Over $1.7 Million Raised & Still Nothing To Show For It

“Either Deborah Honeycutt is getting swindled by all of these D.C. consultants or she’s a crook using these businesses as a front to funnel campaign funds into her pockets.”

Source: Peach Pundit, “How do you raise $707,718 & have nothing to show for it?”, October 24, 2007

Last October, I first highlighted the discrepancies between the amount of money 13th district congressional candidate Deborah Honeycutt raised and the amount of money her campaign actually spent towards winning the congressional seat currently held by David Scott. It seemed extremely odd that a candidate for Congress could raise more than half a million dollars and not even have a decent website to show for it.

It now appears that Deborah Honeycutt was swindled by her direct-mail fundraising firm BMW Direct Inc. and its associated companies. And apparently, she wasn’t the only one.

The Boston Globe reports that Massachusetts Republican Charles A. Morse, who challenged Democratic Congressman Barney Frank in 2006, turned over control of his campaign accounts to BMW Direct who then proceeded to raise more than $700,000 for Morse’s race with all but $30,000 going back to BMW Direct’s bank accounts [Source: Boston Globe, “Firm gets big cut of campaign donations”, June 29, 2008]. The Boston newspaper also reports that even after Morse suspended his campaign after failing to make it onto the General Election ballot, BMW Direct continued to raise money for him totaling $200,000 all of which went into their coffers.

Ben Kilgore, a consultant on the Morse campaign asked of BMW Direct, “What other business accepts money for a third party from the public and then keeps 96 percent of it?”

With questions like these, one wonders why Deborah Honeycutt would continue to use a company that raised more than one million dollars not for her failed 2006 campaign but for their company, its affiliates and vendors.

16 comments

  1. midgajim says:

    I’m certain my wife and I have received at least ten mail solicitations on her behalf – and we (obviously) don’t even live in Atlanta.

  2. drjay says:

    a few months ago we got an email from an uncle in maryland touting dr. honeycutt as someone we should all get behind and send money to–they had apparently received some info on her either via email or snail mail…

  3. I Am Jacks Post says:

    Deborah gets ripped off by her mail firm.

    And the District gets ripped off by David Scott and poor ethical behavior.

  4. shep1975 says:

    I’ve had Republican friends in TX, FL, VA, and OH all ask me about Deborah. Plus I have gotten solicitations too. At least I live in the same county as she does.

  5. Rick Day says:

    People, when someone calls you for money for anything, if there is a loud chatter in the background, simply hang up. It is the sound of 20 sharks masticating 2000 herring

    Leeches like BMW Direct in the system call for reform. One should donate directly to the campaign, through their official web page and payPal, or physically at a fund raiser.

    Too much mail and telephony fraud about.

  6. Progressive Dem says:

    If Deborah Honneycut participated in this kind of sleazy operation once, and saw zero results why is she doing it again? Seems likely to me that she is getting something out of the deal.

  7. Progressive Dem says:

    Andre, props for raising this issue. Where is the local media? They get scooped by the Boston Globe???

  8. Also, that guy on Red State is defending legitimate direct mail operations, like the one Mac Collins relied on to raise money against Jim Marshall last year. If I recall, Collins spent about $.40 for each $1 he raised, but then he turned around and spent those $1’s on tv ads and direct mail to voters.

    Honeycutt’s thing is different. She is in a district that is impossible for a Republican to win, yet she has a story that tugs at the heartstrings of many Republican donors – an African American doctor running for Congress in Georgia!

    Then there is the guy that is running against Barney Frank as a write-in. Can’t find anything about that guy online, but I’m sure he’s got some similarly inspiring story plus throw in Barney Frank to boot…

    There are suckers born every minute and some people that have big checkbooks like to be entertained by emotionally gripping political stories. The fact that Honeycutt spends almost nothing on her actual campaigns (with $700k you could at least do two weeks of Atlanta tv) should tell you all you need to know about this enterprise.

  9. Bill Simon says:

    Rick Day Sez: “People, when someone calls you for money for anything, if there is a loud chatter in the background, simply hang up. It is the sound of 20 sharks masticating 2000 herring”

    WOW! That might just be the FIRST TIME (and, alas, might be the last) Rick has actually said something that isn’t ridden with hate-talk of any member of the GOP!

    Congrats, Rick! Can you work on trying for 2 days in a row of making posts like that? 🙂

  10. yellowb says:

    We just had a volunteers meeting a few weeks ago for her campaign and by the count of all the signs and push cards available, it is obvious money is being spent by the campaign. The campaign is planning a heavy tv/radio campaign this year, taking advantage in the fact that they have outgained David Scott by a substantial margin.

  11. Taft Republican says:

    She hired a direct mail fundraising outfit that is a one-stop shop for everything, and the main thing they do, which Krempasky described fairly well, is what’s called “prospecting.” That is the most expensive way to raise funds, usually giving you only about 5% for the campaign to pocket; however, you also get all of the donor names and addresses, which (if you’re savvy) you’ll use to do your own in-house fundraising, which can be VERY successful and have a high ROI.

    Unfortunately, it looks like she wasn’t that savvy in ’06, and didn’t take advantage of what has obviously become a superb donor list. But from the reports I’ve heard in the last couple of days, she may have learned something, and is likely to actually spend real money and have a real campaign this year… thanks to BMW Direct’s 2006 chickens coming home to roost in 2008.

    Bully for her.

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