Thursday, May 23, 2024

A Shocking Look Inside a Statewide Republican Campaign

Have you ever questioned the sanity of people who go through contribution reports and analyze what is going on with the money? As I set off on my latest adventure, I questioned my sanity. It turned out to be a short trip though. After uncovering Mark Martin’s lack of attendance and the virtual abandonment of a state vehicle in his parking space, I decided I had to take a look and see who was funding his campaign. I went to the Secretary of State website and pulled all the contribution and expenditure reports since the beginning of his campaign. That is where I found all the individuals who have contributed to his campaign.

All eighty-eight (88) of them.

Yep, only 88 people have contributed to Mark Martin’s campaign, as well as 8 businesses, 9 PACs and 39 Republican Committees.  That is a grand total of 144 checks from donors over the entire life of his campaign. And yet with only 144 checks to deposit over a 12 month period, he still got the math wrong. According to his filed reports, he has received a total of $68,940, but if you add up all the individual items reported, the total comes to $73,020, a difference of $4,080.


Knowing what an avid reader and big fan he must be of this blog, I figured I would be helpful and save him the hour it took me to unearth this mind-boggling addition problem. He under-reported $100 on the July report filed August 15, $250 on the August report filed September 15, and a whopping $3,730 on the September report filed October 15.

The conspiracy theorists will all jump up and down about that September report being short over $3,000 just 10 days or so after he found out here on BHR that he wasn’t supposed to claim two homestead tax credits and that he owed Benton County…

…wait for it…

just over $3,000.

By The Numbers

Here’s how his contributions break down:


Of the 88 individual donors, the top 10 account for $13,000 – just shy of half the total for that group. 32 gave $100 or less, and only 2 gave less than $50.

His Democratic challenger Susan Inman, who is far and away more qualified for the job than Martin could ever hope to be, has raised $130,053 to date. Being that I still have some of my sanity left, when I looked at her reports I quickly realized I couldn’t count each report on two hands, so I estimated there are probably around 1,000 or so individuals who have donated to her campaign. That’s a rather stark contrast.

However, the most shocking aspect of his campaign is not the number of donors or the amounts contributed. What should shock everyone is this: as Secretary of State, he is the state’s top election official – the person in charge of protecting and advocating for every citizen’s fundamental right to vote and being the cheerleader for the democratic process.   Martin has approached this election season, and more specifically his campaign, in the same manner as he approaches his work: sit at home and do nothing, except play on Facebook, tend to his bees and go on Boy Scout trips.  He was the only candidate in any of the statewide races to refuse to participate in the debates. Even though he was notified of the debates in April, he waited until five days before the debates to finally tell AETN he wasn’t going to participate in the democratic process.  He claimed a scheduling conflict, which turned out to be a trip to Nuclear One and a luncheon with the Kiwanis Club – both of which could have been easily rescheduled. It is a very rare day if he responds to a media inquiry, and he has not filled out requests for information on his candidacy by most media outlets and other organizations providing information on candidates. Trying to find information on him anywhere other than his campaign website or Facebook page is a difficult task.

As best I can tell, his strategy is to bank on people being such ill-informed voters that they will vote for him simply because there is an (R) after his name, no matter how incompetently he has done his job over the last four years.  Based on the Arkansas Poll released this week showing only 56% of voters know who the Speaker of the House is, and less than half know the President is responsible for nominating Federal Judges, any strategy centered around people not bothering to learn anything about who they are electing to protect their rights has a fighting chance.

So it is Mark Martin and the Crazy 88s vs. Susan Inman.  Have you noticed her signs are yellow and she almost always wears yellow to campaign events?

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