Today we’ll go through the 26-page December report for the Montana GOP.
As usual, you can find all of this information on the FEC website. Your tax dollars pay for it…$71 million to keep this agency running in 2017, actually.
Someone things it’s important.
The GOP’s December report covers all of November’s income and expenses.
We learn right away that the Party had $66,000 cash on hand at the beginning of November, they raised about $12,000 and spent $27,000, which left them with $51,000 cash on hand at the end of the month.
So in effect, the Montana GOP spent nearly $15,000 more than they brought in for the month.
The Party also has $12,000 in debt. $10,000 of this is from Minnesota’s Strategic Fundraising and another $1,700 is from Helena’s James Brown Law Office.
There are only 11 pages of Schedule A Itemized Receipts…unlike the 127 pages the Dem report had.
So I went through the GOP contributions, and this is what stood out to me:
- Nancy Balance gave the party $250
- Nels Swandel gave them $15
- The Stillaguamish Tribe of Indians from Washington State gave $1,000
- Pfizer Inc. PAC of New York gave $1,000
- The Daines Montana Victory Committee of Helena gave $4,100
- Roy Pfautch of St. Louis gave $10,000 (which was surely returned as too large...though no record of this return is in the report).
- The Republican National Committee in the District of Criminals gave $4,925
- The Montana State Fund in Billings gave them $225
Those 7 donations (not counting the large, St. Louis one) come out to $11,515…or $485 less than the total the Party raised for the month. Those 7 donations account for 96% of the GOP’s income this month.
If it wasn’t for Daines’ PAC and the RNC, the Montana GOP would be up shit creek.
Let’s move on to the spending. Schedule B Itemized Disbursements begin on the 13th page of the report. Here are some things that stood out to me:
- $1,250 was given to Virginia’s Advantage Direct Communication for “data consulting.”
- $843 was given to Salt Lake’s Arena Communications for direct mailings
- The District of Criminals’ Fulcrum Campaign Strategies was given $10,000 for “political strategy consulting.”
- $213 was given to the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Nashville for travel/lodging.
- $2,000 was spent renting the Colonial in Helena.
- $532 was given to California’s The Monaco Group for direct mailings.
I’m not a political professional, so I’m not really certain what the difference between Schedule B and Schedule H4 disbursements are. The latter are called “disbursements for allocated federal/nonfederal activity.”
Here’s what stood out to me in that section:
- $1,000 was given to Helena’s Perrault Rentals for “rent.”
- $212 was given to Virginia’s Campaign Solutions for website work.
- $472 was given to Kansas City’s IPFS Corporation for insurance.
- $1,200 was given to Massachusetts’ Red Curve Solutions for “compliance consulting.”
- $470 was given to the Montana State Fund in Billings for insurance.
- $160 was spent renting a storage unit in Helena.
- Patrick Webb was paid $4,029.84 in salary for the month.
- John Perkins was paid $1,693.26 in salary for the month.
Well…where to begin?
First of all, the Montana GOP has 8 fewer salaried employees than the Montana Dems do. The Dems spent $34,000 paying their workers; the GOP spent $5,700.
The tax situation is particularly dismal. The Montana Dems paid nearly $50,000 on payroll taxes with their Virginia firm, while the Montana GOP paid just $2,300 to their Idaho firm.
Dems are getting really ripped-off in this category…and they have been ever since we started doing these monthly reports in April.
Why are Dems paying so much in payroll taxes? I think that’d be a great question for Dem finance head, Trent Bolger…but I’m sure he’s in his home state of Wyoming right now for the holidays.
Even if I were to call him, I’m sure he wouldn’t be forthcoming. Again, I wish to God the local media would dig into this. Dennison is the only reporter that has the know-how and the inclination to do so, but he chooses not to.
We’re also seeing the Montana GOP spend a lot less on eating out and travel. For Dems, those two categories cost them $6,100. For the GOP, the price was $213.
The big difference on the food/travel front is that Dems use other people’s money to benefit themselves personally. The GOP uses that money to win.
Both the Dems and the GOP spend a lot of money out-of-state on things they could get in Montana. These are things like printing, mailing, website work, and probably even some of that consulting.
I’m always surprised that Montana political parties give money to out-of-state consulting agencies so those agencies can tell the Montana parties what it is Montanans want/need.
Another difference between the reports is how much the Dems rely on a wide pool of donors, while the GOP seems to rely on just two – Daines and the RNC.
Still, the GOP has their financial situation under control a lot more than the Dems.
The GOP is spending a fraction of what the Dems are, and they’re winning. They have 4-of-5 statewide offices, they have the legislature, they have the PSC, and they have the majority of the county commissions.
All of these victories gives the GOP something the Dems don’t – a bench.
Whether they come up from the city councils, the county commissions, or the PSC…the GOP has a lot of people that can be tapped to run for the legislature.
That means they have a lot that can be tapped to run for statewide offices, as well.
Doesn’t bode-well for the Montana Democrats. Instead of looking at themselves and figuring out why their stategy isn’t working, however, the Dems just barrel-along, doing the same thing over and over again and hoping-against-hope that, God help us, this time will be different.