Liz Cheney’s Short-Lived, Big-Spending Campaign

Consultants, media, and travel topped her list of fourth-quarter expenses, which exceeded her contributions.

National Journal
Adam Wollner
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Adam Wollner
Feb. 13, 2014, 11:59 p.m.

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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