Democrat Tom White filed his NE-2 congressional campaign report with the FEC the other day.
And White announced that his campaign raised $175,000 in 4Q of 2009. (In comparison, Congressman Lee Terry raised $281K.)
Well…except that White didn’t raise that.
You see, White raised only $125,000, and then “loaned” his campaign another $50,000 of his own money. Interesting that these numbers are down about $80K from the previous quarter. Not a good trajectory, eh?
Now is this a big deal (in the long run)? Meh.
But here’s what it shows: White is willing to sell and spin the most basic stuff as “the TRUTH”, when it’s patently not.
Is this a theme for the White campaign? You be the judge.
We were looking at White’s Congressional campaign expenditures from 3Q and 4Q of 2009.
He has only spent about $40,000 to date!
Now that’s $40K — from all of last year — on fundraising and events and staff and websites and…
(cue record scratch sound effect)
Wait, staff and websites?
Well, we know that he has a site up at TomWhite2010.com. And we know that Ian Russell is his main lieutenent orgnaizing all things Tom White for Congress.
But nary a dollar has been spent — according to what Tom White filed as a true and accurate statement with the Federal Government — on salary for Russell (or anyone else) or development or hosting of his Congressional campaign website.
Now, the website says very clearly at the bottom “Paid for by Tom White for Congress”.
Uh, so where are the receipts?
Well, let’s instead gander over at the Nebraska Accountability and Disclosure Commission website.
When we go to the “Tom White for Legislature” committee filing, we see all sorts of expenditures in 2009.
There is $1,750 to Eric van Horn for web-site design.
There is over $9,900 to Ian Russell’s company, Vanguard Strategies (not to be confused with Vandelay Industries), for an assortment of items including website maintenance and political consulting.
And then when we jump over to the TomWhite2010.com website registry page (isn’t the interwebs awesome?), we see that TomWhite2010.com was registered by Ian Russell of Campaign for Nebraska’s Future.
(White’s old website — JoinTomWhite.com, also registered by Russell — now forwards to TomWhite2010. And his other site PropertyTaxCalculator.info (mysteriously registered by proxy) isn’t even up anymore.)
Yet none of this shows up on any of White’s Congressional campaign reports?
Why would that be?
Well, first it could be because White is trying to save money and wants to have his Legislature campaign committee pay for things instead of the Congressional committee. That way his Congressional campaign looks like it is much more successful (COH-wise).
But that would be, um, illegal.
Or White could be trying to get by without paying for things (right now anyway) and having in-kind contributions made.
But, if you don’t list those, that’s…um…illegal as well.
But hey, if we missed something, or are in error or this was all above board, we are more than happy to look at the records.
It just seems like this is a pretty simple answer for the campaign: You buy products or services, you list them.
Make no mistake kids, this is going to be a difficult campaign for White.
He is not in the position of the high-flying days of the 2008 Obamamania. Heck, he doesn’t even have the grass-roots enthusiasm of Jim Esch.
And we chuckled when Democrat Rep. Chris Van Hollen pointed to the DCCC spending $800K in Nebraska in 2008 — as if the same set of circumstances are in NE-2 this year.
Congressman Lee Terry is in a strong political position, is raising money and is doing and saying the right things.
Tom White’s campaign strategy is already — already — getting that whiff of desperation.
These aren’t the moves of a campaign with early momentum.
Keep an eye on how they handles things going forward…