It covers the period April 1 to April 30.
Just a reminder before we get started…
- $20,000 was paid out in salary to the 8 staffers in February.
- $780 was spent on meals in February.
The Montana Democratic Party had $143,000 cash on hand at the beginning of March.
- $26,000 was paid out in salary to the 8 staffers in March
- $37,000 was spent on payroll taxes for those people
- $49,000 was spent on the Mansfield-Metcalf Dinner
- $9,500 was spent on meals in March
At the beginning of April the Party had $245,000 cash on hand.
So let’s get started for that month.
The Party received $223,000 in donations in April.
We know the Party took $17,500 from PACs.
They also got $104,000 in transfers from other committees.
The Party paid out $272,000 in April as well.
Coordinated Party expenditures total $95,000 for the month.
By the end of the month they had $196,000 left.
An interesting expenditure that I can’t quite identify happened on April 5.
We saw that $25,000 was transferred to the “MDP Nonfed account – James Messina excessive portion.”
I’d like to mention that we get into Schedule E Itemized Independent Expenditures on page 67 of the report.
I’m going to group both Schedule B and E to make things easier.
Here are some other things that stood out to me:
- $95,000 to D.C.'s Canal Media Partners for ads supporting Quist
- $35,000 with D.C.’s Hart Research Associates for polling
- $5,500 to D.C.'s DSPolitical for digital advertising opposing Gianforte
- $4,900 with the Billings Times for advertising
- $3,500 to D.C.’s New Blue Interactive for donor development
- $2,500 with Virginia’s Direct Connect for credit card fees
- $687 was spent on meals in April
All of that stuff comes to $147,000.
Let's break it down further:
- $139,000 spent in D.C.
- $4,900 spent in Billings
- $3,500 spent in Virginia
- $687 spent in Helena
I’m glad to see that spending on meals has gone down, at least.
For instance, $113 was spent at the Silver Star Steak Company for “donor development,” but I think that’s an example of foisting a food expense off onto something else.
I also noticed that there were tons of administrative office supply purchases.
I wonder if this might be an area to hide things…I dunno.
It's also worth mentioning that most office supplies seem to be bought off of Amazon. Again, so much for supporting local businesses.
What seems obvious to me at least is that the Montana Democratic Party’s primary function – according to the three FEC reports we’ve dug into this year – is to keep staff salaries high while returning little in the way of concrete election results.
- $38,200 was spent paying 11 staffers in April.
- $55,750 was spent on payroll taxes for those staffers.
- $8,300 was spent on health insurance for them.
That came to over $102,000 to keep those people employed for April.
Here’s how those salaries break down per individual:
- Nancy Keenan: $5,922
- Amanda Frickle: $5,023
- Chris Meagher: $4,732
- Allison Dale-Riddle: $4,563
- Trent Bolger: $4,453
- Kristen Cates: $3,334
- Justin Ailport: $3,103
- Nick Lockridge: $2,986
- John Fauerbach: $1,987
- James Young: $1,886
- James Oberembt: $115.45
Chris Meagher is a new face, having been hired in March.
He's a Michigan-native that came over from the Colorado Democratic Party, which he worked for from April to November last year. Before that he was a communications manager with GM and a congressional staffer before that.
We know that salary expense for the Montana Democratic Party was $20,000 in February, $26,000 in March and now for April it was $38,000.
- Their salaries are going up, despite the monumental losses the Montana Democrats suffered in the statewide races in 2016.
- Their salaries are going up despite the abysmal performance of Rob Quist in the special election race.
I wonder if their salaries will continue to go up when Quist loses in 5 days.
But maybe he’ll win, and that question won’t be asked.
If I worked at Helena’s Sixth Street Democratic Party headquarters I’d be hoping to hell that Quist wins on Thursday.
For if he doesn’t, what does that say about the Party and their efforts…and what they’re spending money on?
Sadly, I’m the only person in the state that’s openly asking this question.
For three months now I’ve been charting the Party’s spending, hoping that people will begin to wake up as to what’s going on.
And what is going on?
Regular, hardworking Democratic voters in Montana are being taken for a ride.
Will regular Democratic Party committee men and women learn about this and vote for new leadership this summer?
I hope so, but I’m not confident.
No, it’ll probably be business as usual going into and beyond 2018.
And the losses will continue to rack up.