Loyal fans of Emo Senator, southern Minnesota's most beloved telenovela, will remember that Mike Parry's congressional campaign stops are drawing voters like Limburger cheese attracts the ladies. In Emo Senator: lost episode shocks Mike Parry fans, the Austin Herald reported that two men gathered for coffee with the Belle of Waseca County.
It's looks like his campaign checkbook is just as attractive.
Minnesota Public Radio's Brett Neely reports in Congressional fundraising numbers streaming in:
First District Rep. Tim Walz raised $210,000, making 2011 a million dollar fundraising year for the former teacher. His campaign has $617,000 in the bank. Two of Walz's three Republican challenger Allen Quist raised $6,200 for the entire year. A third opponent, Mike Parry, has not yet released his fundraising totals.
Within ten minutes of each other, devoted Emo Senator admirers pointed the screenwriter to Senator Parry's FEC filing:
|6. Net Contributions (other than loans)|
|(a) Total Contributions (other than loans)||32585.00||32585.00|
|(b) Total Contribution Refunds||0.00||0.00|
|(c) Net Contributions (6(a) - 6(b))||32585.00||32585.00|
|7. Net Operating Expenditures|
|(a) Total Operating Expenditures||3402.14||3402.14|
|(b) Total Offsets to Operating Expenditures||0.00||0.00|
|(c) Net Operating Expenditures||3402.14||3402.14|
|8. Cash on Hand at Close of Reporting Period||29182.86|
|9. Debts and Obligations Owed TO the Committee||0.00|
|Itemize all on SCHEDULE C or SCHEDULE D|
|10. Debts and Obligations Owed BY the Committee||0.00||
|Itemize all on SCHEDULE C or SCHEDULE D|
When he entered the congressional race in early October, the Emo Senator told the Mankato Free Press that he didn't have a fundraising plan, but that he felt very good about himself. Veteran political reporter Mark Fischenich wrote in Parry to challenge Walz for Congress:
Parry hasn’t set a goal for campaign donations but said he has strong skills in fundraising.
“I do know that I’m a hard charger. I work from sun-up to sun-down and then some.”
Senator Parry hasn't done much had charging, spending only $3402--including one $600 in-kind contribution for munchies--so Bluestem can't speculate on just how hard it may have been. Such fundraising figures surely could barely cover the copying fees for the crack public-relations legal team recently hired by Parry's best-known campaign volunteer, Michael Brodkorb.
Curious items in the contributor list suggest that Parry's on-and-off again amnesia has affected his accounting. Information has been requested about the occupation of one "Gretchen Hoffman" of Vergas, Minnesota. Bluestem has it on good authority that Ms. Hoffman is a state senator.
Additionally, Parry seems to have forgotten what Dick Day did for a living when he wrote the check.
Most of the rest of the haul is standard issue Republican checks--no surprises there, other than the fly speck quality.
The contrast with earlier Walz challengers? Eventual (and spectacularly dismal) 2008 nominee Brian Davis took in close to $55,500 in late 2007. Former Senator Dick Day was also seeking the seat, and raised nearly $53,000. Randy Demmer, who won the nomination in 2010, took in about $35,000 during the same time period in 2007.
Looking at 2010 cycle figures, we learn that the Demmer campaign closed 2009 with a $19200.00 haul, though the campaign remained in debt to the tune of $135,150.00 in loans from the candidate to himself. At the end of 2011, $92,000 of that debt remained on the books. Quist, who lost the endorsement after several rounds of balloting at the 2010 convention, took in $32,853 in late 2009.
Two other candidates, Jim Engstrand (now running for Congress in Texas) and Mr. Conservative, Jim Hagedorn, who moved to sunny Blue Earth to run, and who is now supporting Newt Gingrich from an undisclosed location.
But all hope is not lost, completely, if we turn our eyes to fundraising in the legendary 2006 election that swept Walz into office. Mostly lost, but not totally.
And the 2005-2006 unknown who challenged six-term representative Gil Gutknecht? At the beginning of 2006, Walz had $78,103.24 cash in hand, having just experienced a final quarter in which he'd deposited $48,444.39 in the bank. The campaign carried $5755.93 in loans the candidate had borrowed from Wells Fargo.
Gutknecht, whom Walz would defeat in one of the biggest surprises of 2006, entered that fateful year with $620,101.24 in the kitty, having just raised $144,406.57.
While the Walz and Gutknecht totals are close, the candidates' approaches are far different. Gutknecht failed to preceive the Walz campaign as a threat until well into 2006, whereas Walz is listed as one of 20 most vulnerable Democrats by his own caucus's campaign wing.
What will happen? Tune in again--this is an episode of Emo Senator, after all. Anyone, except for Walz himself, may well be surprisedby what Mike Parry will do or say.
Image: Mike Parry, the Emo Senator. By Tild. With that sort of fundraising, of course he has to wear the parlor drapes from Tara.
Earlier episodes:Emo Senator: lost episode shocks Mike Parry fans
Emo Senator: Amnesia! Mike Parry forgets he's his own boss during MNSCU benefits hearing (a complete list of episodes is found at the end of this post).