Hacking Bob’s One-day Fundraising Number

It came out last week: similar to myself when I was a younger Robert, Bob “Beto” O’Rourke was once a hacker.

I’m not a political supporter of Bob’s White House run (Bernie all the way), but I was inspired by this revelation of our shared experience back in the early digital days of modems and BBS systems. So I spent some time last night in the old familiar hacker mode, exploring and re-acquainting myself with a big information system: the FEC’s campaign finance databases.

Partial records of Texas Dems accepting a big pile of cash from Beto For Texas. Why and where did it go after it got there?

I found something, but I’m not yet sure what. Maybe it’s nothing.

I can show that Bob’s Senate-race campaign committee, the one that raised $80M, did something that at least to me appears a little unusual. The Senate campaign did transfer, over a set of ten or so disbursements across late 2018, about $5.8M from itself to the Texas Democratic Party.

I’m not in the know as to why this was done. It could be reimbursement. The Texas state party could have spent a bunch on behalf of Beto’s run and was getting paid back per some agreement between the two.

Based upon other campaign financial research I’ve done, it does strike me as odd that about 7.5% of the cash raised for Bob’s Senate run appears to have gone unspent directly by the campaign committee on beating Cruz, but I’m not familiar enough with the possibilities to commit to saying that it means it actually went unspent on beating Ted. As I mentioned, maybe it’s reimbursement for things the party had paid for in the effort to get Bob elected Senator.

But I can say: when the 1Q FEC filings arrive next month, if we find sizeable sums on or near Day 1 going FROM the Texas Democrats TO Beto For America (that’s his White House committee)…or, alternatively, if we can tease out a money trail beginning with the Texas Dems that moves through intermediate committees to ultimately land at Beto For America in that time frame, that would indeed say something nasty about Bob’s big $6.1 mil one day fundraising announcement. The record-setting dollar figure would almost certainly be shown to consist in part of donations from his old campaign, aka himself. It would also explain why the sources and number of donors in his Day 1 success went unreported.

And that would land Bernie right back on top in with the first-day fundraising record among the field.

I’m not saying this is the case, because the jury’s still out. The April reports aren’t here yet. I don’t yet know where or if the Texas Dems actually put what they received from the Senate campaign anywhere.

I’m only saying 1) a stage is set 2) that six mil from the Senate race has gotta land somewhere.

Did it land in the headlines?

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rob [at] warmowski [dot] com

@warmowski on twitter

Rob’s Bands

Rob Warmowski entry at Chicago Punk Database
1984-89: Defoliants
1991-94: Buzzmuscle
2001-05: San Andreas Fault
2008- : Sirs
2008- : Allende

Rob at Huffington Post

March 2019

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