Long-time Libertarian Party activist, former presidential candidate and frequent IPR commenter George Phillies is also the author of numerous books, including Funding Liberty, an examination of how Harry Browne‘s campaigns in 1996 and 2000 were financed and where the money went.
Phillies is hard at work on his latest book, tentatively titled Scampaigns, which covers similar information on the 2008 and 2012 Libertarian Party presidential campaigns of, respectively, Bob Barr and Gary Johnson. The following are some brief excerpts from the working draft of the section on Barr’s campaign (selected by me to whet your interest — as an editorial note and bias disclosure, yes, I think you SHOULD read this book when it becomes available) .
On Barr’s finances as of July 2008:
Once again, as a few cycles ago, we have a Presidential campaign that is making interesting spending decisions. With over $600,000 in through the door through the end of July, the Bobb Barr campaign has spent more than $83,000 on office space and office equipment. It has spent more than $78,000 on information technology and computers, mostly to Terra Eclipse. Travel costs were closing in on $120,000 by 7/31.
Campaign spending on people has crossed the $100,000 line. That includes over $27,000 to Doug Bandow, who was getting $10,000 month after month.
Shane Cory was paid $18,000 in July. That annualizes to $216,000 a year. Of course, the pay could include several months. Russ Verney was not paid from early June through to the end of July.
Ballot access was over $20,000, about 3% of income to date. Support firms Advocacy Ink and Liberty Strategies between them have received almost $60,000.
Advertising of all sorts is close to $50,000, including apparent arrangements with ultraright news source NewsMax.
Barr, Phillies notes, traveled in style:
A search of the Barr 2008 FEC Financial disclosures reveals total spending for limo services, for that one month [September, 2008], of $18,691.56, including payments to A First Choice Limo, Alternative Business Enterprises, Crystal Limousine, Inc., Executive Three Enterprises, International Limousines, Lavdas Limousines, Luxury Limo, M&M Limousine Service, Royal Legacy Limousine, and Town Car Executive. A member of the Barr campaign staff, much later, confirmed that Barr was extremely fond of being taken everywhere by limousine. There was also travel associated with those Limos, including travel expense payments to various airlines and hotels for $27,696, and $1687 in meeting expenses.
From the conclusion of Phillies’s analysis of the 2008 campaign:
The Barr campaign spent barely 1% of its money on actual press advertising, including newspaper ads, Google Ads, and the very-far-right Newsmax web distribution. For classic public outreach, the campaign spent perhaps 4% of its income. That includes $12,619 to its publisher for Barr’s book.
The campaign spent ten times as much to rent real estate and office equipment as on classic outreach.
The campaign spent (including debts to Terra Eclipse) ten times as much on its web page as on classic outreach.
The campaign spent considerably more on limousines and town cars than on classic outreach.