Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Erpenbach Not Running Again?

A couple weeks ago, I mentioned rumors that former Senate Minority Leader Jon Erpenbach wouldn't be running for office again. His campaign finance report filed last week won't do anything to dispel those rumors. (.zip file)

Erpenbach's fundraising ground to a halt in the first half of 2005. In a time where legislators running in 2006 are making their big fundraising push, Erpenbach raised $150 in contributions, $100 of that from conduits. As you may recall, Erpenbach was fined by the State Elections Board (yes, there really is one) for "loaning" the State Senate Democratic Committe $21,000 in the last election, which essentially amounts to money laundering. His report reflects the $21,000 contribution made back to his account to correct this error and the $500 fine he paid.

Erpenbach also reports $4,158 in expenditures, mostly made to - Jon Erpenbach. Erpenbach reimburses himself for phone bills, golf, and meals. If you happened to be at Cheeseburger in Paradise on May 2nd, you may have seen him there spending his contributors' money.

While Erpenbach didn't have a Republican challenger in 2002, he still should be raising money to stave off a challenger in 2006 (Republicans won't win that seat without a five star candidate anyway). At the very least, he should be raising cash to send to send to other legislative candidates to help them out (legally).

My prediction - look for Erpenbach to assume a job in the executive branch making twice what he is now in the Senate. Sondy Pope-Roberts then becomes the favorite for that seat, despite disappointing fundraising numbers herself for 2005.

In related news, blueberry pancakes are fantastic.