Liz Cheney failed to dent Sen. Michael Enzi during her Republican primary challenge in Wyoming last year, but it wasn’t for lack of trying. Cheney’s campaign spent the fifth most of any Senate campaign and the most among nonincumbents during the fourth quarter.
From the beginning of October through the end of 2013, Cheney’s campaign spent $900,000 while raising just $720,000. In the previous quarter, she spent $232,000 and brought in $1 million. Cheney, the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, ended her bid against her fellow Republican just after the new year.
So were did Cheney’s profilgate fourth-quarter spending go?
The largest chunk — about $221,500 — went to political, media, legal, financial, and administrative consultants, according to a report filed recently with the Federal Election Commission. Cheney’s campaign spread the money around to a handful of different individuals and firms, with the San Francisco-based Advocacy Group receiving the most at $72,000 for media production and consulting.
Another $42,000 of the campaign’s money went to Republican law firm Holtzman Vogel Josefiak for legal consulting, and the Austin, Texas-based firm Sullivan Alvarado received $41,000 for financial consulting.
The firm run by GOP ad maker Jason Meath, who is known for producing the King of Bain and Fast Terry short films that attacked Mitt Romney during the 2012 Republican presidential primaries and Democrat Terry McAuliffe in the 2013 Virginia governor’s race, also collected $18,000 for media production and consulting.
The campaign also reported spending $187,500 on media during the most recent fundraising period. Cheney ran two biographical television ads while she was in the race, both of which aired November.
Travel took up a significant portion of the campaign’s budget as well. More than $160,000 (roughly $42,000 of which was listed as in-kind disbursements) went toward airfare, hotels, and other travel-related expenses for trips all over the country, including Houston, Chicago, San Francisco and Denver.
The campaign’s next largest expense was direct mail. In December, it gave $107,000 — including direct and in-kind disbursements — to Majority Strategies, a Florida-based firm that specializes in direct mail, for printing and postage.
Other fourth-quarter expenditures included $53,300 for payroll, $52,700 to polling firm Wilson Perkins Allen for survey research, and $24,000 for catering and facility rental. The campaign ended the year with $612,000 cash on hand — far less than Enzi’s $1.8 million — and $175,000 in debt.
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"American spies collected information last summer revealing that senior Russian intelligence and political officials were discussing how to exert influence over Donald J. Trump through his advisers." The conversations centered around Paul Manafort, who was campaign chairman at the time, and Michael Flynn, former national security adviser and then a close campaign surrogate. Both men have been tied heavily with Russia and Flynn is currently at the center of the FBI investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
"Former FBI Director Robert Mueller has been cleared by U.S. Department of Justice ethics experts to oversee an investigation into possible collusion between then-candidate Donald Trump's 2016 election campaign and Russia." Some had speculated that the White House would use "an ethics rule limiting government attorneys from investigating people their former law firm represented" to trip up Mueller's appointment. Jared Kushner is a client of Mueller's firm, WilmerHale. "Although Mueller has now been cleared by the Justice Department, the White House may still use his former law firm's connection to Manafort and Kushner to undermine the findings of his investigation, according to two sources close to the White House."
Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Richard Burr (R-NC) and ranking member Mark Warner (D-VA) will subpoena two businesses owned by former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. Burr said, "We would like to hear from General Flynn. We'd like to see his documents. We'd like him to tell his story because he publicly said he had a story to tell."