Pat Powers sifts through the October federal campaign finance reports from our U.S. House candidates and finds Shantel Krebs outraising Dusty Johnson by 12% during fair season but still trailing Johnson’s war chest by 11%. Powers also notes Tim Bjorkman’s first haul—only five figures, $74K.
Powers does not note his own partial presence in Johnson’s FEC filings. The SDGOP spin blogger donated early to Team Dusty ($300 on November 14, 2016, the day Powers first teased Johnson’s candidacy and two days before the campaign hit the press), and Johnson twice-plus-returned the favor by buying Pat’s campaign stickers ($743.37 to Dakota Campaign on August 2, 2017). But oddly, Johnson has not reported how much he has spent to occupy space on the SDGOP spin blog with his cheerful little logo.
The FEC expects that candidates report fees paid to place such communications on another person’s website. Other federal officials have reported such fees:
- Senator John Thune: $3,000 paid to Powers on March 3, 2017 for web advertising (hence all the press releases?); $20,250 in the 2016 election cycle for advertising; $11,250 in the 2014 cycle for advertising.
- Rep. Kristi Noem: $8,000 in the 2016 cycle for “advertising” and “Internet advertising”; $4,000 in the 2014 cycle for Internet advertising.
- Candidate then, now Senator Mike Rounds: $29,628.39 in the 2014 cycle for direct mail, signs, and advertising, $9,000 of which comes in easy round figures that look like the general fees for web ads rather than the specific to-the-penny amounts for X number of printed materials.
Maybe Powers is providing Dusty free ad space, but whether that counts as volunteer activity exempt from FEC reporting requirements is questionable… especially since Dusty’s ad says it was paid for. The reports from our current federal officeholders show they’ve paid Powers significant money for that electronic ad space and reported said expenses for all to see. Dusty, check with your well-paid compliance staff, and make sure they tack your receipts from Powers onto your next amended FEC report!