Let’s Dig Into District 108 Campaigns’ Expenses

Chart Westcott's campaign mailers have featured a cast of notable names, including Dan Branch, Harriet Miers, George W. Bush, Greg Abbott, Troy Aikman, and Elizabeth Smart.

Chart Westcott’s campaign mailers have featured a cast of notable names, including (from left) Dan Branch, Harriet Miers, George W. Bush, Greg Abbott, Troy Aikman, and Elizabeth Smart.

Anybody who lives in Texas House District 108 is sick and tired of receiving mailers from candidates Court Alley, Morgan Meyer, and Chart Westcott. I’d hoped to be able to tell you exactly how much money each campaign has spent on these slick promotional items. But as I tabulated their expenditures, I found that each campaign reported its expenses in a different way. So it’s somewhat of an apples-and-oranges comparison.

Let’s start with Westcott, who has raised and spent the most money in this race, by far. And — God bless him — Westcott has turned in extremely detailed reports about how he’s spent all of that money. Because the descriptions on his individual expenses are as specific as “photographs at Austin Capitol for campaign ads/mailers” and “postage for Obamacare mailer,” I can tell you that he’s spent at least $282,516 on flooding your mailboxes with messages.

Other tidbits from Westcott’s highly detailed reports:

  • His campaign paid a Plano company called Secure One Data Solutions $3,498.88 for “data entry from school/church directories.”
  • A company called Infinite Ecolife Technology charged $2,821 for phone cases bearing the campaign’s logo.
  • It cost the campaign $1,550 for a company called Airsign.com to fly a banner over the SMU football game on Sept. 7.
  • The rent for his campaign’s Snider Plaza office suite is $3,000 per month.
  • The fee for a Moore Disposal portable toilet at Goar Park on Nov. 8 was $649.50.
  • Two staffers were reimbursed $35 apiece to cover University Park parking tickets.
Morgan Meyer's mailers usually focus on his family.

Morgan Meyer’s mailers usually focus on his family.

The expense reports from the Meyer campaign aren’t nearly as detailed. But I can tell you he’s spent $141,746 with Allyn Media, and the descriptions for $104,722 worth of those expenses include the words “advertising,” “printing,” or “postage.”

Separate from those expenses, I can also report that the Meyer campaign spent $3,104.75 at the U.S. Post Office seven times between Jan. 15 and Feb. 19. An eighth time, on Feb. 7, they spent $3,105.75, or one dollar more than normal. There must have been an impulse buy at the counter.

Court Alley has sent out fewer mailers than his rivals, but his are chock full of info.

Court Alley has sent out fewer mailers than his rivals, but his are chock full of info.

Alley, meanwhile, has spent $55,339 on expenses such as “postage,” “printing and mailing to district voters,” and “campaign materials.” That total includes $700 paid to one of the candidate’s brothers, Barrett Alley, for “design & graphic art.” Come on, Barrett; you couldn’t help a brother out, literally?

What I found odd is that Alley’s payees did not include People Newspapers, even though he has ads appearing on this website. After some probing questions to our accounting department, I found out we charged $1,030 to an Alley consultant, Clayton Henry, whose company, Graphics Management, charged Alley’s campaign at least $50,542.

Westcott, on the other hand, listed $6,600 paid to People Newspapers, for ads on this site and in our monthly publications. We’d like to thank him for propping up the print media in this part of town, because he also spent:

  • $13,908 with The Park Cities News
  • $4,299 with Advocate Magazines
  • $1,860 with the Texas Jewish Post
  • $950 with Scots Illustrated
  • $800 on advertising in the Jesuit football program

The only candidate who hasn’t sent dollars our way is Meyer. But he did report spending $150 on an ad in the program for the Armstrong Bradfield Preschool Association Holiday Home Tour. Unfortunately, that money went down the drain because the tour was canceled due to icy weather. Perhaps that’s what scared the Meyer campaign away from print publications. Yeah, that must be it.

By Dan Koller Feb. 28, 2014 | 3:20 pm | 9 Comments | Comments RSS
9 comments to "Let's Dig Into District 108 Campaigns' Expenses"
  1. Real McCoy @ February 28, 2014 at 3:31 pm
    $282,516 to try and convince you that Chart Westcott isn’t a punchline of a candidate who has never accomplished anything in his short, ultra-privileged life.

    There are two serious candidates in this race who would bring valuable real world experience with them to Austin. And then there’s Daddy Westcott’s progeny, who has never worked a real job or had any responsibilities whatsoever. Even the Texas Bar won’t give Chart a standard license to practice law without strings attached- that should tell us something.

  2. Mrs. Highland Park @ February 28, 2014 at 5:56 pm
    Well obviously the Alley or Meyer nasty trolls are on here already. Real McCoy is a real fraud.

  3. A Different Mrs Highland Park @ March 1, 2014 at 12:47 pm
    Mrs Highland Park, it does not serve your candidate well to call those who oppose him nasty trolls. It merely reduces this race to a juvenile level and frankly that’s about the last thing race needs.

  4. XT @ March 1, 2014 at 12:50 pm
    Troll? Really?
    Refute the statements Real McCoy stated.

  5. Point of Clarification @ March 1, 2014 at 6:28 pm
    Morgan Meyer’s ad in the home tour brochure was not in vain. The brochures were put in the backpacks of the students at Bradfield and Armstrong. $150 well spent, Mr, Meyer!

  6. DemBones @ March 1, 2014 at 8:17 pm
    “Anybody who lives in Texas House District 108 is sick and tired of receiving mailers from candidates Court Alley, Morgan Meyer, and Chart Westcott.”

    Actually, Dan, I’ve been spared, probably because I consistently vote in the Democratic primaries. However, I am sick and tired of the Corona and Huffines “Liar, liar, pants on fire” mailers.

  7. Tom Blackwell @ March 2, 2014 at 6:46 pm
    I’m hearing from people who don’t like any of the above, or their mail. Consider Leigh Bailey, the Democratic nominee: http://leighbaileyfortexas.com/

  8. 1st anon @ March 3, 2014 at 10:25 am
    I hope that we, as a community, can commit to picking up and tossing yard signs by Wednesday morning after the election for those who do not win.

  9. DeDe @ March 23, 2014 at 11:32 am
    Real McCoy doesn’t understand that inheriting money is a perfectly acceptable way of acquiring wealth in HD 108. You should have worked harder at picking your parents, sorehead.

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