My Campaign Financial Disclosure – 2nd Quarter Report

It’s time to put together the 2nd quarter Financial Disclosure, which will include all of the contributions received and expenditures made from April 1, 2020 through June 30, 2020.

You can see my previous posts about financial contributions here, here, and here. You can also go see the documents I’ve filed at the Election Commission website.

My Donations:

  • 4/15 – $500 from me
  • 5/6 – $500 from me
  • 5/26 – $500 from me
  • 6/3 – $500 from me

Total – $2000

My In-Kind Contributions:

Some 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. As with some of the expenditures last month, I used my personal PayPal account for the below items. That’s why I’m counting them as in-kind contributions.

  • 4/21/20 to 6/21/20 – Facebook Ads – $129
  • 6/5/20 – Advertisement with BrianHornbackdotCom – $380

Total – $509

My Expenditures:

The below items came from campaign funds.

  • 4/17 – Envelopes from Envelope superstore – $47.97
  • 4/17 – Copies from FedEx – $152.95
  • 4/20 – Supplies from Office Depot – $46.84
  • 5/7 – Return address stickers from Vistaprint – $61.27
  • 5/7 – postage – $110
  • 5/11 – Hustle app – $200
  • 5/26 – Yard signs from Super cheap signs – $483.24
  • 6/2 – postage – $275
  • 6/4 – postcards from Vistaprint – $70.45
  • 6/5 – Hustle app – $19.60
  • 6/22 – postage – $275
  • 6/30 – return address stickers from Vistaprint – $81.92

Total – $1824.24

I didn’t have any outstanding obligations or loans.

The Summary page shows that I ended the last period with $243.55 on hand. I had contributions from myself of $2000 and disbursements of $1824.24 and that leaves me with $419.31 balance on hand. My in-kind contributions were $509.

I did a quick summary of the fundraising of the Republicans in my race in my 1st Quarter post, so I figure I should do the same here in the 2nd Quarter post.

My general election opponent is Kyle Ward, who won the Republican primary on March 3, 2020. In the 2nd Quarter, Mr. Ward raised a little over $8,600 and spent almost $2000. He has about $6,600 balance on hand for the last month of the campaign. He also gave himself loans totaling about $214. His total fundraising in the primary and general elections has been over $38,000. He’s spent almost all of that, except, of course, the $6,600 balance on hand that he had as of June 30.

On the other hand, I’ve donated $3,500 to myself, none of which was done as a loan. I’ve also spent money on things from other than my campaign account and I’ve been calling those in-kind contributions. So, another $1,397 from the Frommeyers in that way. That brings the total amount I’ve spent on this campaign to be $4,897 (geez, is it that much?).

I guess I could have given my campaign a $5,000 loan and then I could have gone and done some fundraising so that I was not out of pocket. But that’s the point, I think. I’m trying to show that you can do this, at least at this level, without the fundraising. And, heck, I think I’ve been pretty frugal in keeping to $5,000 so far. I’ve taken no PAC money and no big money. In fact, I’ve only taken two individual donations (spoiler alert – the second one of those is going to show up in the next financial disclosure, due at the end of July).

On the other hand, in the course of the primary and general elections (so far), Mr. Ward has taken 12 separate donations of $1,000 or more. There’s one individual who has given to Mr. Ward’s campaign three times for a total amount of $2,250. I’m not going to name anyone, but if you look at the financial disclosure documents, you can figure it out for yourself.

Mr. Ward has also taken donations from three different Political Action Committees (PACs). The Building Industry PAC has donated to his campaign three times for a total amount of $1,000. The Tennessee Realtors PAC donated $500 to his campaign. And an organization I’ve never heard of, the Knox Liberty Organization, donated $300 to his campaign. Interesting side note, I found the Knox Liberty Organization has a page on Facebook. You can check it out here. It appears to be a pretty new page/organization. And the only listed team member is the same person that Mr. Ward credited as being his campaign manager on the podcast where he and I were both interviewed. Check them out. I’m not going to call him out by name, but if you’re interested, you can find out.

While there’s, obviously, an implicit criticism in my publishing the amounts and sources of contributions to Mr. Ward’s campaign. I’m trying to show a difference between his campaign and mine. But Mr. Ward and the contributors to his campaign are following the rules as they are. All the data that is supposed to be on his financial disclosures is right there.

So, maybe I should focus my criticism of the system itself. Knox County Commissioners play a big part in the process of rezoning land for development in the county. So, maybe, just maybe, the problem is that the rules for fundraising in campaigns allow a single person (a developer perhaps) to give up to $3,200 ($1600 for primary/$1600 for general) to a candidate for a single campaign. Or a system that allows Political Action Committees (with an interest in development) to hand out big checks to their preferred candidates (in my race, the limit is $8100 per election).

I stand for the idea that, while these type of donations may be legal, that doesn’t make them right. I don’t take the big money or PAC money donations so there is no question but EVERYONE has equal access to me.

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. You can also request an absentee ballot 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.

Published by Todd Frommeyer for Knox County Commission

Retired Air Force JAG, former Navy Russian linguist, former consumer financial regulator, political junkie

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