Yesterday we went over the Senate candidates, and today we’ll look into those running for the U.S. House.
Here we go.
Tom Winter’s report starts at the end of March and goes to year-end. He raised $265,000, spent nearly $156,000 and now has about $110,000 cash on hand. He has zero debt.
Winter has 177 spending transactions in his report.
His largest expenditure was $5,500 to D.C.’s Battleaxe Strategies for consulting work.
Next up is $2,325 to rent the Voter Access Network of the national Dems, money that does to D.C.
After that, the next seven expenditures are for $2,081 each, and go to someone named Michael Rafshoon for salary.
After that it’s several expenditures to Washington State’s Blue Wave Political Partners for campaign compliance work.
After this we have more salary for Michael, rent for Winter’s campaign office, and a bunch of money spent for payroll taxes.
$1,029 was spent for lodging in Texas, which seems a bit pricey to me.
$896 was spent to cater an event here in Montana, and another $896 was spent to cater an event in Kansas. $520 was spent catering a California event.
For some reason, Winter is splitting his printing between a company in Montana and a company in Virginia.
Winter - like many running for office in Montana - realize that Montana companies simply aren’t up to snuff when it comes to political stuff, so they choose to spend their money out-of-state.
Personally, I believe that Montana companies could do the job just fine, and for less money. I think that Montana up-and-comers feel they need to impress these out-of-state firms, however, for if they don’t, they might not seem like viable candidates.
Sadly, we see these Dem candidates do this out-of-state spending each cycle, and it never results in a general election win for them.
But maybe if we keep trying…
Kathleen Williams’ report begins in January and goes the whole year. She raised nearly $1.2 million for the year, spent $422,000 and now has $811,000 in the bank, with zero debt.
2,425 different people are listed as donating to her.
Williams spent money on 236 different things.
The largest was $35,000 in donations that she then transferred to some kind of committee. I suspect this was done to raise and spend money in ways the campaign typically can’t.
Williams is giving much of her money to a Colorado company called 4 Degrees. They got about $25,000 for digital and campaign consulting work.
She has a few staffers, and their salary and healthcare - coupled with the payroll taxes they require - are eating up a lot of her funds.
Mari Messinger is getting $1,160 in salary; Jeff Allenn is getting $2,825 (looks like a one-time payment); Blake Thompson is getting $1,619.
Besides that, a Maryland Company is being used for compliance work and this makes up most of the big ticket-items for Williams.
Joe Dooling’s report begins at the end of June and goes to year-end. He raised $48,000 and has spent $23,000. He now has about $24,000 in the bank, with zero debts.
Ryan Zinke is Dooling’s biggest donor, with $2,366 given this period.
Dooling has spent money on just three things - $150 in credit card fees and $2,000 to Colorado’s Clear Creek for his website.
Oh, and he returned that $2,366 that Zinke gave him.
I wonder why.
Tim Johnson’s FEC report begins in October and covers just three months. He raised $5,200, spent $5,051 and has $264 left in the bank. The $264 is listed as debt.
A handful of people gave money to Johnson. All were from Montana, though his second largest donor was from Minnesota.
I wish I could direct you to a website or Facebook page, but Johnson doesn’t seem to have either.
There are just 11 instances of spending in Johnson’s report. The largest expenditure was $2,500 to Montana’s Yellowstone Solutions for advertising work.
Besides that it’s printing and event catering, mostly.
I commend Johnson on spending every single dime of his money in Montana with Montana companies.
Debra Lamm’s report begins in July and goes to year-end. She raised $45,000, spent $11,000 and now has $34,000 left in the bank.
Jeff Essman and Nancy Ballance are two of the twenty-one people that have donated to Lamm.
Lamm has just six incidences of spending in her report. The largest is in-kind itemizations for $2,800, for which a note is included (I did not look at the note).
$800 was spent flying on Delta, $500 was given back to Lamm for mileage reimbursement, $400 was for printing with a Montana company, and around $500 was spent on some kind of trip to Virginia.
Matt Rosendale’s report begins in January and covers the entirety of 2019. He raised nearly $1.1 million for the year, spent $347,000 and has $821,000 cash on hand still, with $98,000 of that being debt.
1,187 people gave to Rosendale last year, though there’s a good chance many of those are double-entries.
For instance, the Club for Growth PAC is listed in the report at least five times, and they gave at least $70,000 to him.
House Freedom Fund is another PAC that’s funneling a lot of money Rosendale’s way. They have over $25,000 in donations listed.
Rosendale is sending most of his money back to Virginia, to Holloway Consulting. They got $46,000 from him last year for finance consulting with a bit of printing thrown in.
Rosendale is choosing a Texas company for his bookkeeping and compliance work, giving them $7,000.
A Utah firm got $6,700 to print some stuff for Rosendale.
The Gober Group in Texas got $6,700 for legal work.
Missouri’s Axiom Strategies got $2,300 for consulting work.
Someone named Braxton Shewalter is on Rosendale’s staff and gets anywhere from $1,100 to $1,600 a month in salary.
Of course, there’s a lot more in Rosendale’s report, but those are the big-ticket items.
Corey Stapleton’s report begins in April and goes to year-end. He raised $155,000, spent about $94,000 and now has $61,000 in the bank, with zero debt.
74 different people gave to Stapleton over that period.
Christi Jacobsen gave $2,800. Adam Hertz gave $500, as did Jake Eaton. I don’t see any other recognizable names.
Stapleton spent money on just 13 things over those months.
Montana’s Ad Creative Group got the most, over $10,000, for consultation work, graphic design, and the like.
$7,000 went to an Illinois company called 1892 LLC for a monthly retainer (they get $3,500 a month, total).
Montana’s Icon Media got $5,000 for event and fundraising work.
$4,900 went to Virginia’s Allegiance List Marketing for some kind of voter spam list.
Over $3,000 was spent with two Montana companies for website and printing work.
So far this is how the candidates stack-up:
As you can see, Kathleen Williams and Matt Rosendale are the only two real contenders in this race.
I personally think that Tom Winter should focus his attention on getting his legislative seat back, while Stapleton should stay another term at SoS.
I feel that both of these two men tried those jobs, and found out they didn’t really like them. So they’re moving on, it just won’t be to D.C.
I’m surprised how well Joe Dooling is doing, and I’m surprised how poorly Debra Lamm is doing.
I suspect Tim Johnson will get out of this race very soon.
Williams has a good shot at winning this year, if the Democrats can turn out. They didn’t turn out last night - just 35% showed up for Iowa’s mess last night, while 44% did so in 2016.
That doesn’t bode well for Democrats going forward. I think their lackluster slate of presidential candidates - and the ultimate nominee - will be so unexciting that they won’t help Williams much, and (in the case of Biden over Bernie) might even hurt her.
I don’t know if that turnout number includes the GOP. Here in Montana, Rosendale just has to stay quiet and ride Trump’s coattails. I suspect we’ll see Trump rally here once or twice.
I don’t see anyone coming to rally for Williams, as this would be too much of a detriment with possible swing voters. Dems already have to walk pretty lightly with their Mansfield-Metcalf Dinner speakers, though in recent years they’ve typically picked people that don’t represent the majority of Montanans.
It’ll be interesting to see who represents their interests more this fall - Matt or Kathleen.
I suspect it’ll be Matt, but you never know.