It was released on April 14 and we’ll dig into it now.
The general summary of the report is that Gianforte raised $1.61 million for the quarter, refunded $17,900 in over-the-limit campaign donations, had $1.07 million in expenses, and currently has $542,351 cash on hand.
There are 340 pages of Schedule A individual donations.
What’s interesting is how much PAC money Gianforte is taking.
- $15,000 from Big Sky Opportunity PAC
- $5,000 from Support to Ensure Victory Everywhere PAC
- $5,000 from Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Chair PAC
- $2,000 from Blaine PAC
- $2,000 from Jackie PAC
- $1,000 from Brett PAC
- $1,000 from Drew Ferguson For Congress Inc PAC
- $1,000 from Jobs Energy and Our Founding Fathers PAC
- $1,000 from Association of Kentucky Fried Chicken PAC (later returned)
Robert Saunders gave Gianforte $2,700.
You might remember that Jessica Karjala beat him in that headline-grabbing legislative race last year.
Guess he had some money left over, huh?
Let’s get into the spending, which is classified as Schedule B Itemized Disbursements.
There are only about 20 pages of these, so while these large-page reports seem daunting, they’re really not.
Here’s what stood out to me:
- $145,000 to Ohio’s Medium
- $80,000 to Virginia’s FP1 Strategies LLC
- $69,000 to Oregon’s Moore Information
- $57,000 to Virginia’s Allegiance Direct LLC
- $25,000 to Virginia’s Deep Root Analytics
- $12,000 to Helena’s Special Projects
- $7,500 to D.C.’s Foley & Lardner LLP
- $6,000 to Colorado’s Magellan Strategies
What I like about this spending report is that we see Gianforte spending some money in Montana, unlike with Quist’s spending report.
You know about Quist’s spending because I gave it to you in a report 5 days ago.
What's sad is that Quist hasn’t given more than $3,400 to a Montana company.
I’ve been getting a lot of flak for digging into Quist’s finances, so I decided to dig into them some more.
There are 150 instances of the word “Montana” coming up in the Quist quarterly report. By searching each of those I can discern in-state spending.
I know Quist’s largest in-state expenditures were:
- $3,400 to Helena’s Signs Now for printing
- $2,600 to Ian Sterchi for media production
- $1,780 to the MT Secretary of State for the filing fee
- $887 to Helena’s Recording Center for media production
- $568 to Missoula’s Sparr’s Towing for ground transportation
That comes out to $9,235.
There was some printing here and there, but those amounts never exceeded about $400 at any one place.
Most of Quist’s Montana spending is done at hotels, restaurants and gas stations.
Service industry stuff.
There sure are lots of meals, too. You see that entry constantly. I guess those 10 Quist staffers eat a lot.
Gianforte doesn’t use staffers.
In fact, Gianforte’s main staffer this go-round is Jeannie Etchart, who gets $1,375 a month in wages.
- Attended the University of Notre Dame
- Served as an executive assistant to vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin for 3 months in 2008…racking up $14,000 in clothes purchases for her.
- Worked as an executive assistant to Illinois Congressmen Aaron Schock from 2011 to 2013
- Served as director of scheduling for Ohio’s Senator Rob Portman from 2013 to 2015.
I guess she took the 2016 cycle off and is now working for Gianforte.
She’s the only person he’s paying.
Finally, if you compare Gianforte’s spending t0 Quist's spending, you see some interesting things.
- Gianforte is paying his staffer about $1,400 a month while Quist pays his 10 staffers about $23,000 a month.
- Both Gianforte and Quist are raising most of their money in-state.
- Both Gianforte and Quist are spending most of their money out-of-state.
And there you have it, folks – about as detailed a report on this special election’s finances as you’re likely to get.