The firm’s questionable tactics and high burn rates have been the subject of stories in this newspaper. Base Connect has been used by several conservatives with national name recognition, including Rep.-elect Allen West (Fla.).
The pitch for Base Connect, formerly known as BMW Direct, is simple: A campaign might not net much cash during most of the campaign while donors are prospected, but the candidate will have ample funds to spend in the final stretch of the race once those donors are farmed.
Other unpaid bills tucked in Angle’s reports included $142,000 to Legacy List Inc. for “list acquisition,” $74,000 to Integram of Fairfax, Va., for “direct mail printing” and another $122,000 to UPS Innovations, also for “direct mail printing,” all expenses that suggest Angle was casting a wide national net to raise money. She had donors from all over the country, with tea partyers from Delaware to Minnesota saying they’d sent her cash.
Several companies on Angle’s debt list contacted by Roll Call did not return messages or declined to comment. “UPS will not discuss the billing status of any individual customer,” company spokesman Norman Black said.
Had she won, Angle no doubt would have had little problem paying her bills.
Both Reid and Rubio, for example, reported unpaid debts. Reid had $419,000 and Rubio had $939,000 as of Nov. 22. But having secured seats in the nation’s most powerful institution for the next six years, both can easily turn to K Street lobbyists and others to erase their debt.
Rubio already has. Florida’s next Senator benefited from a debt retirement fundraiser earlier this month at Hotel George hosted by some of the GOP’s top Washington lobbyists. They included Walmart’s political action committee; the head of the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors; Charlie Black, a principal in Prime Policy Group; and Drew Maloney, managing director of Ogilvy Government Relations.
With little hope of raising money from well-financed lobbyists, Angle’s campaign has turned to its small donor base to pay off outstanding debts.
“As it was highly successful during the campaign, that list will be used to retire the debt. Already, several thousand donors have continued to give to Sharron since Election Day,” Agen said. “Given that Sharron was able to raise over $27 million in a short time frame, the existing debt shouldn’t be too much to overcome.”
Agen declined to answer questions about Angle’s role in the Patriots Caucus PAC, which established a website in recent days featuring a large photo of the smiling 61-year-old bordered by the words, “She’s back!”
“The tea party movement stood with me through a hard fought race against Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. It’s time for me to give back and help our movement take the fight against big government to a new level,” Angle wrote on the site, which offers a very brief and general strategy for the next cycle.
The PAC cites plans to establish offices in Iowa, New Hampshire, Florida and Nevada in “early 2011,” perhaps an attempt to influence the Republican presidential primary.
“Please join the Patriot Caucus and be prepared to engage in a nationwide action campaign aimed at winning in 2012 and beyond!” Angle wrote.