Gary Johnson has talked up a good game on his web site and elsewhere claiming that he's The People's President and engaging in all sorts of amusing arm-waving about the budget, pot smoking and gay marriage.
But it is my contention that one should look at what someone does as opposed to what they say.
After all, political talk is cheap but deeds are harder to run from. As I have previously noted his fiscal record as Governor is not quite what he claims. During his time as governor every single line item I examined increased in spend and State Debt grew.
Thus, the claim of a "balanced budget" is a lie; it was "balanced" exactly the same way Clinton balanced the budget -- he shifted funds from one place to another, in this case onto your kids and the unborn through borrowing. It is an abject lie to say your household budget is balanced when you "balanced" it by running up $20,000 on the credit card!
But this has been covered. This time I want to delve into Johnson's campaign spending.
See, when you give a politician money, they're required to report it in detail if you give them more than $200. That's all fine and well, but it's only half of the question.
The other half is "where does the money go that you give him?"
And in Johnson's case the answer is "That's a black hole into which you can stare, but from which you will receive no meaningful information."
Last month, September, Johnson reported spending $297,954.35. Of this $277,999.90 went to one organization, "Political Advisors", with effectively zero itemization.
That's 93% of the money the campaign spent, and nobody knows where it went. The rest -- the trivial part -- appears to be normal campaign stuff -- discount charges from the bank for credit cards, legal fees and similar.
But who knows where "Political Advisors" spent the money -- you don't, and yet you funded the campaign.
How about August?
In August Johnson spent $318,329.45. Of that $229,563.40 went to "Political Advisors"; about 72% of the total. Another $52,969.35 went to one Jonathan Bydlak for "Fundraising and Consulting Services", or 16.6% for a total of... roughly 90%.
Taking 16% of the spend (and about 15% of the gross receipts) is pretty good money for a "fundraiser", if you can get that sort of gig.
Then there's debt.
In August "Political Advisors" were owed $140,280.05, the lion's share of the total of $175,087.91.
Last month debt exploded with "Political Advisors" now due $368,894.56 or 263% of the figure from a month before!
One has to judge a candidate on how they manage their fiscal resources.
Ron Paul's campaign never went into debt, for example.
Now maybe you would consider it "unfair" to look at Gary Johnson compared to, oh, a Congressional campaign, or even Ron Paul who has decades of experience doing this sort of thing (never mind that Johnson loves to compare himself to Dr. Paul.)
So let's look at Jill Stein's disclosures, the Green Party candidate, for an "apples-to-apples" comparison.
There's a shocking difference in the level of disclosure these two people display in their filings. Jill shows documented disbursements to airlines (for her travel), for telephone bills, for web services, in short, the sort of detail that one would expect of someone who is running a campaign in the sunshine. She also lists the names of people she's paid, and her campaign's debt, $24,000, is an unsecured loan from her to the campaign -- in short she's got skin in the game where Johnson does not and when the campaign is over she will presumably wind up eating that $24,000.
So the question is this -- are you going to support and vote for a "People's President" who is effectively hiding where the money his campaign is being spent is going, to whom, in what amounts and most-importantly, for what it is being spent, while he appears to have none of his own considerable fortune on the line? (A quick search for "Gary Johnson" as a donor to any campaign, including his own, does not show any itemized contributions from someone with that name from his listed area.)
The bottom line is this: Should not those who donate to a campaign know exactly where their money is being spent and who is being paid in what amounts?
I think so, but if you're considering donating to Gary Johnson and are willing to do so with that disclosure, that's your call.
Where We Are, Where We're Heading (2013) - The annual 2013 Ticker
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