Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Could it be David Vitter really doesn't know what he's doing?

His campaign and SuperPACs have all the money they could possibly use.  Don't seem to have a clue what to do with it, though.  
The Fund for Louisiana’s Future (FLF) is funded by David Vitter and his supporters. FLF shares staff and resources with the Vitter election committee. FLF has spent the bulk of its funds trash talking other Republicans.
  • FLF is a political organization registered with the Federal Elections Commission as a federal independent expenditure-only committee, commonly referred to as a “Super PAC,” and also registered with the Louisiana Supervisory Committee on Campaign Finance Disclosure as a state “political committee.” [1]

  • FLF is supporting David Vitter by bashing his opponents. The PAC produces no ads telling voters why they should vote for Vitter, only ads trying to damage the reputations of anyone running against him. (Note: The single exception is $3,000 for media buys for the Insurance Commissioner. This is the single instance of FLF saying something nice about a Republican.)
Well that worked.. sort of.  They kept the other two Republicans out of the runoff. Although, in reality, they probably just kept each other out by virtue of being 2 candidates in the first place. But whatever.

The real shocker is no one involved seems to know the first thing about how to attack the Democrat in the runoff. Which is funny considering the amount they've spent on intelligence gathering.   This first shot, for example, does not seem to have hit the target.  Those of us who were expecting a more entertaining bout are eagerly awaiting Vitter's next attempt. But for now, the dude is getting crushed. Maybe he just doesn't know what he's doing.

Besides pay PAC money to campaign staffers, that is. Seems like they've got that figured out
  • Joel DiGrado, executive director of FLF is also Vitter’s communications director and the owner of Briefcase Strategies LLC. Briefcase Strategies LLC has received $96,357.03 from FLF so far in 2015.

  • Courtney Guastella (Callihan), ex-Finance Director for “David Vitter for US Senate,” is the current Finance Director for Vitter and the go-to person for various fundraisers for Vitter. Her home address is 6048 Marshall Foch Street, New Orleans. That just happens to also be the mailing address and registration address for FLF. Courtney has received $205,000 from FLF in the last few years for “fundraising consulting” as well as $145,000 from Vitter’s campaign. That comes to a grand total of $350,000 from the two organizations over the same period. Courtney is FLF’s highest paid individual consultant. (Remember that the FLF PAC and Vitter (campaign) teams are supposed to be independent and not collaborate. Yet the highest paid FLF staff person is also a six-figure consultant to Vitter’s campaign).

  • In April 2015, Nicole Licardi joined FLF and is now FLF’s Finance Director. Licardi has a long history with and is still a fundraiser for Bill Cassidy. Since April 2015, FLF has paid her $78,111.62 or about $12,000 per month.
You might recognize Guastella's name from Vitter's election day car accident. It's technically not really legal for campaign staff to coordinate with or be paid by the PAC like this. But nobody cares about that. The contributors might eventually start to care, though, when they see how stupidly it's all being spent.  Vitter raised all this money because he could convincingly promise his funders they were buying a governor. Next time they might want to keep their receipts.

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