3rd quarter expensive in governor’s race

Three candidates combined spend nearly half a million dollars within three months

Hotel stays. Airfare. Consultants. Stuff with your name on it.

It’s all part of the cost of running for public office.

Colorado’s three richest gubernatorial campaigns have together spent nearly half a million dollars in the third quarter of 2009.

With nearly $1.3 million left to spend as of Sept. 30 and more than a year remaining until the 2010 general election, more expenses are sure to come for Grand Junction Republicans Josh Penry, the state Senate minority leader, and former Congressman Scott McInnis, as well as Democratic Gov. Bill Ritter.

McInnis’ charges include $52,166.66 in consultant fees, $38,061.58 on mailings, $7,331.08 on fundraising (most of that amount went to a Web site that helps collect and raise contributions), $1,118.41 on bank charges and $2,418.19 for campaign signs, stickers and handouts. The campaign spent an additional $75,343 on postage, software, office supplies, events, travel in the state and to fundraising events in Omaha and Chicago, media, communications, photography and voter data.

The campaign is “very, very strict” when it comes to spending money, McInnis spokesman Sean Duffy said, because every expenditure is held accountable and may come in handy later in the campaign.

“Every dollar we spend now is a dollar we can’t spend on TV and ads in the fall,” Duffy said.

As for Penry’s campaign, he spent $15,758 on salaries, $4,112.10 to reimburse campaign workers and his wife for travel, $5,712.35 for fundraising, $7,574.62 to attend and host events, $3,801.36 on a tele-town hall, $3,000 for campaign promotional materials and $19,047.42 to reimburse a Littleton consulting group for travel, office supplies and consulting services.

Penry spent another $61,596.30 on software, telephone bills, cleaning services, printing, rent, a list purchase, office supplies, mail, copies, Internet fees, online marketing, and dental and health insurance for any campaign employee wishing to take the insurance.

The campaign also pays for car insurance on a campaign vehicle and paid the $615.21 license plate fee for the vehicle. The car is used by Penry and his staff to drive to campaign events, campaign manager Mike Britt said.

Britt said the campaign’s goal with expenses is to raise as much money as possible and spend as much of it as possible on advertising and media spots.

“The philosophy of our campaign is to get the candidate’s message out there to Colorado,” he said.

Ritter spent $46,150.43 on staff travel and phone reimbursements and payroll, $9,201.10 on food and beverages, $4,705.57 for events, $35,333.28 for Web hosting and marketing, $17,637.05 on consulting, $1,742.84 on lodging and $1,913.80 on airfare.

The governor’s re-election campaign also spent money on cell phone fees, services fees, bookkeeping services, office supplies, credit card fees, postage, legal services, payroll taxes, photography, an ad, printing, flowers, software, parking space rental, an RTD rail pass, and list purchasing, including a list of Colorado supporters of Hillary Clinton for president in 2008 purchased for $3,219.40.


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