A Serious Candidate With Questionable Campaign Spending
Traditionally, first two Republican primary contests, the Iowa Caucuses and the New Hampshire Primary, are used to filter out the field: candidates who come in first, second, or third in Iowa or New Hampshire establish themselves as plausible contenders. Currently, Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina is polling in third place in both Iowa and New Hampshire.
Given President Trump's seemingly insurmountable lead in the polls, this may seem trivial, but there are two reasons its important to pay attention to Tim Scott. The first is the possibility that Trump may be forced from the race; the second is the possibility that Trump wins the nomination and selects Scott as his running mate, in the (probably false) hope of biting into the Democrats' share of the black vote.
With that in mind, this thread by the unfortunately named X (Twitter) account @Villgecrazylady is worth reading. The gist of it is Tim Scott has been sending millions of campaign dollars to an apparent shell company whose physical existence seems to be limited to a UPS box in a Staples store. I've posted the contents of the thread below, since X's long posts (tweets) don't embed properly [Emphasis mine]:
We all know the GOP has a serious grifter problem but I hadn’t quite realized how bad it was until I started looking at FEC filings last month. I was interested when reports starting emerging about DeSantis “blowing through money.” And while DeSantis’ filings were predictable and mostly boring (note: he does not have a spending issue) I became intrigued by another candidate’s filings, Senator Tim Scott. Here’s a thread on what I found:
Tim Scott entered into the 2021-2022 midterm cycle with a little more than $5 million on hand. This was his third Senate race and he had won his other two by at least 30 points each. Having spent over $120 million on Jaime Harrison in his failed attempt to beat Lindsey Graham in 2020 the DNC was not looking to light any more money on fire in a hopeless SC senate race so they declined to officially back any opponent against Scott. This should have been an easy, relatively cheap reelection campaign, with Scott parlaying his excess donations into his Presidential campaign. And while it was an easy victory and Scott did parlay his leftover funds, Tim Scott walked out of the 2022 midterms having spent more than all but 3 other GOP candidates (Walker, Oz and Rubio) on a race where his Democrat opponent only raised $135,365 total. How was that even possible? Let’s take a look. After combing through his 2022 FEC filings here is a breakdown of his major expenditures:
If Scott were running against another party backed candidate this might not look that unusual- but he wasn’t, so it’s worth examining this a little. The first thing I noticed when I scanned Scott’s OpenSecrets page was that his #2 vendor, Meeting Street Services LLC, has never been used by any other candidate. That’s surprising considering that Scott paid them over $4.5 million in just 4 months in 2022. An exhaustive search engine query produced nothing on Meeting Street Services LLC. No web page, no social media accounts, no LinkdIn accounts listing … NOTHING. The address given on Scott’s FEC filings lists
#1224 4950 Centerpoint Dr Suite 100 North Charleston, SC 29418 Which is the address of a Staples store in North Charleston, presumably Meeting Street Services has a UPS box there.
[Embedding this and the next tweet below, because they contains multiple images]Within 30 days of registering in SC, Scott’s campaign paid Meeting Street Services $2,978,361 for everything from digital ads to billboards to TV production shoots and then TV ad buys.
Next I did a LLC search. Turns out Meeting Street Services LLC was incorporated in Delaware on 08/17/2022 and then registered in the state of South Carolina on 08/31/2022.— Mel (@Villgecrazylady) August 7, 2023
(So now I’m *really* intrigued, because OFC it’s registered in Delaware.) pic.twitter.com/aE1Esp04xi
If you’ve spent any time looking at FEC filings the one thing you can’t help but notice is how many businesses each candidate uses during a campaign to get ANYTHING done. There’s no such thing as a one-stop shop. Except that’s exactly what Meeting Street Services appears to be. By the end of the 2022 cycle Scott had paid them over $4.5 million dollars to do not only what I listed above but also for polling, digital fundraising, P2P (texting services) compliance consulting AND general consulting.
Since launching his presidential campaign, Scott For America, Scott has also paid Meeting Street Services for: digital persuasion, list rentals, strategy consulting, website development and media management consulting on top of everything else. As of his 06/30/2023 FEC filing Tim Scott has paid this heretofore unheard of wonder company $9,865,790.03 in just the first 10 months of their being in business.
And yet we still know next to nothing about where this money is actually going. We all know about the consulting grift and what a scam that is, but Meeting Street Services is billing for other things we can actually trace like online advertisements.
Thus far Tim Scott For America has spent $282,600 on Google ads and $120,696 on Meta (Facebook) ads. $403,296 total. Plus whatever he’s spent on Twitter and other platforms (which I can’t imagine is that much considering that Google and Facebook together own 50% of the market share in online ads.) But how much has Meeting Street Services billed Tim Scott for America for online advertising? $1,274,634
To be fair, they also tagged “list rentals” in with some of their digital advertising bills.
[Embedding another tweet with multiple images below]
The New York Times asked the Scott campaign for comment on this 2 weeks ago. Turns out the NYT with all its resources couldn’t find anything more than I did sitting at my desktophttps://t.co/TamYOohx4n— Mel (@Villgecrazylady) August 7, 2023
The Times article also highlighted another (almost) million dollars Scott has paid to a brand new company named Advanced Planning & Logistics. Again registered in Delaware last December using the same agent Meeting Street Services used. The Times said Scott was the only FEC registered entity to use Advanced Planning & Logistics but that’s not accurate: since March 2023, Opportunity Matters Fund Action, Larry Ellison’s Super PAC that has thrown its weight behind Scott, has also been billed for $209,350.49 for “Travel Management Consulting/Travel.” Regardless, there’s no online presence, no physical address, just a mailbox located inside a Staples in Fairfax, VA.
Then there’s the campaign finance management company used exclusively by Tim Scott, Caging Resource Management, founded March 31, 2021. Scott’s campaigns have paid this company $431,612 in the last two years. Again, no website or no online presence, and the address is a PO Box in Charleston.
Where is the press on this? Where is conservative media on this? The NYT does one article and you all think your job is done? Why has it become okay for our politicians to funnels millions of dollars through newly formed shell corporations with absolutely ZERO pushback from the public? There’s a significant chance that Scott gets a high level cabinet position in exchange for dropping out and backing someone else. He should have to answer these questions NOW:
Who owns and runs Meeting Street Services LLC?
Who owns and runs Advanced Planning & Logistics?
Who owns and runs Caging Resource Management?
He should give a detailed account of where that money went, and provide outside receipts for all ad buys.
What do y’all think?
I think those are very good questions. Hopefully, Tim Scott will be pressed to answer them before he gets considered as a diversity VP pick.
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