Wednesday, November 14, 2007

LCRM: Mo' Money! Mo' Money! Mo' Money!

The LCRM blew through just over half-a-million dollars last month and over half of it made its way into political campaigns instead of the consultants eating it all.

The report the LCRM filed on November 6 also indicated that the group was down to their last half-million ($474381.29, actually). Sniff! So, Courtney Gaustella was hard at it, working to replenish those coffers for the upcoming run-off.

She's had some success.

On October 31, three days after the close of the filing period for that November 6th report, a pair of LCRM core group members brought their checkbooks back to the battlefield. Dieter Hugel contributed $25,000, hitting the $100,000 mark in contributions to the LCRM over the two years of its existence. Baton Rouge Anheuser Busch distributor Mockler Beverage threw in $20,000 on the same day, making at least $95,000 that the Mocklers have contributed over the past two years.

Will somebody explain to me why the Louisiana Democratic Party, unions, or Democrats anywhere in the Baton Rouge region continue to support the LCRM by drinking products distributed by Mockler?

There was a small bore reunion of some of the rest of the original LCRM core on November 9, when Bollinger Shipyards, Edward Diefenthal and Phyllis Taylor each logged contributions of $2,500. While the contributions were considerably smaller than these players had customarily made, it did mark the first LCRM money from them since the Vitter pay-to-play sex scandal broke last summer. It should also be noted that all three were active contributors to various Republican campaigns (as individuals and via LLCs) during the intervening months.

Diefenthal was apparently just warming up because the LCRM registered a $10,000 contribution from him in a report filed on November 13. That same report notes a $2,500 contribution from Double R Transportation, Inc., of West Monroe. That company is headed by Richard Dwayne Richardson. This marked Richardson's second contribution to LCRM. The first was a $10,000 contribution on September 3, 2006 via another company headed by Richardson — D & J Construction of West Monroe.

So, the LCRM has continued to refresh its coffers, although at a slower pace than it experienced prior to the October 20th primary.

The amazing thing about this organization is that it takes so much money to do so little. To date, the LCRM has raised more than $2 million dollars. Let's round the numbers and say that they have $500,000 on hand. That would mean that they've spent in excess of $1.5 million. Of that total, only about $400,000 has been spent on campaigns. I say "only" because even though $400,000 is a lot of money, it is a pathetically small percentage of total expenditures — less than 33 percent. That means that LCRM overhead runs somewhere around 65 percent of their operating costs! Their business performance profile is closer to that of a no-bid Iraq reconstruction contractor than a well-oiled political machine.

Like I said, amazing!

Still more amazing is the fact that even with these kind of numbers, supposedly shrewd business people are content to give money to what is a highly inefficient operation.

They must be expecting a whale of a pay-off if Republicans capture a majority in the House?

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