Brock Pierce, who forever will be known in these quarters as Richie Rich, is still kinda-sorta running as an independent for Pat Leahy’s U.S. Senate Seat. That is, if he can even qualify for the ballot. But running or no, Pierce did file a campaign finance report for the first quarter of 2022. And, having given it a once-over, all I can say is the Pierce proto-campaign is either a piece of performance art or some kind of scam, possibly both.
There’s one big thing that points to “scam”: Pierce claims total expenditures of nearly $600,000, but his itemized expenses add up to less than $200,000. The difference is unexplained. More on that later, but let’s start with his fundraising. Pierce’s campaign fund has netted more than $700,000, which seems eminently respectable; but $589,000 of that consists of loans to his own campaign.
Reminder for those just tuning in: Pierce is a former child actor turned failed entrepreneur turned cryptocurrency billionaire with a history of associating with pedophiles. There is no tangible evidence that he lives in Vermont.
Pierce’s donor base can be counted on the fingers of two hands. He’s got a total of 10 unique donors, none of whom live in Vermont and most of whom forked over the $2,900 maximum. They’re exactly the kind of folks you’d expect: crypto investors, venture capitalists, and stock traders. One of them, George Sellars, was Pierce’s partner in Tether, a sketchy firm that supposedly provides a stable platform for crypto trading. Another, Jason Dorsett, is a crypto investor and maybe also a pet psychic.
Okay, now let’s turn to Pierce’s truly profligate expenditures.
The vast majority of Pierce’s $200,000 in spending has gone to consultancies, media producers, and a company that provides campaign schwag. Oh, and private jet rental; he’s spent nearly $56,000 on that.
Most of the rest went to The Usual Suspects: campaign strategists ($40,000), digital consultants ($40,000), communications consulting ($20,000), election law specialists ($20,000), video and media production ($24,000). None of them, need I say, are located in Vermont.
And then there’s a New York outfit called Imager Plus, which specializes in tangible campaign goods: signs and banners ($15,000), and “custom campaign gear” ($35,700). Which leaves me asking, “Where the hell did all that stuff go?” Well, I’m also asking “Did any of that stuff actually exist, or is this part of the scam?”
By the way, I Googled (DuckDuckGo’d, actually) “Imager Plus” and got nothing. There is an outfit called “Image Plus” that does the right kind of stuff: signs, campaign materials, direct mail and promotional items. Maybe it’s just a misspelling. That’s the charitable explanation, anyway.
All this spending, need I remind you, is from a guy who has yet to decide whether he’s even going to run. Based on his track record of starting ventures and quickly dumping them, I must conclude that he probably won’t grace the campaign trail with his magnetic presence.
Which would be a shame. That “custom campaign gear” must be awfully schweet.