Even with Covid-19 shutting us down for a while, the requirement to submit financial disclosure reports has not been quarantined. I got my letter around April 6 and sent it off by the end of last week. The deadline was Monday, April 13, 2020 and almost all of the candidates had their reports in on time. I’ve waited to write this post because I wanted to see what other candidates had submitted – in case there was something interesting to report. So, below you’ll find my details for the 1st Quarter report. You can find my previous posts here and here. And since I’m probably the only candidate throwing financials out on the ol’ campaign website like this, you can check out everyone else’s reports at the Election Commission website. This period covers February 23, 2020 to March 31, 2020.
I didn’t receive any donations during the period of this report.
My In-Kind Contributions:
A lot of the spending I did for this report I just ended up paying for, rather than making a contribution to my campaign and having the money come from there. The Facebook ad payments went through PayPal, for example. We also paid cash for the T-shirts and car magnet (thanks to Kreations by Kelly). The campaign buttons were from Speedy Buttons and I bought the postage at the Post Office on Cross Park Drive out here in West Knoxville.
- Postage – $165
- T-Shirts/Magnets – $411
- Campaign Buttons – $67
- Facebook Ads – $215
You can probably say that many of the items in my in-kind contributions count as expenditures. But I figured since I paid for them from my funds, rather than campaign funds, they fit better in the in-kind. The below items, though, came from campaign funds.
- Envelopes (Envelope Superstore) – $61
- Postcards and Address labels – $132
I didn’t have any outstanding obligations or loans.
The Summary page shows that I had $436.55 on hand last report. I had disbursements of $193 and that leaves me with $243.55 balance on hand. My in-kind contributions were $858.
Since the time of my last report, we’ve had the primary election and I know who my opponent on August 6, 2020 will be – Kyle Ward.
Mr. Ward took in an additional $1,325 on top of his $14,422 balance on hand, but he spent it all except for about $26. So, based on all of his reports, it appears Mr. Ward raised $30,041 and spent $30,014 in defeating Scott Broyles for the honor of taking on little ol’ me in the general election. He also gave himself a loan of about $3,400 which he paid off at some point during this period. Loan repayments count as part of your disbursements, therefore, the loan repayment is included in the $30,014 I noted that Mr. Ward spent.
As of the writing of this post, Mr. Broyles’ most recent financial disclosure has not been posted at the Election Commission website. In his first two financial disclosures, Mr. Broyles raised about $32,500 and spent about $25,000 in the primary race. I assume these numbers would have been higher counting the funds raised and spent after February 22, which is when the last report before this one ended. Mr. Broyles also gave himself a loan of $5,000, which has not been repaid as of the end of the last statement. [UPDATE: Soon after I posted this, Mr. Broyles 1st Quarter Financial Disclosure was posted to the Election Commission. He had no receipts and spent an additional $3,112. He did not pay his loan off, so the $5,000 loan is still outstanding. He has about $4,200 balance on hand.]
On the other hand, I’ve spent about $2,174 of my own money. No loans. So, I won’t be raising money to pay myself back.
I wanted to point out this disparity in the fundraising and spending to emphasize what I think is a problem in Knox County politics. The two Republicans in my race raised over $60,000 combined for their campaigns. They spent almost that much. And that’s just in the primary election. If you take a look at how they raised the money (and I have), they did it from a relative few donors. The kinds of donors that can write big checks. They gave themselves loans which they can turn around and raise money in order to pay off.
This is the purest example of how money in politics gives certain people access to our elected representatives. But, I’m trying to do it differently. I’m taking a stand against this kind of politics. It’s bad enough that Mayor Jacobs raised over $300,000 and spent over $240,000 in his race to be County Mayor. Or that the spending in the last Tennessee gubernatorial race was in the millions. Or that the next presidential race may top a billion in spending. I feel like in the race for 1 of 11 County Commissioners, we shouldn’t be focusing on how much we can raise and spend.
If you agree with me, I hope you’ll consider giving me your vote on August 6. Early voting runs from July 17 to August 1. If you’re 60 or over and want to avoid the crowds at the polls, you can request an absentee ballot with no excuse and vote by mail. Go to the Election Commission website for more details.
If there is anything I can do to help in these uncertain times, don’t hesitate to reach out via social media, email or give me a call – (865) 850-1894.