Thursday, May 26, 2011

30 Days Until The Election- Baker Spends More than $49,000 in May 16 Reporting

We keep getting these phone calls and things in the mail, so now we get to find out how much it is costing the candidates to ‘inform’ us.

The Cherokee Phoenix has posted the second round of campaign finance documents.

We’ll break these down in several segments, ‘cause it’s a lot to cover.  If you need to catch up on the first round, you can read about the first round of campaign expenditures by clicking here and the first round of fundraising by clicking here.

photo courtesy Bill John Baker's

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Baker started this reporting period with about $32k, after spending about $130k and raising/giving himself a total of $162k. 

In the past month, he raised another $27k or so and loaned himself another $7k.  He’s loaned himself now a total of almost $70,000, and his family has put in another $20k.  That’s quite a commitment from the Bakers.

Interesting things on the expenditure sheet.  Baker has spent more than $15,000 on those annoying phone calls we keep getting, and it was, once again, with an out-of-state vendor, but a much larger percentage of his vendor list was from Oklahoma this time around.

Other interesting items: for probably the first time ever in Cherokee elections, a candidate has bought a bunch of online ads.  Baker says he has paid Google $4,380.58 and Facebook $2,637.91, which makes them some of his biggest expenditures.

There’s also a bit of financial head-scratching going on.  Baker has an expenditure of $4,947.91 for supplies paid to Kalyn Free on 5/10, and then on 5/11 she turned around and wrote the Baker campaign a check for the exact same amount.  Don’t know what that means, but that’s a heck of a lot of supplies and it seems weird to pay her one day and her turn around and pay him back the next. We’re sure there’s a reasonable explanation.  Baker also spent $493 on stamps from someone in Alabama.      

Baker once again shows no expenditures in the categories of utilities, rent/lease, telephone, office supplies and office expenses.

One thing that hasn’t shown up is money spent with Cherokee Phoenix for ads, though he did report it in April.  We’ve seen them in print and we’ve seen them online, and we assume the Cherokee Phoenix isn’t giving them away, so that's really a question mark at this point.

Baker’s total expenditures for the period were $49,417.22, leaving him with a total balance of $17,206.89.

Tomorrow:  Smith’s expenditures for April reporting period.

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