Tuesday, April 15, 2008

What the FEC, Bob

Home from work now, been getting pounded with calls about Olson's triumphant announcement that he raised $24,134, subtract 2300 sent back to a contributor, and you get $21,834 raised this past quarter, or about $267 per day. He provided the campaign $63,000 in a loan, a total of $182,000 in loans total.

He reports $112,367 as Cash on Hand.

More impressive, is that the campaign owes $160,500.
Bob has a strong, dedicated staff and enough money in the bank to give Mrs. Bachmann her ticket home. I work with Bob everyday. I have never seen a person more dedicated to a cause. I just imagine what he could accomplish in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The pathetic fundraising shown over the first quarter is actually impressive. Impressive because we know the amount of time and energy placed into this endeavor. Looking at the FEC report, Olson spent in excess of $12,000 to raise $21, 834. Not a good ratio!

An October 1994 Startribune Story on the race between Olson and Ramstad should have provided us with a glimpse of the future, Olsons inability to raise money.

If there's irony plaguing Olson, it's the fact that a campaign with an economic centerpiece is such an economic basket case. The campaign has no money in the bank, and Olson expects to raise no more than $ 30,000 to $ 40,000. By comparison, Ramstad had about $ 600,000 at the end of August.

No money means no advertising, which means no increase in Olson's low name recognition. So he's campaigning the old way, meeting a few voters at a time, passing out handbills. The only real attention that Olson has gotten was the kind no candidate wants: The Politics in Minnesota newsletter reported several weeks ago that the campaign's checks were bouncing. "That check was covered that afternoon," Olson said. "If the news media has done to others what it's done to me, no wonder things are screwed up."

While I know of no bounced checks, but seeing $21,000 in fundraising is pathetic.

The FEC report lists $112, 367 as its cash on hand. A figure that, at least on paper, looks bigger then what Elwyn has. My guess here, is that Olson is playing a shell game. Bump up the number so the FED report looks good, pull the 100K back out after the next quarter begins and start again.

While I have no factual evidence, I can say that the lack of resources for important events led me to that conclusion. Spending all day driving around Wright County to get a lit piece and a 3 page letter to the caucuses, and a few Olson for Senate signs with painters tape over them reflecting the new campaign.

I caught Elwyn's stuff at the tables. Multiple pieces of lit, signage, stickers, etc. He had it going!

If Olson had $100k on hand, why couldn't we get stuff for the caucuses? We barely got stuff together for the conventions!

The bottom line, I do not trust the figure of $112,000 cash on hand. It's an inflated number especially when we consider that Olson and the campaign owes $160,000+

I'd expect better fiscal management from a banker.

To put this into perspective, if Bob were to keep his $24,000 frantic fundraising pace in order to challenge Bachmann...

In order for Bob to hit the $3 million mark, at his frantic $267 a week pace, it would take him 30 years and 9 months to hit the magic $3 million mark.

It's odd.

Olson "leads in delegates" at least according to him, yet significantly trails Elwyn and Bachmann in money.

I'm one to believe that money and delegates go alike.

Olson talks to Larry Schumacher about his lead in delegates.
Now, I saw firsthand how Tinklenberg nearly swept the Senate District 15 DFL convention, winning 11 of the 14 delegates to Olson's 2 (one was uncommitted). I also heard from multiple sources that the Senate District 14 DFL convention went about the same.
I asked Olson about the discrepancy between how he did on this end of the district and how he did elsewhere, he said that SD 15 was his worst district by far, and chalked it up to being "probably more conservative" than the rest of the 6th.

SD 15 conservative? What? Perhaps I'm wrong, but don't they have State Senator Tarryl Clark and State Rep. Larry Haws?

Conservative they are not. He flat out got his tail handed to him. But calling the SD 15 conservative will surely move a few delegates his way.

A primary for Bob?
Olson said he expects the convention to go long, but that his game plan is to walk out of it with an endorsement. He gave a less than 10 percent chance of it going to a primary, and said the process so far had been fair and equitable.

Liberal bloggers Blue Man and Political Muse -- until recently Olson supporters --differ with Olson on where his campaign is, headed into the home stretch.

$21k on a primary battle will not go too far...

With a depleted field campaign, lacking fundraising numbers, and trailing in total delegates, a 10% chance at a primary is absurd.

I honestly cannot ponder a situation where Olson walks into the convention and survives the first round. I know a lot of people dislike Tinklenberg, but Olson has failed to perform, failed to inspire over the past several months...failed to deliver.

The proof is in his FEC report.

No comments: