— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) July 31, 2020
Just raising the question! My first thought was that Bill Stepien has discovered there are so many leaks in the campaign’s colander that he can’t be sure they’ll have enough on hand to deliver to the capo di tutti capo (Putin), which would be very very bad for Bill Stepien, among others. But the Washington Post adds:
President Trump’s campaign has temporarily paused its television advertising with less than 100 days to go before the election, a move that comes amid a broader shake-up in his faltering bid for a second term.
Two weeks after Trump demoted former campaign manager Brad Parscale and replaced him with Bill Stepien, the reelection effort is reviewing its spending, messaging and strategy in an attempt to boost the president’s fortunes. Polls have shown Trump trailing presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden, as voters give the president low marks for his handling of the coronavirus…
The Trump campaign’s efforts to hit the reset button and refocus ahead of the vote come as the president has continued to push divisive messages that have frustrated members of is own party…
Stepien is also looking at personnel allocation and whether it makes sense to have the campaign organized the way Parscale did, officials said. He has told colleagues he is determined to bring a new focus to the campaign, with daily staff meetings, check-ins with field staff and more accountability for officials. Stepien recently polled staff members and learned most had never worked on a presidential election before, according to an official.
Stepien has also told other advisers that the campaign must talk about coronavirus more often and forcefully.
Trump has told other aides he is impressed with Stepien’s command of data, but he has continued to veer into episodes that campaign officials see as unhelpful, officials said.
On a recent Friday afternoon, Stepien spent an hour with about 100 reporters via video chat, arguing that the race was competitive and polls in 2016 were wrong.
NBC News earlier reported the pause in advertising spending, noting that the campaign spent almost nothing on television or radio ads on Wednesday and Thursday, and had almost no ads booked through the end of August.
It is not clear when the campaign will complete its review or return to the airwaves…
Trump’s campaign, the Republican Party and two affiliated committees have spent more than $983 million since 2017, a record-breaking sum toward a reelection effort at this point in the presidential campaign, recent filings show.
The Trump campaign alone has spent more than $240 million, and Biden’s campaign has spent more than $165 million, as the two sides ramped up their general election efforts, according to Federal Election Commission filings made public last week.
Despite the historic spending, Trump has been slipping in national polls amid the spread of the novel coronavirus and a weakened economy. Biden holds a double-digit lead nationally and also leads the president in several battleground states…
Have Trump’s funders (the ‘legitimate’ American oligarchs, as well as You-Know-Who) turned off the money spigot? Are too many Repub piggies draining the trough too fast? Does Trump, or his handlers, just want to squirrel away as much ‘unspent funding’ as possible, under the assumption that they can keep when the Squatter-in-Chief gets evicted?
And then there’s this news:
A campaign finance watchdog group on Tuesday filed a complaint with the Federal Elections Commission accusing President Donald Trump’s campaign of laundering $170 million in campaign spending.
The complaint filed by the Campaign Legal Center, a non-partisan organization based in Washington, D.C., said the Trump campaign and an authorized joint financing committee broke the law by spending the campaign funds through firms headed by Trump’s former campaign manager, Brad Parscale, without disclosing the exact expenditures.
“The campaign reported millions in payment — American Made and Parscale Strategy — which disbursed the funds to the campaign’s ultimate vendors,” the CLC said. “Ultimately, this hid millions in payments to companies engaged in significant work for the campaign, as well as payments to Trump family members or associates like Lara Trump and Kimberly Guilfoyle.”
According to the complaint, the Trump campaign has “in several instances” described other firms as major contractors providing services to the Trump campaign, while those names did not appear on reports filed with the FEC.
“For example, Trump campaign officials have spoken publicly about directing and managing the development of a mobile app produced by the software company Phunware, yet the Trump campaign has not reported direct payments to the company,” the complaint states…
Neither the campaign nor the official Republican party can afford to have Parscale examined too closely until after the election, if ever. And just imagine how much fun a prosecutor could have with either or both of Trump’s large adult sons under oath.
Political death by a million paper cuts is not the worst I could wish on Trump and all his enablers, but if that’s what works, I’ll take it!
do voters want to see racist pandering flavored with a big splash of racist fear mongering or racist fear mongering with a big splash of racist pandering? HIT PAUSE TO DEBATE https://t.co/Un9umiSb9O
— kilgore trout, new tone haver (@KT_So_It_Goes) July 31, 2020
One sure bet — the intramural GOP Death Cult pissing contests will never end…
Just noticed this. Lol pic.twitter.com/b7EJNlG9H2
— Teddy Goff (@teddygoff) July 31, 2020