July 24, 2008
Republicans have long stood for hard line financial management- we’re often the proverbial bankers of the world, reigning in excessive spending and working to manage finances in a world where Americans dig themselves deeper into debt. Sometimes, though, some Republicans tend to treat money like water- and it shows.
Patrick McHenry was planning to champion his own fundraising ability until the Lenoir News-Topic picked up on a very interesting tidbit of information: Patrick McHenry has been loaning himself money to the tune of $175,000, in an addition to a $90,500 loan made from his first campaign. That’s right, folks: while gas prices are rising and the world struggles in intense debt, McHenry has been loaning his campaign more money than many make in 5 years.
But the big question is where the money’s been flowing. Rebecca Yount, one of McHenry’s “spokespeople” (McHenry never talks to the press himself), claims that the money is “personal investment in his fight for good jobs and lower gas prices.” Is that true?
According to Open Secrets’ Page on Patrick McHenry, McHenry’s money hasn’t been going to Western NC at all- in fact, most of it is spent on lavish meals and payoffs to other campaigns. I’m not kidding. To this author’s knowledge, the most Patrick McHenry has ever spent in Western NC has been at the prestigous Lake Hickory Country Club, for $503 (excluding payments made to employees/rent/glossy mailers/etc).
So where has McHenry been spending his big money? Here are some of the bigger numbers:
$45,838 - Paid to The Oorbeek Group, for “Fundraising” (evidently not going so well)
$62,471 – Paid to The Stewart Group, mainly for “Planning & Development”. Of what?
$33,288 - Paid to Wiley Rein, LLC, for legal retainers. If you’ll remember, this is after he was potentially linked to an NRCC money scandal- so that’s “cover your butt” money.
$16,000 – Paid to Revolution Media Group for “Planning & Development”. Of what?
$12,000 – Paid towards Response Consulting flyers- you know, those glossy mailers you throw away.
$33,871 – Paid to GR Seppala & Associates for “Fundraising” (not going so well either)
$16,287 – Paid to Integrated Communication Strategies, Inc for “Fundraising” (Again, not doing such a good job)
$70,500 – To the NRCC for “Contributions”. That’s right- the biggest lump of his cash isn’t even being used for his campaign.
$49,823 – Platinum Business Card (For “Service Charges”…? I’m glad I don’t have that card…)
$10,101 – The Capitol Hill Club in Washington, DC. Including one night worth $4,843. That’s a LOT of beer.
$2,132 – Congressional Institute “Retreat” (AKA Vacation)
Oh, but it gets dirtier.
- Remember “The Home of the Perfect Christmas Tree”, that came forward in late 2007 claiming McHenry was a wonderful candidate? He spent nearly $5,000 there in November.
- McHenry spent $702 at the 9:30 Club in Washington, DC. The 9:30 Club is a venue that “presents top-name rock, punk, hip-hop and country acts nightly.” Sounds political, doesn’t it?
- McHenry has spent $4,843 on a meal. That’s right- and because it’s not listed as an “event expense”, that means it was basically unrelated to the actual campaign. That’s one hell of a meal.
Of course, McHenry claims that he’s making a “personal investment”. In what, specifically, other than concert tickets and $4,843 meal charges?