See updates below
Yesterday I wrote about the financial disclosures in North Dakota’s at-large House race between incumbent Republican Kevin Cramer and Democratic challenger Chase Iron Eyes. Cramer is in strong fiscal position, as you would expect an incumbent to be. Iron Eyes, unfortunately, ended the reporting period with more debt than cash.
This morning my intent was to write a similar post about the finances in our state’s other federal competition, the Senate race between incumbent Republican John Hoeven and Democratic challenger Eliot Glassheim.
But I hit a snag. When I searched the FEC’s candidate and campaign database for Glassheim’s filings, I came up with nothing. Even when I did a search for all of the Senate campaigns active in North Dakota in 2016, I came up with filings for Hoeven and Senator Heitkamp (who is up for re-election in 2018) and even former Republican candidate Duane Sand who ran in 2012 and whose campaign, as of the end of March, is still nearly $60,000 in debt.
Nothing, though, for Glassheim.
This is kind of a big problem. Not only is Glassheim’s pre-primary disclosure report missing – it was due from candidates on the ballot this cycle on June 2 – but he apparently has no filings at all. No statement of candidacy. No statement of organization for his campaign committee. Nothing.
Very strange. I thought maybe I’d reach out to the campaign and see what was going on, but when I tried to send an email to the Glassheim campaign’s media account it bounced:
When I tried to visit eliot4nd.com, it wasn’t online.
I finally got a hold of Daniel Tick from Glassheim’s campaign first by Twitter direct message through the campaign’s official account and then by telephone. He told me their website is “temporarily unavailable while servers are being transferred to a different host,” and that’s apparently impacting their email at that domain too.
Fair enough. It happens. But what about the FEC reports?
“I’m honestly not sure,” he told me. “I’m going to look into that today for you. I’m not handling that.”
Daniel wouldn’t give me a specific time for when he’d get back in touch with me, so I decided to reach out to the FEC’s Public Records Office. I called their toll free number, and the representative I spoke to said she couldn’t find any filings for the Glassheim campaign either.
“As of right now it doesn’t appear as though they’ve filed anything with the FEC,” she told me.
She did say that it can take up to 48 hours for new filings to get posted in their system, but it’s worth remembering that the Glassheim campaign has been active since April, and that the pre-primary disclosure report was due 12 days ago on June 2. If the filings were made on-time, the FEC should be displaying them.
I tried to get in touch with Daniel again with the comments from the FEC, but he’s not currently answering my calls or Twitter direct messages and the campaign email account continues to bounce.
A U.S. Senate campaign blowing off FEC deadlines can be a big deal. You can read about the process the FEC goes through to establish that reporting requirements have been violated and calculate fines here.
I’ll update this post when/if the Glassheim gets back to me with an explanation for what’s going on.
Meanwhile, it seems Hoeven’s disclosures are all in order. You can read his pre-primary disclosure here, where he reported raising over $298,000 in the reporting period. The campaign has over $2.6 million in cash on hand and is reporting $100,000 in debt in the form of a loan to the campaign from the candidate himself.
UPDATE 11:40am: Just spoke with Tick who tells me they’re still trying to work out why they wouldn’t have filed anything with the FEC.
UPDATE 12:54pm: Tick got back to me, and it turns out the recent they haven’t filed with the FEC is because they hadn’t yet raised or spent past the $5,000 threshold which makes such filings a requirement. “We know we’ve been slow with some of these filings,” Tick told me by telephone. “Eliot wasn’t planning on running this race.” He said that they had just gotten some donations in putting them over the threshold and would be filing their reports within days.
It seems pretty amazing – almost unbelievable – that a federal candidate for one of the two major parties hasn’t raised or spent more than $5,000 by almost mid-June in an election year, but that’s where they’re at I guess.