Nine minutes after the Remember Mississippi PAC filed their October quarterly filing with the FEC last night showing that the PAC was essentially on vapors with only $23,000 cash on hand, the PAC then filed an independent expenditure for an additional $271,000 of media buys for the PAC. This obviously far exceeded the cash on hand of the PAC leading to the conclusion that there was a last minute donor quietly making a big play to help McDaniel win the primary.
The independent expenditure (IE) showed over $180,000 in “digital media” for Chris McDaniel and then showed two $46,000 radio buys – one for McDaniel and one against Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith.
The practical implications of the timing of this independent expenditure is that it will likely be weeks before the identity of the source of those funds will be known due to quirks in the reporting cycle for the FEC.
There are few things that are puzzling about the IE. First $180K of “digital” is an incredibly high volume if it’s truly for online digital media. Second, the timing of the IE and the IE filing appear to be done to clearly obscure the source for the money. Unless revealed voluntarily by the Remember MS PAC, the source of the money would likely not be known on the filings until almost right before the election.
Rigel Strategies, the vendor for these IEs, was closely associated with the Ted Cruz movement in 2016. They did prominent work for “Keep the Promise” PACs, which was at the tip of the spear on anti-Trump efforts. Rigel also features testimonials from none other than former McDaniel advisor Rick Tyler who McDaniel unceremoniously parted ways with during the campaign as Rick Tyler spent most waking hours attacking President Trump.
(cover image from The Brennan Center)