When I heard that Jesse Kelly had already spent $16,208.53 on a campaign that really isn’t fully underway yet, it made me wonder what that money went into. I know that money has to be spent on his initial round of literature and getting a consultant on board, but he isn’t running ads yet, right?
I was actually shocked at how little money went into local companies. He hired Red Creek Media out of Oro Valley and they did $2009.18 worth of consulting for him, but aside from a photographer, many services were contracted to out of state firms. He lists a firm out of Pennsylvania for his website (more on that later), a firm out of Virginia is listed at $500 for “advertising,” a place in Georgia is listed for $141.50 for “fundraising supplies,” and a place in Massachusetts charged him $439.64 for buisiness cards.
All of these services could have been contracted locally, and probably cheaper too. I talked to Albert Elías at Old Pueblo Printers and he told me that that amount would have bought 10,000 2-color cards at his shop. Yeah, not too many Republicans go to Old Pueblo, but I’m sure that other local Republican-owned shops like Print Well would have been about the same price.
You’d think that it would be a good gesture (and good politics) to spend money on local businesses and do something for the local economy.
An expense that jumped out at me was two charges totalling $4517.50 to a firm called Liquified Creative in Odenton, Maryland for “Branding Design.” I thought, “Geez, did he really pay $4500 on a logo?” I spoke to a couple of political consultants who couldn’t figure out a way to justify this expense. I went to Liquified Creative’s website, and according to them, their work includes “Extensive identity design and development which includes logo and stationery development.” Well, $4500 for a logo would be a bit much, but for the stationery too? Yeah, that is money well spent. Geez.
For Jesse’s sake, I hope some of this is just a case of a novice candidate making poor decisions. I find it funny that a guy would spend more than twice as much on his logo than on his campaign consultant, especially when that logo is placed next to the phrase “Fiscal Sanity” on his website.
Kelly’s web design was done at a firm in Pennsylvania, despite the fact that, once again, there are local firms that do that kind of work (heck, there are a bunch of recently laid off web desingers from the Citizen that would have been happy for the work.) But what’s even more interesting is that he didn’t pay for the work, it was “in-kinded.” The trouble is, the firm that did it is Tangeis, LLC. For those of you that need a reminder, that stands for “Limited Liability Corporation.” Corporations aren’t allowed to give in kind contributions to federal campaigns. Oops.
NB – Hat tip to the semi-anonymous corresponent who sent me the tip about the “in-kind.”