Global Strategy Group for “research”
- $2,000 to Nicole Kayner of Helena for email consulting
- $6,800 for postage with Mailing Technical Services of Billings
- $2,176 for salary reimbursement to the Montana Democratic Party
- $10,000 for “strategic/communications consulting” from Helena’s Peak Strategic Solutions
- $24,070 for digital consulting from Washington, D.C.’s Rising Tide Interactive
- $1,900 to Detroit’s Salsa Labs for computer software
- $14,000 for 1.25 million campaign walking cards form Chicago’s Strategy Group
Bullock is also spending out-of-state, but not nearly as much.
I personally don’t understand why he couldn’t get a million campaign cards printed up in Montana.
Perhaps that’s why I’m not governor.
The Secretary of State Race
She got $2,500 from Philadelphia’s Cigna Political Action Committee and another $2,640 from the Democratic Association of Secretaries of State based out of D.C.
There are few expenses, the big one being $40,000 with Billings’ Spotlight Productions for a campaign media buy.
She also spent $1,150 with the Billings Times for fundraiser printing and then $5,833 with San Francisco’s Tulchin Research.
Who is this California research firm that’s taking a lot of money from our Montana Democrats?
They work with Democrats and do things like telephone surveys, focus groups, and online web testing.
We’ll see if they’re worth the money come November 8.
When it comes to Corey Stapleton, he raised $9,670 for the month, spent $68,000 and has $72,000 left in the bank.
He gets a lot of money from various county GOP central committees. He also got $990 from Northwestern Energy and $500 from MT Med PAC, which is based in Helena.
His big expenditure for the month was $54,555 with Virginia’s Smart Media Group for TV ads.
He also spent $11,745 with Northern Broadcasting out of Billings for radio ads and $1,272 with Billings’ the Political Companyn for 1,450 fundraising mailers.
The State Auditor Race
Most of his PAC money is small, but the Joe Hune Leadership Fund of Missouri did give him $2,320.
He got $990 from the NorthWestern Energy Montana Employee PAC.
Big expenditures include:
- $4,930 for a campaign media buy with Billings’ Northern Broadcasting
- $166,563 for another media buy from Virginia’s Screen Strategies Media
- $2,745 for campaign signs with the Billings Times
- $5,833 for campaign consulting with San Francisco’s Tulchin Research
When it comes to Matt Rosendale…well, the guy’s still reporting for the primary, not the general.
He got $23,000 and spent $58,000 and has $15,000 left.
Northwestern Energy gave him $990.
That company doesn’t care if it’s D’s or R’s that win – they’ll pay off both.
Rosendale’s big expenditure was with Maryland’s On Message for radio and web advertising for $50,000.
The OPI Race
PAC and committee donors to Romano are:
- Carol’s List: $500
- Helena Firefighter L448 PAC: $150
- Jessica Karjala for Montana: $75
- Mehlhoff for HD 22: $200
- Montanans for Tester: $104
After that we get about 15 pages of individual donors before the expenses.
What stood out to me was:
- $50,000 for a media buy from ARC of Helena
- $3,148 for 1,500 yard signs from Billings Times
- $800 in postage from Mailing Technical Services in Billings
- $5,833 for polling from San Francisco’s Tulchin Research
When it comes to Elsie Arntzen she raised $25,000 for the month and spent $3,400. She has about $124,000 in the bank.
Arntzen has a lot of committee money, mostly coming from various Republican Central Committee’s around the state.
She also got $300 from the Montana Independent Bankers.
There are a few pages of individual donors, then a few expenses. One of them is $2,000 for communications consulting from Helena’s Pioneer Solutions.
The Supreme Court Race
His two PAC contributions are $50 from Andrea Olsen for HD 100 and $990 from the Northwestern Energy Montana Employees PAC.
Sandefur spent $1,097 with Havre’s Florens Printing for 7,500 envelopes and 2,500 letterheads.
He spent $605 with Black Eagle’s Identity Screen for printing and $1,364 with Great Falls’ Montana Senior News for advertising.
The big purchase was with Bozeman’s Plazby, LLC for a media buy at nearly $129,000.
Besides that we get a lot of postage with a Massachusetts company.
When it comes to Kristen Juras…she didn’t bother to file a campaign finance report for the period.
One Final Thought