We know the Trump campaign is broke. Not only are its actions indicative (like pulling its TV advertising in key battlegrounds), but it still hasn’t released its August fundraising numbers. The Biden campaign had no problem bragging about its record-shattering $365 million August.
Stories have dug into the cesspool that is the Trump campaign, such as the $15,000 per month payments the partners of the two Trump sons are skimming from the campaign. But like everything Trump, no matter how bad you think things are, they are always, always worse.
Five months later, Mr. Trump’s financial supremacy has evaporated. Of the $1.1 billon his campaign and the party raised from the beginning of 2019 through July, more than $800 million has already been spent. Now some people inside the campaign are forecasting what was once unthinkable: a cash crunch with less than 60 days until the election [...]
Is it really that unthinkable? This is the guy, after all, who bankrupted a casino. Literally everyone around him is a crook. Why would anyone think he’d manage his campaign any differently?
That NY Times story has plenty of examples of wasteful spending, like Trump’s $11 million Super Bowl ad, which Trump insisted on airing because then-candidate Michael Bloomberg was busy pissing away his own money ($1 billion!) in his hilariously ill-fated Democratic primary bid. There’s the $800,000 former campaign manager Brad Parscale spent promoting his own Facebook page. Or how about the $1 million the campaign spent advertising in the Washington DC media market so that Trump could see himself while watching Fox and Friends during his “executive time.” At least $4 million has gone into Trump properties.
Ultimately, Trump has acted like his donor’s money is his own piggy bank—from supporting his own family, to paying his own legal bills, to taking the entire family on trips as, one Trump campaign official put it, “sponsoring vacations.”
And then there’s the biggest line item expense: “Under Mr. Parscale, more than $350 million — almost half of the $800 million spent — went to fund-raising operations.”
Thats’s … wow.
So there was this scam operation in Republican politics called BMW Direct. They typically worked with fringe House candidates, delivering eye-popping fundraising numbers. The catch was that almost all that money was eaten up by fundraising “expenses.” For example, back in 2008, they worked for a candidate challenging then-Rep. Barney Frank, then representing a safely blue district.
Charles A. Morse, a conservative Republican gadfly from Brookline, ran a brief write-in campaign to unseat US Representative Barney Frank in 2006. It fizzled completely when he received just 145 votes in a primary and dropped out two months before the general election. "I never saw him," Frank said when asked about Morse's presence in the campaign. Yet the political fund-raising firm that ran Morse's campaign finances reported that it raised more than $700,000 for his race, much of it from GOP contributors across the country eager to help defeat a Massachusetts liberal - and some of it donated well after Morse abandoned the race.
The punchline? 96% of that $700,000 that was raised, for a campaign that received 145 votes in a primary, went to pay for that fundraising. The campaign was ultimately left with just $28,000. Now multiple that by dozens of campaigns, and they did this for years. BMW Direct became Base Connect. It then became Forth Right. Then the guy behind it finally plead guilty to a felony last year, because the whole Republican Party is a bunch of crooks.
The point of that tangent is that the Trump campaign didn’t even need to hire a scam outfit like BMW Direct to deliver inflated fundraising numbers, only to see that money consumed by “expenses.” They did it to themselves. The call was coming from inside the house.
It is impossible to overstate just what a disaster that campaign has been, which again, is only to be expected given Trump’s history of attracting incompetent felons into his inner circle (clearly makes him feel smart and superior, like a mastermind), and his history of disastrous money management.
Current campaign manager Bill Stepien is so clearly leaking this damaging information to shunt blame to Parscale, who in turn ju jitsu’d the attack and redirected it Jared Kushner. “I ran the campaign the same way I did in 2016, which also included all of the marketing, strategy and expenses under the very close eye of the family,” Parscale said,. “No decision was made without their approval.” It’s true, Kushner has always been the de facto campaign manager. It’s also true that Kushner is incompetent, thus didn’t realize Parscale was part of the grift: “Millions more followed to firms tied to R.N.C. and Trump-linked officials, including more than $39 million to two firms, Parscale Strategy LLC and Giles-Parscale, controlled by Mr. Parscale since the beginning of 2017.”
These people deserve each other.
Let them all yell and point fingers at each other as the USS Trump takes on water, now lacking the money to wage even the most basic level of battleground state advertising.
It’s just funny. So funny. And fun.
It was just last year that their campaign was bragging about expanding the map to places like Minnesota and Nevada. “Obviously, we have to go back and win Michigan again, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin,” Parscale boasted. “We plan on also being in Minnesota very soon. I think New Mexico is in play in 2020. I think New Hampshire, I think we continue to grow the map. I think Nevada, you know even Colorado. And so those are, those are states we did not win in, in 2016 that I think are open for 2020.”
Now, they’re struggling to hold on to demographically (read: white and old) Republican states like Alaska, Iowa, Ohio, and Montana. Texas is looking sketchy for the GOP. In fact, the Republican Party is under serious threat up and down the ballot, anywhere in the country that has those places called “suburbs.”
And did I mention they’re broke? Because they’re broke.