Bills campaign nearly out of cash

WASHINGTON – The Kurt Bills U.S. Senate campaign has been making busy lately playing up comparisons with the late Paul Wellstone’s shoestring 1990 U.S. Senate campaign. Like Wellstone, one of Bills’ campaign props has been a retired school bus he’s taking across the state.

But according to the latest pre-primary filings the Bills campaign has made with the Federal Election Commission, that school bus, along with thousands spent on polling and consultants, has nearly emptied the campaign’s already-threadbare coffers.

As of July 25, Bills, a Republican, reported having just $5,841 in the bank. His opponent, DFL U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, has more than 900 times as much cash for her campaign — nearly $5.4 million.

Bills actually didn’t have a terrible 25 days of fundraising in July. His haul was $105,113 compared to Klobuchar’s $131,996. But the Bills campaign began July with just $64,681 in the bank and then spent more than $160,000.

According to the records, the campaign spent $35,000 on polling, nearly $8,000 on software to manage the campaign’s finances and another $9,950 on fundraising consultants. An Ohio-based political consulting firm called The Strategy Network was paid $12,691. Direct mailings that are usually used to solicit funds cost the campaign another $8,980.

The bus has also consumed a fair share of the campaign’s resources. The records list a $3,533 charge to put Bills’ campaign logo on the bus. The campaign spent an additional $284.26 at a Tires Plus auto supply store for batteries, $1,268 on drivers and $361 for bus repairs.

When asked for a comment about the campaign’s finances, a spokesman referred inquiries to campaign manager Mike Osskopp, who has not yet responded.

The campaign’s cash situation might not be quite as dire as the FEC report shows. The filings only cover the period up until July 25. Bills visited Washington, DC that day to attend a fundraiser being held on his behalf by U.S. Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) and his son, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY). It’s not clear if any contributions from that event are listed on this filing.

  • Robert W. Seidel

    A cash-strapped Republican candidate! Surely not!

  • Leonard

    I recall the liberal media stating the reason the Repubs took over in 2010 was because they raised more and out spent the liberal Progressives however, the recent election recall in WI showed the deputy gov was out spent by 3 to 1 by the Democrat contender and the Dem still lost the election in spite of spending millions over her! Conclusion: Money in campaign coffers don’t swing the vote when one’s ideals are so contrary to the public majority. BTW, Amy K. has supported every Obama and Senator Reid policy and we still have over 14% unemployed, 4 years later and a trillion spent on TARP. Brazil loves us for spending so much since Obama gave them a zero % loan of 2 billion to do deep water drilling while he closes down our own drilling and is killing coal energy…but then again, he does not have to fill up at the gas station or plug in a electric car that needs coal fired electricity. But lets be kind and not expect more from a President, especially one with NO business experience other than passing out flyers as a community ACORN grassroots organizer and who had marginal grades in school.

  • Grace Kelly

    The comment posted by Leonard is so departed from reality and truth, that it has an Alice in Wonderland quality.

  • Emery

    Too bad about Mr. Bills. I do see a few of his signs in the Rosemount neighborhoods. Although I suspect the economics teacher would prefer donations from his neighbors in Rosemount. Perhaps Ms. Bachmann will show him some love and set him up with a money bomb.

    Re: Leonard

    Republicans have targeted the intellectually incurious and frankly there’s enough of those to ensure a healthy electoral return in a majority of States. In a way it doesn’t matter much that everything’s a complete mess – all that matters is to ensure a stream of simplistic sound-bites about guns being good, Obama being a communist, and freedom & apple pie for everyone so long as they vote the Right way. Oh, and tea all round, of course.