You can see Quist’s February and March spending in this FEC report.
The Billings Gazette actually has the link to this information.
For some reason, they chose not to list any of what I’m about to tell you.
I called up reporter Tom Lutey to ask him why.
He said he didn’t think people were interested, and wouldn’t read to the bottom of the article to see what I’m about to tell you.
Maybe he’s right, and if so, I think that really says a lot about us as a society.
Anyways, let’s not waste anymore time.
Let’s get right to the good stuff – the salaries.
I see the Quist campaign is paying 10 people to work for…well, themselves, I guess.
- Tina Olechowski: $3,432.37
- Linda Howard: $3,014.59
- David Griffith: $2,767.15
- Emily Harris: $2,544.17
- Brandon DeMars: $2,459.70
- Nancy Lien: $2,446.18
- Derek Ketner: $2,039.80
- John Braswell: $1,228.12
- Molly Moody: $1,627.64
- Dan West: $973.31
Those 10 people are making $22,533 a month.
By the time the campaign ends in May they’ll have made about $68,000 between them.
Not bad, not bad at all.
If Quist wins, some of them might even get to join the D.C. or the MT field office staff.
I’m sure most will want to get out of Montana, however – just one of them is from Montana!
Nearly all of those staffers currently live on Ewing Street in Helena.
Yes, the Helena Bubble.
Close-knit bunch, the Bubble is.
Remember, whether Quist wins or lose they come out ahead.
Besides their monthly salaries, nearly all of those staffers have an $80 a month cell phone stipend.
I counted at least 9 of those, which comes to $720 a month.
In addition to the money those people got in salary, an additional $2,259 was paid out to 7 staffers for salary.
There are lots of memos attached this report (though I don’t know where I can actually read them) so perhaps that explains it.
Anyways, I’m sure you don’t know who a lot of those people are.
Emily Harris worked on Denise Juneau’s failed campaign last year, I do know that.
Just one staffer lives outside Helena – Nancy Lien in Whitehall – while John Braswell actually lives in South Carolina.
What the hell does he do?
In fact, not a single one of those staffers is actually from Montana, aside from Lien.
I guess she did quite a lot of the county committee organization work in rural Montana when Quist first got started.
I hear she wasn’t paid for that, so it’s good she’s getting some salary and mileage reimbursement now.
All told, the Quist campaign spent $204,027 in February and March via 191 separate transactions.
Let’s dig into a few of those transactions.
One that stands out to me is the $25,000 given to Mothership Strategies.
When it comes to Mothership Strategies, the company is based out of D.C. and has raised more than $200 million for the people that pay them.
The Montana Democratic Party gave them $3,000 on January 4 of this year.
Now Quist is paying them a shit-ton of money.
- I’m not sure what this agency does (they say digital media and advertising)
- I’m not sure why they need so much money.
- I sure won’t know what to think if Dems keep paying them should Quist lose this year.
D.C.’s M Street Solutions got $3,750 for research on March 24. This company is run by a former Obama opposition researcher.
New York’s Global Strategy Group got $14,750 for some polling on March 24.
D.C.’s Clarity Campaign Labs, LLC was given $36,500 on March 30 for voter modeling.
Chicago’s Apollo Artistry got about $6,500 to do graphic design, mostly for Quist’s website.
I think the spending picture is clear, and it should be familiar to everyone who read this site during the gubernatorial campaign last year.
Montana Democrats continue to spend most of their campaign money out-of-state.
So much for wanting to create Montana jobs, huh?
I know that there are Montana companies that do websites, graphic design, advertising, polling, and research.
But the out-of-state staffers that the Montana Democratic Party thrust upon Quist last month don’t give a shit.
Nancy Keenan and her Wyoming lackey Trent Bolger over in Dem HQ on Helena’s Sixth Street don’t give a shit either.
Remember, the MT Democratic Party hasn't given Quist one dime for his campaign.
That’s your Montana Democratic Party, folks.
The convention to select new ‘leadership’ is in June.
Do the right thing.
I see no reason to do anything other than that.
No phone calls, door knocking, donations, and no blog posts about him.
What’s the point?
Gianforte…Quist…either way it’ll be some guy that just needs to start raising money all over again once they get to D.C. at the end of May.
Remember, 2018 is coming up, and that damn House makes you run every 2 years.
And for that you need money.
Well, so you can give it to tons of out-of-state companies, of course!
So much for Montana jobs.
I’m ashamed that Quist isn’t taking his campaign by the horns and telling them what to do and where to spend the money.
But then where would he start?
Personally, I think typing in “Montana polling companies” into Google would be a good place to start.
Might help some Montana business, and in turn might help create a new Montana job.
But we don’t see that, and it saddens me.
I expected that shit from the sleazy Bullock, as we saw all the same stuff quite clearly in his spending reports over and over again.
I thought he was better than this, I really did.
No, I don’t much see anything to get excited about anymore.
It’s just ‘going through the motions’ now.
I think this spending report makes that clear.