The latest Montana Democratic fundraising report is here, and the Montana GOP report is here. The former is 133 pages while the latter is just 30.
The GOP raised $20,000 in September and spent $28,000. They now have $27,000 in the bank.
The Dems raised $113,000 in September and spent $72,000. They now have $123,000 in the bank.
This was the third largest PAC in the 2018 primary cycle here in Montana, with $71,000 spent. They gave Gianforte alone $20,000.
Just about every month this year, the Montana GOP is giving $8,250 to Ascension LLC, based in Bozeman, for political consulting.
That’s quite a hefty paycheck for the person running that outfit.
Besides that, there is no one listed as getting a salary for the GOP. I saw just one instance of eating out - a Panda Express - which may have been associated with someone’s trip to Charlotte.
The GOP has a very good strategy, one that doesn’t cost them much money.
They have no staffers and spend very little money, and yet when it comes time to vote, the GOP usually wins.
The final 40 or so pages consists of the money they spend on things. This is what we’ll focus on today.
As usual with these reports, various payments are broken down into different categories based on how much time was spent on statewide activities vs. federal activities. The former is labeled as Schedule B while the latter is called Schedule H.
For regular workers like you and I, it doesn’t make one bit of difference how they want to label it - the money was still spent.
Here are two odd ones that stood out to me:
- $219 for ground transportation in Kansas City.
- Someone named Xio Lopp was given $409 for a housing stipend in Kalispell. A name like that is really going to convince people to vote Democratic, now isn’t it?
Most of the rest of the report is bank fees, printing, some transportation things, credit card fees, website stuff, and the like.
And then we have the employees, which is really sucking the money out of the Party.
The Dems have cut down on staff considerably since the pre-election days of last fall.
Currently the Dems have 7 people on staff, and they’re paid like so:
- Monica Lindeen: $6,000 a month
- Justin Ailport: $4,012
- Nick Lockridge: $3,914
- Samantha Offerdahl: $3,667
- Kiley Gage: $3,248
- Elizabeth Darnell: $2,961
- Thai Nguyen: $2,371
It costs $23,214 a month to pay those people...but that’s not the whole story.
The Party actually pays more in payroll taxes for those employees than they pay them in salary, if you can believe that.
While $23,000 was spent on salaries last month, $38,000 was spent on payroll taxes and payroll-related accounting.
That’s a $15,000 discrepancy. I I were donating to the Party on a monthly basis, I’d want a little bit of an explanation on that.
Another $5,579 was spent on the employees’ healthcare costs last month, though I do feel bad for poor Samantha Offerdahl. She was the only employee forced to contribute to her own healthcare costs, which cost her $474 for the month. I wonder why she got shafted and no one else did.
Dems have curtailed their voracious appetites. $657 was spent eating out this month, including $172 at a brewery.
All told, if we add up the salaries, healthcare, payroll and food costs, we realize that it costs the Montana Democratic Party a whopping $67,000 a month just to keep those 7 people on staff.
What is it they do all day, you might ask? Well, isn't it obvious? They send out fundraising emails, and nothing more.
Of the $113,000 they raised for the month, just $45,000 is left over after the staffers are taken care of.
So in effect, the Dems have to sit down at the beginning of each month, having a staff meeting to make it clear to everyone that if they want to keep their jobs, they have to find a way to raise $70,000 that month.
This is the most important role played at MT Dem HQ on Sixth Street - raise that money so we can keep our jobs.
This is the goal of Monica Lindeen, same as it was for Nancy Keenan before her. Both of these women are doing their part to run the Party into the ground, while laughing to the bank all the while.
There Lindeen is, at the very front table at the Perez Dinner. She makes $72,000 a year working for the Dems, so you know she’s going to take a spot at that front table.
No, we’re not going to give that spot to the top donors, you know...the ones paying Monica’s salary. That might hurt her ego.
She’s sure fattened up that bank account of hers on the largess of others. My how its grown.
It’ll be interesting to see how much money the Dems wasted on the Perez dinner, which was nothing more than a night out to congratulate themselves on how good of a job they’re doing.
If I was in the Montana GOP, I would put my feet up on the desk and let out a satisfied sigh.
The GOP doesn’t need to do anything to win because the Dems are doing everything to lose.
At Dem HQ, it’s all about self-aggrandizement and how high on the trough they can live with the money people donate to the Party.
This is so good for the GOP. The Dems waste tens of thousands of dollars each month for staffers, while the GOP doesn’t have any staffers...and they’re winning.
I hope the Montana Democrats continue just the way they are. I know when reports like this come out, they shrug them off and ignore them.
This is exactly what we want to have happen.
Let the Dems live in their cozy little bubble of a world, thinking that if they just raise a hundred grand each month, they’ll win.
Let them think that.