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Monday, September 12, 2016

That's All She Wrote! Pence Campaign to give no more money to Eric Holcomb

If this article by Brian Howey is to be believed the prediction made by this blog that Eric Holcomb had already received all the money he would get from the now defunct Pence for Governor is accurate. Howey writes:

For reasons that remain murky and muted by remnants of Gov. Mike Pence’s reelection campaign, no further direct money will end up in the coffers of Lt. Gov. Eric Holcomb for his bid to keep the office in Republican hands.

“You’re not going to see a direct transfer from Mike Pence,” said Holcomb campaign manager Mike O’Brien on Tuesday. But O’Brien was quick to add, “We’ll be fully funded. Normally a candidate for governor spends four years stockpiling funds. We can’t do that. Our cash flow will be raise and spend.”

O’Brien also said that many Pence donors are stepping up in his race against Democrat John Gregg, who has raised north of $10 million. “Their response has been fantastic,” O’Brien said. On Aug. 24 and 25, the Holcomb campaign posted $117,300 in large donations, $50,000 each from Anthony Moravec of Columbus and Ronald Cameron from Little Rock, and $17,300 from John Meredith of Columbus. But O’Brien quashed speculation that the Pence campaign had prepaid production and ad buys that could be transferred to the new nominee.

The campaign manager’s comments end speculation as to how much of Pence’s reported $7.4 million campaign war chest at the June 30 mid-year deadline will be transferred to Holcomb. On July 29, the Pence campaign transferred $1.25 million to Holcomb.

But the unanswered question is why didn’t the Pence campaign take steps prior to July 19 to move a bulk of those funds, perhaps as much as $6 million, to either the Indiana Republican Party or the Republican Governors Association where they could have then been transferred to the new nominee? Did the Pence staff, in all the veepstakes hoopla and as they positioned for jobs in the Trump campaign, simply fail to do the proper research on how his federal candidacy might impact those funds? Or is Pence pulling an Evan Bayh, keeping a big war chest hoarded for future use if the Trump/Pence ticket loses on Nov. 8? Only Pence and his newly converted Trumpkins know.

O’Brien, who took the helm of the Holcomb campaign on Aug. 2, declined to speculate on why the Pence funds weren’t shifted to the new nominee, telling me that this is the scenario he inherited. On Aug. 1, when Holcomb was asked about the Pence funds, he said, “I’ll let Gov. Pence speak for every penny he decides to spend. I am concerned about raising the money I need. I am confident I can do that. We’ll raise the millions it will take to get the message out over the next 100 days.”

Asked whether some of the Pence funds will be refunded to the RGA, O’Brien responded, “Can't comment on what Mike Pence might do. I'll just say the RGA is all in for us and they'll invest. You'll see it soon.” The RGA did put $250,000 into the Holcomb campaign earlier this month, with Holcomb campaign spokesman Pete Seat calling it a “new investment” and not recycled Pence funds 

We are stumped as to just why Howey says that there is some confusion about why the Holcomb campaign will receive no further direct contributions from the Pence reelection campaign. If Mr. Howey had just bothered to read either Niki Kelly's articles here and here, or a widely cited Memo from the Democratic Governor's Association dealing with the Pence money issue, hell if Howey had just bothered to simply do more than five minutes of work looking into this it wouldn't surprise him why Holcomb is not going to get anymore money from Pence! The answer is because the Pence campaign legally cannot give him any! He could have even read this blog and become aware of it that way! Mike O'Brien who is Eric Holcomb's campaign manager is currently listed on Barnes and Thornburg's website as Senior Public Policy Advisor at their Indianapolis office. Before his current position at B&T it appears that O'Brien's job was just to carry water for whatever legislation that "Godfather" Governor Mitch Daniels told him to. He also is the former chairman of the Hendricks County Republican Party. What has always struck us as so interesting is that O'Brien like most Mitch Daniels boot lickers political appointees O'Brien seems extremely young to have been given such heavyweight political positions. But Daniels had a habit as Governor of appointing a lot of extremely young party hacks to senior positions in his administration! Frequent readers of Gary Welsh's blog Advance Indiana and Paul Ogden's Ogden on Politics blog will recognize the law firm of Barnes and Thornburg! They were as Gary Welsh called them part of the "downtown mafia" that just tries to control as much of the Hoosier state as they possibly can!

Howey continues:

Former Pence campaign spokesman Marc Lotter, who along with former Pence campaign finance director Marty Obst took new positions with the Trump presidential campaign, did not respond to questions. Lotter has refused to respond to most Indiana news media requests.

Unanswered at this point is what happens to $5-6 million in Pence funds? Eventual campaign filings will reveal the story, but at this point the fledgling Holcomb campaign could have used that money . . . yesterday.

When Pence officially became a federal candidate, his Indiana campaign funds fell under Federal Election Commission guidelines, which limited the amount of funds that could be transferred to the successor nominee. Holcomb was endorsed by Pence on July 22. He used it with a strong implication that much of the Pence war chest would be transferred to his fledgling campaign. But minutes after winning the nomination, Politico reported that much of the Pence war chest was not transferrable.

In presentations to the Indiana Republican Central Committee members, U.S. Reps. Susan Brooks and Todd Rokita both stressed that they had more than $1.2 million in funds and both laid out strategies for funding their campaigns. One influential observer speaking on background told me, “It is interesting that here it is a month later, and he still only has barely over 10 percent of the Pence funds, especially when you examine the daily finance reports of individuals giving $10,000. Many of those folks are reliable $50,000 or $100,000 donors. So what’s up with that? The silence from the Pence campaign and Holcomb campaigns on this is deafening.”

Republican financier Bob Grand, who turned up in Cleveland on the morning of July 20 during the waning hours of the Republican National Convention, said at the time he would be working on the fund transfer. On July 27, Grand said, “It’s all going to get worked out. It’s not a problem and it’s not going to be a problem. Eric Holcomb is going to have plenty of money to run this race. A fair amount of it will come from the Mike Pence campaign.”

There doesn’t seem to be any public tension between Pence and Holcomb, who campaigned together in Columbus earlier this month. Holcomb is a loyal lieutenant to the vice presidential nominee. But that loyalty, in a financial sense, appears to be a one-way street as Holcomb’s condensed campaign hits a very early homestretch.

Well gee Brian! Why in the world would you think that Mike Pence gives a damn about anyone other than Mike Pence? If the rumors are to be believed that Mitch Daniels forced Mike Pence to appoint Eric Holcomb to be his Lt. Governor that would certainly lend credence to the theory floated by many that Pence and/or members of his team don't care if Holcomb wins the Governor's race or not! As far as we here are concerned the Indiana Fake Republican Party can all crash and burn!

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1 comment :

  1. As a Constitutional Conservative, I view Eric Holcomb as everything that is wrong with the RINO Indiana State GOP. I will not be voting for this hypocrite betrayer to the Party of Lincoln. There has been no insider-enriching deal that Holcomb has ever been against unless he was not personally "in" on the take from what I've read and seen at GOP meetings.

    Pence, too, is a RINO "R" with huge national corporate support but waning Hoosier vote totals.

    I will go ahead and vote for Trump, I will vote for Young, but that's about it. Gregg won't be any better than Holcomb but Holcomb does not deserve at all to be the Governor of the State of Indiana.


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