Steve G.

How will Bob Barr spend your money?

In Libertarian, Libertarian Convention, Libertarian Party-US, Libertarian Politics, Libertarian Politics 2008, Politics, Presidential Candidates on May 12, 2008 at 7:05 pm

On his website, Bob Barr explains the planned use of campaign donations. The first $12,000 was for a poll. The next $30,000 went to his staff. The next $33,000 will cover a “professional office”. Tens of thousands of dollars later, he covers “Office setup”. That’s closing in on $100,000, without doing anything except getting ready to be a candidate. He has only raised $56,000 as of this writing, not even enough to start setting up his office according to his own estimates.

Perhaps someday he’ll have enough money to start “doing politics”.

Bob Barr has the “Bob Barr Leadship Fund” PAC, which files reports with the FEC. If you want to know how Bob Barr actually spends donor money, that’s a great place to start.

His PAC raises between $235,000 and $305,000 per quarter. He only spends 10%, 5%, or 1% of that amount on financially supporting candidates. Over 90% has been spent on operating expenses for every quarter since January 2007. On average, he has spent less than 5% of his PAC’s operating expenses on supporting candidates.

If Barr spends the same way on his campaign as he does on his PAC, for every dollar he raises, you’ll see a dime, a nickel, or a penny of real politics.

Below is a reporting of how he has spent his PAC’s money for the last year.

“Federal Operating Expenditures” are salaries, fundraising mailings, and The Georgian Club.

“Spent on FEC-reporters” is money to Federal candidates and other PACs.

“Other political gifts” is donations to CATO, state candidates, etc.

2008: First Quarter
Federal Operating Expenditures $ 235,924
Spent on FEC-reporters $ 12,800
Other political gifts $ 2,350

2007: Fourth Quarter
Federal Operating Expenditures $ 285,224
Spent on FEC-reporters $ 10,000
Other political gifts $ 4,100

2007: Third Quarter
Federal Operating Expenditures $ 304,591
Spent on FEC-reporters $ 4,000
Other political gifts $ 4,000

2007: Second Quarter
Federal Operating Expenditures $ 262,002
Spent on FEC-reporters $ 22,250
Other political gifts $ 17,850

2007: First Quarter
Federal Operating Expenditures $ 267,862
Spent on FEC-reporters $ 2,000
Other political gifts $ 2,894

Total Operating Expenditures since January 1, 2007: $ 1,355,603

Total donations to federal candidates and PACs: $ 50,800

Total donations to CATO, state candidates etc: $ 31,194

  1. This story was also reported two days earlier at

  2. Why is so little money going to candidates? Is this organization a scam or what?

  3. News: That’s not the same story, not even close.

    Andy: I have no idea. It might be interesting to compare similar PACs though, to see how much they give to candidates.

  4. ENM: might want to check; I think some of that money is going to in-kind mailing for candidates (unless that is already included in the spending category).

    But I’m not surprised in any case. This PAC is basically Barr’s playfund. It’s his way of paying his son a salary, shooting his buddies some bucks, wowing impressionable libertarians, and keeping himself swimming in latte.

  5. It’s “latte” and not “lattes”?

  6. good point, the plural would be “lattes” I suppose.

  7. I thought you guys knew something I didn’t know.

  8. From the comments at

    Barr gave the National LP $8500 in the 2007-2008 cycle

    $1000 in 2006

    Barr gave $4K to Bob Smither’s race (against Tom DeLay) in ‘06. He also flew out to host a fundraising event there at his own expense. Barr also made fundraising calls for Smither. Barr was not a LP member yet, at this time.

    Other donations:

    8/2007 $500 CA LP
    11/2007 $250 TN LP
    4/2008 $1000 Buckley for Senate (GA)
    9/2007 Arin Sime $500
    10/2007 $1000 Oklahomans for Ballot Access Reform
    6/2007 $1000 Ron Paul

    2/2007 $1000 GA LP
    5/2007 $1000 GA LP
    4/2008 $1000 Ga LP

    2/2007 $500 Common Cause (About Us)Common Cause is a nonpartisan, nonprofit advocacy organization founded in 1970 by John Gardner as a vehicle for citizens to make their voices heard in the political process and to hold their elected leaders accountable to the public interest.

    A few (of many) trips on behalf of LP:

    4/2007 NC LP Convention
    6/2007 MS LP Convention
    6/2007 AL LP convetion
    9/2007 St. Louis LP Fundraiser
    10/2007 Orange County, CA LP
    10/2007 OK Libertarian Fundraiser

    2/2008 St. Louis Area Lib. Caucus

    2008 may be looked at as campaigning but original intent was as LNC Region 4 Chair:

    3/08 GA LP Convention
    3/08 TN LP Convention
    3/08 Florida LP convention
    4/08 NC LP convention
    4/08 AL LP Convention
    4/08 NY LP Convention
    5/08 CT LP Convention

    Barr endorsed Michael Badnarik in 2004, which was worth a significant amount of credibility for Badnarik and a source for lost income/”respectability” for Barr.

  9. Please post a link for Barr’s contributions to Cato…..
    Thank you very much.

  10. All of the information in this entry is available on the website of the Federal Elections Commission at

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