Monday, April 21, 2008

Steelman's Campaign Finance Reports Misleading

In her recent campaign finance report, Republican gubernatorial candidate Sarah Steelman reported raising more than $1.1 million in the first quarter of 2008.  This placed her ahead of GOP rival Kenny Hulshof's $900,000 plus first quarter contributions and would seem to show Steelman's strength and viability as a candidate.  

If only you could believe the numbers . . . 

But you can't.  As reported in the Belleville News-Democrat, (of all places) Steelman's fundraising number includes $120,000 in donations from the month of April (which last I checked is not in the first quarter).  The figure also includes a $500,000 loan that Steelman gave to her own campaign.  In reality, therefore, Steelman raised about $600,000 compared to Hulshof's $900,000.

Steelman is quoted as saying that she included the $120,000 in the report simply because her campaign had the money on hand.  She continued, "I don't believe there was any calculated reason for that other than that we had them."  Yeah, right.

The reality is that Steelman wants to continue this fight against Hulshof and needed to show viability in fundraising.  To boost her numbers, she loaned her campaign some much needed cash and extended her own reporting period.  Hulshof is looking more and more like the GOP's candidate of choice but Steelman seems more than willing to play the role of Hillary Clinton in this primary fight.

Waiting for the winner of this Republican contest is Jay Nixon and his sizable war chest.  Too bad his rivals are spending their time and money fighting each other rather than focusing on him.

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