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Vance raises funds via Trump

Several emails sent by the campaign of U.S. Sen. J.D. Vance seek to capitalize on the indictments of former President Donald Trump, whose endorsement of Vance last year was a significant help in his Senate victory.

Vance, R-Cincinnati, has endorsed Trump for president in next year’s election.

Vance’s campaign used Trump’s mug shot in a few emails with the line above one on Sept. 28 reading: “PRESIDENT TRUMP COULD BE IN JAIL FOR LIFE.”

It adds: “President Trump will Never Surrender and will always fight for secure elections and a free America, even with the entire weight of the Biden ‘Justice’ Department and George Soros prosecutor network lined up against him.”

It adds Trump “needs conservative patriots who have his back to join his fight.”

When you click the link, the website automatically fills in a $50 request with $49.50 going to J.D. Vance for Senate and 50 cents going to the Trump Save America Joint Fundraising Committee.

An Oct. 5 email from Vance’s campaign, right below that same Trump mugshot, reads: “THIS IS WHAT THEY’VE DONE TO THE GREATEST PRESIDENT OF OUR LIFETIME.”

When you click on the $50 donation button, Vance’s campaign gets all but the 50 cents that goes to the Trump Save America committee. When you click on $10, Trump’s committee gets a dime.

An Oct. 4 email starts with: “WITCH HUNT! WITCH HUNT! WITCH HUNT! The Radical Left FORCED Trump to appear in court earlier over a bogus set of charges. They’re trying to convict Trump of fraud — what a joke!”

Vance’s campaign repeats the pattern of collecting 99% of the donations with Trump’s committee getting 1%.

A donor can change the allocation, but 99%-to-1% is always the default. The Trump committee received about $54 million during the first half of this year, so it’s not exactly starving for money.

Identical emails were sent Sept. 24 and 26 from Vance’s campaign, though the email sender is listed as “Stop the Deep State.” It also focuses on Trump, writing that he is “under attack. The Left. The Courts. The Media. They’re all coming after him. We need every patriot around America to make their position clear. Are you with Trump or the Deep State?”

When you click on the “STAND WITH TRUMP” link, the donor default is, you guessed it, 99% for Vance and 1% for Trump.

With that in my mind, I looked at Vance’s Senate campaign financial reports.

Through the first nine months of the year, Vance’s campaign has raised $1,576,456.12 and has spent $2,443,695.82.

For the sake of comparison, Vance’s money raised is about double what Dave Joyce or Bill Johnson, the two Republicans who represent the Mahoning Valley in the U.S. House of Representatives, received during the same time.

But Vance has spent five times as much as either Joyce or Johnson.

Vance had $191,999.93 in his campaign fund as of Sept. 30.

Joyce had $2,297,086.82 and Johnson had $1,329,874.20.

Vance wasn’t a prolific fundraiser when he ran and won the Senate seat. He’s up for re-election in 2028.

He started the year with a $441,308.85 surplus, and it’s less than half of that now.

When the $289,031.91 in outstanding debt is included, Vance’s campaign owes more than it has in surplus.

Vance also owes his campaign $165,000 left from a loan he gave from his personal wealth, which is close to what he has in campaign surplus.

Vance loaned $700,000 to his campaign last year and has paid back $535,000 of it from political contributions. That means almost 22% of the money Vance’s campaign raised this year went to pay back that loan.

In the third quarter, the most recent filing, Vance raised $434,663.07 and spent $374,938.81. That came after two consecutive quarters of spending more than he raised.

In the third quarter, Vance received $337,128.07 from individual donors, $34,800 from political action committees and got a $62,735 transfer from the Vance Victory joint fundraising committee. Vance Victory consists of Vance’s campaign fund; Working for Ohio, Vance’s leadership PAC; the Ohio Republican Party; and the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

His campaign’s largest expense in the third quarter was $158,795.09 to TAG Strategies of Alexandria, Va., for digital fundraising and online advertisements like the numerous ones that include Trump-related requests.

dskolnick@vindy.com

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