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Badnarik Campaign Finance Numbers

Posted by Allen Hacker on the Badnarik campaign blog:

The July Quarterly Report to the FEC is now online, as is that of our incumbent opponent.

The Democrat’s fundraising is lagging far behind. I don’t see his report online; I assume that’s because he hasn’t gone over $40,000 yet and still files paper rather than electronically. The FEC would have had to receive his filing by Friday, so it’s probably just that the clerks haven’t yet scanned in and posted it to their website.

Here are the incumbent’s report and our report.

As we’ve noted, according to the previous quarterly reports the incumbent had about $206,000 on hand and $413,000 in debt, for an insolvency of about $207,000. We had $58,000 on hand and $30 debt.

This quarter the incumbent raised $126,164 in contributions, pushing his overall total to $826,890.84, and had $68,134.48 in operating expenditures, making his overall total $464,155.14 to date. He has $233,000.91 on hand compared to still owing $372,100.00 in debt from his previous campaign. Thus he’s still insolvent with $139,099.09 in debt.

We raised an additional $95,537.80 in the last quarter for a total through June 30th of $308,592.66, and spent $137,914.90 with total spending through June 30th at $299,088.08. We ended the quarter with $9,504.58 on hand and $539.77 in debt for a net positive position of $8,964.81 cash on hand. And billboards already up, which has surprised and impressed everyone.

So while he’s gained on us, we’re still conceptually $128,950.09 richer than the incumbent. And we have a real campaign going while he’s still setting up his office.

The question is, can we accelerate our fundraising in this quarter to a strong enough position to outspend him in October? That’s where faith, confidence and hard/smart work meet the road, isn’t it? Or is it at least in part where our contributors who haven’t yet maxed out come in?

My take: It’s quite impressive that they’ve raised almost as much the incumbent in this period. But it would be important to consider that at this point, McCaul is probably not taking either of his challengers all that seriously.

Still, this accomplishment should be useful for earning the campaign some free media.

I’m also not entirely sure about the source of the McCaul campaign’s debts, but if it’s carried over from his 2004 campaign it might money he “owes” to himself… as McCaul dumped something like $2 million of his own money into winning the seat in the first place. Or it could be something else entirely.

Still, a pretty nice fundraising period. Hopefully Badnarik will have more luck next period and increase his cash on hand beyond the current $9,000 or so, which seems a little on the thin side.

25 Responses to “Badnarik Campaign Finance Numbers”

  1. Mike N. Says:

    What on earth have they spent $300k on? Did the billboards cost that much?

  2. Phil Says:

    I was wondering the same thing… Michael and Allen knows what they’re doing though (I think), so all we can do is trust them and give more $$$.

  3. Michael Hampton Says:

    I’m waiting for October for two reasons:

    First, I’m still not 100% behind Allen Hacker, mostly because Mike has brought up a lot of good criticism of his campaign to date.

    And second, assuming Hacker proves his worth, October is when they’ll need the money the most.

  4. Chris Moore Says:

    $355,000 of the debt is owed to McCaul himself from loans he made to his own campaign last time around.

    It’s still very impressive that Badnarik has almost caught up with him in fundraising. I just hope they keep it up and start banking some of that dough. McCaul would obviously have no trouble dumping a few million of his own money in if it gets close.

  5. mark san souci Says:

    Does anyone know if the Badnarik campaign, or any other organization for that matter, has conducted any polling of the race? I am very curious as to whether all the fundraising excitement and billboards has translated into increased voter awareness of Badnarik in that congressional district….

  6. George Phillies Says:

    If the Republican can afford it, he can dump his own money into the race whenever he wants to spend it.

    If you wonder how any campaign spent its money, go to and work through to the electronic filings. You are looking for “disbursements”.

  7. Allen Hacker Says:


    As a courtesy to those who don’t have time to pore over the details, most of the money went to operations. We’ve been at this full-time for a year. All that time Michael has had a base from which he can sally frth at any time and talk to the voters. With support, materials, and a comfort zone every other LP candidate who’s done it the impossible way should envy.

    Chris, George,

    McCaul can’t “dump” a bunch of his own money into this race. BCRA is a lot more complex than most of you realize. To proceed on popular assumptions would be a misake.

    Also, to complain about BCRA as favoring the big guys is a waste of time. In truth, in this race, we’re on a potentially-level playing field financially. It is even possible to outdo him in fundraising where he can’t spend his own money, particularly if a lot of you who read this and other blogs decide to get with the program.

    I know some of you will think I’m nuts for saying these things. But that just proves you haven’t done your research well enough.

    Come on, guys, here’s your chance to get rid of the number one supporter of the so-called USA Patriot Act.

    Which would you rather be, self-righteous or free?


  8. Chris Moore Says:

    No self-righteousness from me, Allen. I’ve been sending you checks.

    I assumed that since he “loaned” his campaign close to $2 million in 2004, then he would have little trouble doing the same this year. What in the BCRA keeps him from doing so?

    But if you can help Badnarik raise even $1 million, I don’t think it will matter. :)

  9. Allen Hacker Says:

    Hi Chris,

    No, of course: you’re among the best, and we truly appreciate your support, both financial and moral.

    Now, I’m not trying to one-up anyone here, but I’m not going to tell what prevents it. Let’s just let it be a test for those who thought otherwise. Can they find it?

    You’re right. Give me that remaining $700K and it won’t matter what McCaul does. For, not spending his own money is not the only thing I suspect he can’t do. Remember, he hasn’t played on a level field since college, maybe longer.

    That’s enough riddle and mystery for today.

    Polls? Did someone ask about polls? Sorry, still not telling.


  10. Chris Moore Says:

    What I was able to find: If McCaul spends over $350,000 of his own money, then the individual limit for donations to Badnarik would go up to $3,000.

    But that still doesn’t prevent him from spending his own money.

  11. Travis Says:

    Congrats to Allen, Michael, and the entire Badnarik team. You’ve been an inspiration.

    I also have to plug another up-and-coming Libertarian campaign. In Washington State, Bruce Guthrie is challenging freshman incumbent Maria Cantwell (80th most popular Senator) and her Republican opponent Mike McGavick. Because this race is going to be a close one, and because Bruce is the only credible anti-war candidate (Cantwell is pro-war and pro-patriot act, just like McGavick), we’ve been getting a good deal of media coverage.

    We haven’t been at it as long as the Badnarik crew, but we’ve made up for that fast. We’ll soon be producing and webcasting our own Campaign Update newscast and leveraging a bunch of other great technology to dramatically increase our buzz factor. We’ll also be launching a “Students for Guthrie” campaign as a result of the great student support we’ve got.

    In short, we’re coming out swinging. We just need the help of saavy campaign investors (like those who read this site) to pull this all off. Anyone who’s interested in learning more about the campaign should check out and give what you can. Those small contributions really add up fast.

    -Travis Wright
    Campaign Manager
    Guthrie for Senate

  12. Jesse L Says:

    Not that I don’t wish Bruce Guthrie does well, but Aaron Dixon is running for US Senate in Washington as well as a Green (and therefore obviously anti-war)

    To claim that he isn’t credible when in reality neither candidate has much of a chance of breaking 5% isn’t really fair.

  13. George Phillies Says:

    If you are running for office, you as the candidate are allowed to spend as much of your own money as you want.

  14. Allen Hacker Says:

    George Phillies Says:

    “If you are running for office, you as the candidate are allowed to spend as much of your own money as you want.”

    Yes, George, and No.

    Chris Moore Says:

    “... If McCaul spends over $350,000 of his own money, then the individual limit for donations to Badnarik would go up to $3,000.
    “But that still doesn’t prevent him from spending his own money.”

    Right, Chris, and Right again. So that obviously isn’t the answer.


  15. Chris Moore Says:

    Allen, I can find nothing in the law that limits McCaul’s ability to spend his own money as he sees fit. I can’t even fathom how such a law could even be considered constitutional, even with our current Supreme Court.

    Unless your “why” has nothing to do with the law (like he recently blew all of his money on Texas Holdem’), then I have to assume that you’re wrong.

  16. George Phillies Says:

    Allan Hacker writes:

    “Chris, George,

    McCaul can’t “dump” a bunch of his own money into this race. BCRA is a lot more complex than most of you realize. To proceed on popular assumptions would be a misake.”

    Mr. Hacker,

    McCaul can spend every penny of his own money that he has and wants to. There is a legal limit on how much he can loan.

    Furthermore, the “debts” that you are discussing are money that McCaul put into his own race, putting it in as a loan. That is not a debt that creates a need to pay money to pay off the debt. Rather, the money is recorded as a debt for reasons that I have been happy to explain since I ran for Congress in 1998: If you give yourself money as a loan, and you have a few cents left at the end of the campaign, you can reclaim it, so that in the end you loaned yourself exactly the right amount of money to pay for everything.

    George Phillies

  17. Allen Hacker Says:


    You’re getting warmer.


    Does going formal with the “Mr. Hacker” mean that you’re getting frustrated with being challenged? Please don’t take it personally, this is just an exercise, after all.


  18. Trevor Southerland Says:

    Well, my guess would be that he made some pledge not to spend any personal money… but then again, when’s the last time you met a Republican who kept a pledge?

    So my second guess would be maybe it’s daddy’s money and daddy’s tired of paying for Junior’s life?

  19. Austin Cassidy Says:

    I’d be sort of curious to see the breakdown on contributions from within the District vs. from other places. It looks like the vast majority of the Badnarik money is from across the country, while McCaul is raising his almost exclusively locally… or at least in-state.

  20. Chris Moore Says:

    Austin, that’s easy. Just look through the FEC reports. Just from browing his donors, I’d say about 90% are from Texas. The rest are from DC and northern Virginia.

    Badnarik of course gets donations from all over the country. As does Ron Paul.

  21. Austin Cassidy Says:

    I also found the info on It appears that 97% of McCaul’s money is from Texans. While 13% of Badnarik’s money is from Texans.

    Kind of a cool site, really. I’d forgotten about it since the Presidential elections.


  22. Chris Moore Says:

    Interesting. Badnarik could catch up with McCaul in terms of individual contributions. He’s not that far behind now.

    I’m surprised there was no press release sent after the FEC filing.

  23. Austin Cassidy Says:

    Well, that’s kind of a double-edged sword I guess. On one hand, you could attack McCaul for taking so much from PACs who might not have the people’s best interest in mind. On the other hand, McCaul could charge that you’re taking most of your donations from New York and California and such, and paint that as almost the same thing… outside money.

  24. Chris Moore Says:

    I doubt McCaul would charge anything. I think his best strategy would be to completely ignore the Badnarik campaign and dismiss reporters questions about it.

  25. George Phillies Says:

    No, Mr. Hacker, it means that I believe in being polite to people.

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