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Joe G’s Robo-Campaign

May 31, 2010

Maybe it’s because I’m a neophyte when it comes to the nuts and bolts of a political campaign; maybe it’s because Joe G is. But in either case, the more I look into it, the more I discover that his campaign is running on nothing but money–mostly his money.

His campaign report for the period ending April 25 shows that he lent his campaign $129,000 and received $15,500 from sixteen people, all but two of whom contributed exactly $1050.00. Seems to me like a high bar for entry into the game.

The expenses are the most interesting part: of just under $36,000 spent, almost two-thirds (about $22k) went to Silver Bullet LLC for petition services. Turns out Silver Bullet LLC is a private company headquartered in Las Vegas. Its business address is a suite at a convention center, there is only one corporate officer, Lance Kerness, and no capitalization.

A quick search on Mr. Kerness brings up an advance fee loan fraud under the corporate name Platinum Financial LLC.  There are apparently “a host of credit oriented companies headed by a Lance Kerness.” He’s also co-owner of Beachside Systems in Florida and is named in a fraud complaint in Hawaii.  The complaint is against the Prescott College of Business and Leadership Studies where Kerness was President, Secretary, Treasurer and Registered Agent–the same positions he holds in the Silver Bullet LLC. Would you like some beach front property and a college degree with those petition signatures?

This isn’t about Lance Kerness–although that would be a fascinating topic in itself–but rather who Joe G chooses to associate himself with. (Yes, most people do believe who you associate with does matter.) How did Joe even find this guy? This time, at least, Kerness does appear to have made good on his promise to deliver–17,000 petition signatures were delivered to the Secretary of State office between 4 and 5pm this past Thursday, the deadline date. I am told that paid signature-gatherers do have a higher rate of error than volunteers and the SoS office checks every one. They have until Jun 11 to decide.

So much for the petition effort. The robo-calls are fun, too. A friend tells me that Joe was at the GOP barbecue on Friday, May 21. He asked Joe about those anti-Maes calls the week before the assembly and Joe replied that he really wasn’t familiar with the content–his PR company was handling that. There’s an interesting explanation of that strategy by Joe’s campaign manager on Laura Victoria’s ExPat ExLawyer blog today.

Talk about not being involved in your own campaign! That’s why I call it the Robo-Campaign. Maybe this is just a couple of sharp operators helping a millionaire spend his money.

There’s one more expenditure on the May 4 campaign report I found interesting: $500 to Kevin Grenier of Castle Rock for “Employee Services.” I guess Joe got those homeless people to wear his t-shirts on May 22 pretty cheaply. Of course, the payment might be for something else.

Can’t wait to see the May 26th campaign spending report.

  1. May 31, 2010 11:46 am

    Wow! Good stuff going through the nitty gritty of those tracer reports. How could you possibly not write or at least review the content of your campaign’s robo calls?

    Great post, and thanks for the link.

  2. May 31, 2010 3:11 pm

    The Tom Wiens campaign also worked with Silver Bullet LLC to collect petition signatures. It didn’t work out so well for them, undoubtedly contributing to Wiens’ decision to drop out. Word on the street is that the actual signature collectors, who subcontracted with Silver Bullet, did a very shoddy job of quality control. My guess is Joe G had to scrap the original plan and do a lot of last-minute work to get those signatures before the Thursday deadline. We’ll have to wait and see if Joe G ended up collecting enough valid signatures.

  3. May 31, 2010 4:04 pm

    Ben, I saw this Examiner article and linked it in my post re Wiens and Silver bullet.

    I also heard my favorite state senate candidate collected his 1,200 sigs using same collectors as Joe, who were attempting to obtain sigs to both petitions. Looking forward to tomorrow’s campaign finance reporting.

    I think the 17,000 and the 1,500 is tight anyhow. I think the 1,200 all having to be in SD16 is really tight.


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