Archive for the '2020' Category


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?


Democratic Party Discovers State Of Wisconsin

Ama Dots / Appliances poster from the 1980s.

Ama Dots / Appliances (early 1980s Milwaukee)

The Democratic Party’s consultant corps, fresh from two years of reflection on having somehow lost the 2016 White House to a mobbed-up bismark pastry, are back with new ideas.

These begin with a discovery: it turns out that north of Illinois, there lies a state named Wisconsin, whose gentle, rolling hills and placid dairy farms recall the rural landscape of Poland or Germany. Like its old-world counterparts, Wisconsin, too, is haunted by a dark history of disaster.

Overlooked by the data-hypnotized 2016 Democratic campaign, despite being a battleground over the hugely important vote of working people, Wisconsin infamously went unvisited by the Democratic candidate in 2016. Thus jilted, the state went to Trump.

Early reports (as well as intermediate and late reports) have tweeted that this — and indeed all of 2016’s staggering electoral failure in its various forms — was due to nothing but Russian interference.

Unfortunately for this explanation’s adherents, reviews of the state’s air traffic logs suggest something different. It turns out there weren’t any flights of MiG-31 fighter aircraft patrolling the skies over Sheboygan, Eau Claire or Appleton, and as such no Russians worked to prevent the candidate’s plane from making a single visit.

Instead, that travel decision to skip the Badger State was brought to you by the consultants of the Democratic party, nearly all of whom, I hate/am compelled to mention, still haven’t been fired.

So what assurance do we have that this fiasco will not repeat itself this time?

Given a second chance,  a sudden paroxysm of rudimentary map usage and flight booking is underway; the brain trust is working hard to make up for last election’s blunder with today’s announcement that the 2020 Democratic National Convention will be held in Milwaukee.

Because it is categorically impossible to select a convention location in a state without awareness about the existence and location of the state, all candidates are virtually guaranteed to visit the state his time.  Which means we can celebrate something like progress, even as Twitter’s finest keep scanning the skies for that wily Putin and his backwards alphabet.



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

July 2020