Guess who is the biggest spender so far in the presidential campaign

Bernie Sanders loves to rail against the evils of big money in elections. Except when he’s spending it.  Matea Gold and Anu Narayanswamy of the Washington Post report:

The small-dollar fundraising juggernaut that has kept Bernie Sanders’s insurgent White House bid afloat far longer than anticipated has generated another unexpected impact: a financial windfall for his team of Washington consultants.

By the end of March, the self-described democratic socialist senator from Vermont had spent nearly $166 million on his campaign — more than any other 2016 presidential contender, including rival Hillary Clinton. More than $91 million went to a small group of admakers and media buyers who produced a swarm of commercials and placed them on television, radio and online, according to a Washington Post analysis of Federal Election Commission reports.

While the vast majority of that money was passed along to television stations and websites to pay for the advertising, millions in fees were kept by the companies, The Post calculated. While it is impossible to determine precisely how much the top consultants have earned, FEC filings indicate the top three media firms have reaped payments of seven figures.

Sanders’s money blitz, fueled by a $27 average donation that he repeatedly touts, has improbably made the anti-billionaire populist the biggest spender so far in the election cycle. The campaign’s wealth has been a surprising boon for vendors across the country who signed on to his long-shot bid.

So Sanders has made some millionaires out of ad-buying companies. Apparently because he’s a rube:

The large profits stem in part from the fact that no one in Sanders’s campaign imagined he would generate such enormous financial support. So unlike Clinton, he did not cap how much his consultants could earn in commissions from what was expected to be a bare-bones operation, according to campaign officials.

So who are the profiteers?

That has meant big payouts for the firm of senior strategist Tad Devine, which has produced the bulk of the campaign’s ads; Old Towne Media, a small media placement operation run by two of Devine’s longtime buyers; and Revolution Messaging, a digital firm led by veterans of President Obama’s 2008 campaign.

And they seem mildly embarrassed:

In an interview, Devine acknowledged that he has made more money than expected from the campaign, but he noted that he is working for a much lower rate than usual. While he usually gets a double-digit percentage of a campaign’s ad spending, the veteran admaker is instead splitting a single-digit-percentage commission with the media buyers at Old Towne Media.

A breakdown of the spending of the Clinton and Sanders campaigns shows that Clinton has built an organization, while Sanders has dumped money into paid media:

Sanders will no doubt defend his campaign’s use of big money because much of it came from small donors. Their money is good, while the money of more affluent people is bad, I guess.  What is most interesting is that Sanders and his campaign never anticipated their success, and lacked plans for using the enormous pool of money that came in. It appears to me that paid media is declining in effectiveness (cough! Jeb Bush campaign), while grassroots social media is rising. Too bad for Sanders that he is such a miserable strategist and manager of funds. Which is why socialists, who deny the importance and value of management (because bosses are bad and the only source of value is labor), should never be allowed near political power.

Bernie Sanders loves to rail against the evils of big money in elections. Except when he’s spending it.  Matea Gold and Anu Narayanswamy of the Washington Post report:

The small-dollar fundraising juggernaut that has kept Bernie Sanders’s insurgent White House bid afloat far longer than anticipated has generated another unexpected impact: a financial windfall for his team of Washington consultants.

By the end of March, the self-described democratic socialist senator from Vermont had spent nearly $166 million on his campaign — more than any other 2016 presidential contender, including rival Hillary Clinton. More than $91 million went to a small group of admakers and media buyers who produced a swarm of commercials and placed them on television, radio and online, according to a Washington Post analysis of Federal Election Commission reports.

While the vast majority of that money was passed along to television stations and websites to pay for the advertising, millions in fees were kept by the companies, The Post calculated. While it is impossible to determine precisely how much the top consultants have earned, FEC filings indicate the top three media firms have reaped payments of seven figures.

Sanders’s money blitz, fueled by a $27 average donation that he repeatedly touts, has improbably made the anti-billionaire populist the biggest spender so far in the election cycle. The campaign’s wealth has been a surprising boon for vendors across the country who signed on to his long-shot bid.

So Sanders has made some millionaires out of ad-buying companies. Apparently because he’s a rube:

The large profits stem in part from the fact that no one in Sanders’s campaign imagined he would generate such enormous financial support. So unlike Clinton, he did not cap how much his consultants could earn in commissions from what was expected to be a bare-bones operation, according to campaign officials.

So who are the profiteers?

That has meant big payouts for the firm of senior strategist Tad Devine, which has produced the bulk of the campaign’s ads; Old Towne Media, a small media placement operation run by two of Devine’s longtime buyers; and Revolution Messaging, a digital firm led by veterans of President Obama’s 2008 campaign.

And they seem mildly embarrassed:

In an interview, Devine acknowledged that he has made more money than expected from the campaign, but he noted that he is working for a much lower rate than usual. While he usually gets a double-digit percentage of a campaign’s ad spending, the veteran admaker is instead splitting a single-digit-percentage commission with the media buyers at Old Towne Media.

A breakdown of the spending of the Clinton and Sanders campaigns shows that Clinton has built an organization, while Sanders has dumped money into paid media:

Sanders will no doubt defend his campaign’s use of big money because much of it came from small donors. Their money is good, while the money of more affluent people is bad, I guess.  What is most interesting is that Sanders and his campaign never anticipated their success, and lacked plans for using the enormous pool of money that came in. It appears to me that paid media is declining in effectiveness (cough! Jeb Bush campaign), while grassroots social media is rising. Too bad for Sanders that he is such a miserable strategist and manager of funds. Which is why socialists, who deny the importance and value of management (because bosses are bad and the only source of value is labor), should never be allowed near political power.