You can find these at the Montana Commissioner of Political Practices website.
Both reports stretch from October to the end of December, or the 4th quarter of 2015.
Bullock’s is 68 pages. Gianforte’s report is 49 pages long.
At this early point, I’m just going to report primary income and expenditures.
Let’s start off with Gianforte, shall we?
Greg Gianforte’s Campaign Income and Expenses, Oct-Dec 2015
This is how we know the pay of the following individuals on the Gianforte campaign team:
- Mckenzie Chambers: $943.42 a month
- Morgan Darlington: $1,172.25 every two weeks
- Paige Davis: $1,720.32 every two weeks
- Aaron Flint: $2,696.25 every two weeks
- Amy Lunde: $3,009.75 every month
So he seems to have 5 campaign workers and they cost him $11,834 a month…give or take a bit for time off and whatnot.
If he were to continue that for another 11 months he’d need $130,000 to pay for those folks.
That’s completely doable with the money he’s taking in.
I have to tell you – a much better use of the Democratic operatives time would be to look at Gianforte’s book.
If you do that you might come to the realization that he’s bootstrapping his campaign just like he bootstrapped his business.
- This means small, agile, and unburdened operations. Not a lot of costs, not a lot of hassle.
- There’s not a lot of time spent on the phone coordinating or asking questions. Not a lot of money spent second-guessing or going another course.
Now, let’s get to some other campaign expenditures. For the most part they fall into these categories:
- Equipment rental and supplies
- Office supplies
- Postage and shipping
- Dental insurance
- Health insurance
- Phone insurance
- Cell phone
- Credit card fees
- Logo design and layout
- Event catering
- Event space rental
- Travel fuel
- Voter contact
- Internet service
- Employee taxes
- Payroll taxes
- Video and Digital Shoots
- Film Crew Meals and Expenses
That’s about it. There’s more, but you get the idea.
Overall – wow, Gianforte’s putting a lot of money into the local economy of Montana!
According to the report, he spent $164,733.67 crisscrossing the state, drumming up support for his campaign.
When it comes to campaign donations, Gianforte brought in $231,676 during the 4th quarter of 2015.
With the money he spent around the state he’s got $148,069 left.
Really, though – the guy’s got endless pockets, or at least tens of millions deep.
He can spend whatever he wants and the nice thing for independent-minded Montana voters is that no one’s donating this to him – he’s loaning or donating it to his own campaign.
Steve Bullock’s Campaign Income and Expenses, Oct-Dec 2015
He managed to raise $166,845.85 in the 4th quarter of 2015 and with the money in the bank he already had, this pushed him up to $691,265.
He didn’t spend that much money from October to January, either, just $85,094.
Let’s jump right into wages, or for Bullock, what is often “Salary reimbursement” to the Montana Democratic Party.
For instance, he had those on the following dates and for these amounts:
- Oct 2: $2,953.49
- Nov 12: $2,176.15
That’s $5,129.64 for that month or so. God, I hope that’s not all going to the clowns on Twitter.
Anyways, I find this interesting – we know exactly who the people working for Gianforte are, and what they get paid.
For Bullock, however – an elected official I might add – we have no idea who he has working for him, helping him, or doing…whatever it is that campaign’s do.
I just don’t like that idea very much.
You can peruse the report to see a detailed list of the things he's spending money on. It's about the same as Gianforte.
One company that Bullock relies heavily upon is Rising Tide Interactive, a “data-driven digital advertising agency with a personal approach” based out of Washington, D.C.
They pride themselves on having helped “Democrats win nine US Senate races and seven gubernatorial elections.”
Bullock has been throwing a lot of money at them:
- Oct 12: $4,500
- Oct 15: $4,000
- Nov 20: $2,875
- Nov 20: $4,500
- Dec 20: $7,000
That comes out to $22,875 for about 2 months of “work.” And again – we have no idea who these people are, unlike with the Gianforte campaign.
It’s this level of transparency that you want to keep your eye on, as a voter.
You want to see as much as you can, and if you’re a smart candidate, you want to reveal as much as you can.
Why keep secrets?
Brock Consulting is another firm that Bullock is spending a bit of money with, one located in Missoula.
They charge him for “Fundraising Consultant” stuff and also travel reimbursements, telephones, and meals. All of those charges come out to:
- Oct 1: $2,394.48
- Oct 1: $2,000
- Oct 26: $2,000
- Oct 26: 748.82
- Nov 23: $2,000
- Nov 23: $163.67
That comes out to $9,306.97 for about two months of consulting “work.”
And that’s about it. Bullock has a total of $606,170.64 in the bank right now and anything could happen going forward.
We know who Gianforte pays and who is helping him. These are Montana people in Montana communities.
For Steve Bullock, however, we see that most of his money is going to some D.C. lobbying firm.
So far Greg Gianforte has been spending more in state, and he’s been raising more in state.
We know that 83% of Gianforte’s campaign contributions come from Montana.
For Bullock…there is no number.
Maybe Democrats are working on the math on this. For now, let’s skim through some pages of donations:
- Lots of Oklahoma oil companies
- Lots of Texas oil companies
- Lots of California PACs
- Lots of Washington, D.C. PACs
That’s all on the first few pages of donations – go check it out.
After that we get into individual donations. If I was one of those 5 people working for the Gianforte campaign I’d get some spreadsheets going off all those donations to date and where they’ve come from.
That’s what you’ll be using in your TV and radio ads.
Oh my – I’m getting excited!
Campaign season in Montana is underway and we’ve still got a week before filing begins.