Yesterday I wrote a short comparison of the fundraising numbers for Rep. Gwen Moore and and her challenger in 2010, Mayflower descendant Dan Sebring. At the time, I noted Sebring ended the reporting period with $516 cash on hand, and debts owed in the amount of $3,560. An astute commenter asked where the donations Sebring received went, and how he accumulated $3,560 in debt. Thanks to the Federal Elections Commission, I’ve got the answers to those questions, but I’ve also got some questions of my own.
The $3,560 in debt reported by the Sebring campaign is owed to campaign treasurer Michael Strautmann for website creation, but what piqued my curiosity are the disbursements made by the Sebring campaign. Of the nine disbursements I counted, seven were made to Dan Sebring, Michael Strautmann, and Jessica Strautmann. What’s more, among those disbursements was $1,445 to Dan Sebring for “billboard labor.” Mind you, Sebring reimbursed himself $458 for the billboard materials, so the $1,445 wasn’t an all-inclusive disbursement. What I’d like to know is how long Dan Sebring labored to create his mobile billboard, because even if it took 20 hours to create the billboard, Sebring’s hourly rate would be a handsome $72.25 an hour.
Here’s the FEC report for the most recent reporting period, if you’d like to see what Dan Sebring’s been up to for yourself:
While Dan Sebring’s disbursement to himself may be legal, it certainly raises some questions about why he needs to reimburse himself for time spent working on his own campaign. What’s more, why is Dan Sebring giving himself $1,445 payouts while his campaign is in debt to the tune of $3,560 in debt?
EDIT: It’s been brought to my attention the $1,445 disbursement to Dan Sebring was actually part of an “in-kind” contribution by Sebring to his own campaign, which according to FEC guidelines has to be reported as both an in-kind contribution and an in-kind disbursement. Apologies for the confusion.