From holding a risqué campaign event with the help of a mysterious dark money organization, to lying about not paying his taxes, Quist and his campaign’s money troubles continue to dominate this special election with recent discussion about his campaign’s “Borrowed RV”.
Social media and puff piece editorials have been echoing talking points crafted by Quist’s campaign from the beginning. Noticeably, several mentioned that Quist was traveling the state in a “borrowed RV”. Somehow this was supposed to play into Quist’s “Montana Values” mantra.
Instead, it piqued the interest of our staff and SHOULD pique the interest of any truly non-bias campaign regulator.
The FEC’s website breaks down guidelines for in-kind contributions here.
Essentially, anything donated of value has to be counted towards the contribution limits, so $2700 per election per individual donation. The value is calculated based on the “fair market price” of what the good or service would have been offered for had it not been an in-kind contribution.
Our staff researchers took the liberty of finding rental prices at commercial RV rental companies. They found that a RV rental in Montana, even just for the rest of the special election, would cost much more than the $2700 FEC limit. Try it for yourself.
Montana media watchdogs and federal campaign regulators should absolutely investigate whether Rob Quist’s friend is charging his campaign fair market value to rent this RV and drive it all over the state. If he’s not, that’s a big deal here.
It’s clear there is a massive fundraising deficit between the Republican and Democratic nominee in this race. With his first TV ad coming out this week, Quist lags behind the competition and must do something to keep his budget tight and any extra money focused on countering the negative media hits that keep coming up this campaign.
It might be convenient if Quist’s campaign uses a “borrowed RV”. But Montanans have a right to know if their a congressional candidate is violating campaign law.