George Phillies analyzes Gary Johnson’s campaign spending for July


Gary Johnson

George Phillies is a longtime Libertarian Party activist who presently serves as the chairman of the Libertarian Party of Massachusetts. Phillies publishes a newsletter called Liberty for America, which is devoted to news about the Libertarian Party. He released his newsletter’s latest special report today; it is a breakdown of Gary Johnson’s campaign spending for July 2016:

Liberty For America
Special Report
August 21, 2016

Gary Johnson 2016 financials for July–analysis of his FEC filings.

The campaign had cash on hand at the start of the month of $459.063. Its Receipts This Period were $1,602,810. It spent  $856,518, leaving it at the end of July with Cash on Hand of $1,205,355.

I have gone through the FEC filing and totaled up expenditures. There are a lot of numbers, so errors may have crept in, especially at the typing stage, but the following should be reasonably if not necessarily perfectly accurate.

So how did Johnson 2016 spend its money in July? To summarize,
$64,741 or 7.6% went to classical advertising.
$111,877 or 13.1% went to printing and mailing houses.
$530699 or 62% went to consultants.

There was advertising. Signage came to $24,128. Evan Twede was paid $33,784 for media advertising,  Jesse Ranney was paid $3400 for media spots.  There were Facebook ads, totaling $3003.62.  Website hosting from Godaddy cost $205. Postage and Shipping was $221. There is always a question as to how much media spending was to produce a spot, and how much was to air the spot, but the total here was $64,741, or 7.6% of campaign income.

Printing came to $111,877, paid to Alita Grafx, Documart, and Salt Lake Printing and Mailing. In addition, direct mail is advertising.  Direct mail of $111,877 amounted to 13% of campaign income.

Raising and spending money costs money. We see $443 in bank fees to Wells Fargo, $2158 in JFA Expense to Avondale Finance, Nathan Grabau, and DB Capitol Strategies,  $9,878 in accounting and reporting fees to McCauley & Associates, PC, and merchant processing fees to, PayPal, and WePay of $49,975.  Rent came to $1733, paid to Marilyn Prince.

Refunds of excess contributions covered $12,933.

Computer software cost $13,917, with payments made to Aristotle International, Caspio, Inc, Marketing Systems, and Northstar Campaign Systems.

Governor Weld promised $100,000 for ballot access. Between ballot access, ballot access consulting, and a $2500 Presidential Election Filing Fee in West Virginia, we see a total of $12,946. There was a $1132 mileage reimbursement of Lou Jasikoff.

The campaign traveled a great deal.  Air fares came to $34,295 for 92 flights. That’s an impressive amount of air travel for one month. Lodging came to only $4324. Car rental, cab fare, train fares, and fuel for car travel came to nearly $2995. $346 was spent on travel insurance.

Now we come to “consulting”   You may expect someone to claim that this line hides advertising expenses, so that Consultant X spends $50,000 for TV ads, is reimbursed the $50,000, but the money is paid to Consultant X, so the payment shows as $50,000 for consulting. IT DOESN’T WORK THAT WAY! Under FEC rules the filings must show the final destination of the money, and Johnson 2016 is doing its filings correctly.  What you in fact see in the report is series of entries like

Person’s name and address       MEMO ENTRIES: SEE BELOW         468.02
Followed immediately by
Comfort Inn     Travel – Hotel  379.93          MEMO
Chevron Fuel for campaign travel        88.09           MEMO

so it is immediately clear where the money finally went. Reimbursements are not being used by the Johnson campaign to hide expenditures. (Readers might also wonder why a campaign would want to hide advertising expenses as consulting fees.)

Campaign Consulting came to nearly $490,000. That includes $445,000 to Liberty Consulting Services, $13,000 to Carlos Sierra,  $10,000 to Joseph Hunter, $5650 to Chris Thrasher, $4193 to Phil Kregel,  $3000 to Pojunis Communications, $2666 to Steve Kerbel, $2600 to Tom Mahon, $2032 to Lou Jasikoff, and $480 to David Valente.

There are other sorts of consulting. Media Consulting to Brandon Ellyson and Evan Twede, Inc. cost $12,250. Joseph Hunter received $12,000 for press relations and media consulting.  Social media consulting came to $4480, while social media monitoring cost $800. Robert Clarke received $266 for consulting, while Robert Cain received $3500 for digital consulting. Ashley Edwards and Nathan Grabau received $3251 for fundraising fees. Jason Weinman received $3000 for youth volunteer consulting. Andy Craig got $2500 for Grassroots advocacy.

Food and beverages came to $845.

The grand total for consulting variously titled was not quite $531,000, out of $856,518 in disbursements. 62% of campaign spending thus went to various consultants.

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