All of these combined, of course, cost a fair amount of money. And given that in previous campaigns they were not even able to raise $1,000 from their membership, despite repeated requests from Hennessy, Durbin, and Hoft, I was left wondering just where they got their income for these elections. In a recent St. Louis Beacon article, Jo Mannies apparently asked that question, and here's what she got in response:
They paid rent and utilities for an office for at least three months for an office. They paid for a billboard in the southern part of Missouri's 3rd congressional district. They ran extensive facebook advertisements. They ran google advertisements and other ads that linked to endorsements of Ed Martin. They appeared to have several paid employees managing the office and get out the vote efforts. They produced a lot of political schwag, such as the stickers they placed on Taxpayers for Ed Martin yard signs.
Ennenbach said the St. Louis Tea Party's operations this fall, such as rent, were funded by contributions. "We have a contribution box in the office," she said.Hmmm, really? A "contribution box" is supposed to explain their donations? I for one find it extremely implausible that they were previously terrible at raising money for campaigns but then magically raised multiple thousands of dollars from people dropping cash in a box in their office. Given their apparent violations of their 501(c)4 status, and their longstanding support of GOP insiders like Roy Blunt and Ed Martin, I hope someone can get to the bottom of just where these donations were coming from.