With the end-of-year FEC filings, the Johnson-Gray campaign has suddenly
disclosed huge new debts, more than 1 million dollars of them. It is
extremely difficult to understand how the debts were incurred so late
after the election.
The Johnson-Gray Campaign ended the post-general election period with
$197,002 in debt. The campaign raised $212,536 from late November to
year’s end. That was enough to pay off every penny it admitted owing.
Now, suddenly, the campaign has revealed the truth. It owes another
$1,134,602. That’s the new debt we know about. There may be still
more. Your editor has seen references that could be read as implying
that another 2/3 of a million is out there.
This newspaper has repeatedly warned that Gary Johnson’s 2012
Presidential Campaign, first as a Republican and then as a Libertarian,
owed large sums of money. But not this much.
Furthermore, Johnson has at last revealed how much of his spending went
for advertising, and how much went for staff salaries. The results are
There is another article in the publication on the same topic:
Where Your Money Went
The Johnson Campaign
The FEC reports for the end of 2012 have been filed. Gary Johnson, the
man nominated by William Redpath to be our Presidential candidate, the
man who in turn nominated Wayne Root to be an LNC, member, has set some
remarkable financial records.
For the period of November 27 through December 31, 2012, the Johnson
2012 campaign had $212,537 in receipts and spent $171,547, leaving them
with $43,932 in cash on hand at the end of the reporting period. For the
entire primary and general election, the campaign acknowledged $2.22
million in contributions, $2.478 million in expenditures, and managed at
the end to owe $1,134, 603 in debts and obligations. That final number
represents an enormous increase over the past, mid-November, report in
the debts and obligations owed by the committee. Incidentally, none of
the debts and obligations are money owed to the candidate as a result of
candidate loans. The candidate did at some point donate $8000 to his own
campaign. The remaining $2.212 million in campaign receipts over the
course of the campaign came from individual donors.
The campaign acknowledged receiving for the period $202,026 in federal
funds for a total of $333,751 in federal campaign matching funds for the
duration of the campaign. In a future report, we will compare federal
matching funds received by the Johnson campaign with the campaign’s
commitment to the LNC that past debts would only be paid off by means of
federal matching funds.
Where did the money go during this end of year? Spending during the end
of year period by the Johnson campaign included $7547 in bank and
merchant charges, $2000 for opinion research, $2000 to Wagon Works LLC,
and $160,000 to “Political Advisors” of 731 East South Temple, Salt Lake
City for “payment on obligation”.
The debts to ‘Political Advisors’ as discharged in the end-of-year
$12,991.95 for Ad Placement, Travel, Shipping, Printing, Email
Marketing, Printing, and
$147,008.05 for ‘Staff Hours – Mid-Level, Press Relations, Senior
Advisor, Creative Ad Hours, Campaign Consult’
That’s right, under 10% of the money went for advertising, travel, and
the like. 92% went to the campaign staff. Readers familiar with my
book Funding Liberty, soon to be released in a new edition, will
recognize those numbers. They are somewhat similar to the numbers found
for Harry Browne’s 2000 Presidential campaign.
And the debts: The small parts are: $500 to Wagon Works for fund
raising, $4090 to Daines Goodwin and Co PC for accounting, and $29,955
to Hackstaff Law Group LLC and Law Office of Douglas C. Herbert for
legal services and fees.
Then there is the money owed to “Political Advisors” of Salt Lake City.
The listed debts include:
$46,295 for fundraising commissions
$113,437 for preparing the FEC matching funds request.
$150,000 for ‘Consulting for Primary per signed contract’
$535,244.94 for “Staff Hours – Mid-Level, Senior Advisors, Clerical,
Creative Advertising, Campaign Consult”
and, oh yes, the real political stuff:
$206,659 for outreach—“Ad Placement – Web, Candidate Staff Travel,
Ballot access, attorney fees, Vehicle Wrap, Media etc.” and several
slight variations on the same phrasing.
Let’s look at the grand totals here, namely money spent and owed for
outreach versus money spent and owed, just by “Political Advisors” for
fundraising, filings, and staff hours, including money spent and money
still owed in the year-end report. There’s $219,651 on outreach, all
the modes noted above, versus $991,985 on staff hours, filings, and fund
raising. Said otherwise, that’s 82% on staff hours, filings, and
fundraising, and only 18% on outreach.
We had previously reported on the astronomically huge — by Libertarian
Presidential campaign standards — number of paid staff members supported
by the Johnson campaign. Even if all of them are ill-paid, when there
are truly large numbers of them the staff salaries add up.
We’ll try to have a total for the entire campaign in a near-time future
issue. That 18% may tend to shrink; most of the other spending and debt
is for back office work rather than outreach.
We quote our February 2012 issue “The Johnson 2012 Libertarian
Presidential nominating campaign has filed its end-of-2011 FEC
disclosure. Its total debts at the end of this period were $203,761,
which is an unprecedented amount for a Libertarian campaign to owe — not
counting loans from candidates themselves — this far before the National
Convention.” The situation has become much worse since.
The 2000 Browne campaign sent emails claiming $60,000 in unpaid debts.
The 2008 Barr campaign was perhaps a quarter million, round number, in
the hole. Despite massive Federal campaign money, the 2012 Johnson
campaign ended in debt nearly five times more than the Barr campaign did.