Seems that Tuesday was time to file financial reports for the Montana campaigns.
The Billings (Montana) Gazette reports:
$580K spent on signaturesThe Gazette also notes that's over 92% of the money spent on all three ballot measures.
By MIKE DENNISON
Gazette State Bureau
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
HELENA -- Groups supporting a trio of ballot measures that would limit the reach of government have spent an unprecedented $580,000 on paid signature-gatherers in their attempt to place the measures on the November ballot.
Financial support for the three measures -- which have yet to be validated for the November ballot -- also continues to come primarily from a single source: Montanans in Action, a new political/education nonprofit group that won't reveal specifically where it gets its money.
Reports filed this week show that Montanans in Action has spent nearly $633,000
Gee, when you add $633,000 and the $600,000 that Montanans in Action donated to the California Proposition 90 campaign, that's 1.23 million bucks that all sort of ended up at the farm/ranch of a Winifred, Montana fellow who hasn't even bothered to put in an extra phone line or hire a staff member.
Remember that the ONLY thing we know is that Americans for Limited Government "loaned" the appropriately acronym'ed MIA $49,000. Guess they repaid the loan, right?
The story goes on to say that an opposition spokesman says that not only doesn't anyone know where the money is coming from, but that there's no proof to the claim that it's a "grass-roots" Montana campaign. The leader of MIA says that it is, but continues to refuse to provide any proof that he's not lying. (click on the headline for the whole news story.)
Most of the paid petition gatherers come from outside of Montana.
Montana has been, until this campaign, a state in which petitions drives are volunteer-driven. Nobody's ever seen anything like the $580,000 spent by the mystery group to qualify their proposals for the November election, flooding the state with mercenaries from other places.
So, at least $1.23 million came INTO the state, and then $1.18 million went right back OUT of the state -- in a very UN-Montana-style petition drive.
Which leaves about $50,000 still in Montana -- and that just happens to be about exactly the amount of money Americans for Limited Government loaned MIA. Jeepers.
Things that make you go "hmmmmm..."