Saturday, November 27, 2010

Michigan's Tim Walberg Jumps on the Debt Retirement Bandwagon

Republican Representative Tim Walberg keeps popping up on the radar. Walberg has been elected, again, to represent Michigan's Seventh Congressional District. That's in the Southeast part of the Michigan, Northwest of Toledo, Ohio. Here's another Republican Representative-elect who is reporting no debt and joining the long list of Republican Representatives having a Debt Retirement Party according to the Sunlight Foundation's PARTY TIME.

The latest data, according to, at the Center for Responsive Politics, shows Walberg raised $1,374,889, spent $997,090, had cash on hand in the sum of $399,415, and claimed no debt as of October 13th. Those figures don't calculate.

$1,374,889 - $997,090 = $377,799.

Walberg is reporting cash on hand that is $21,616 more than the difference between what he raised and what he spent.

Usually that's the way you calculate cash on hand, by subtracting what you spent from what you raised. Walberg says he has $399,415 but the figures say it could only be $377,799. In any case he isn't claiming any debt. So why is he the beneficiary of a Debt Retirement Dinner at Carmine's in D.C. on December 1st? He's asking for Sponsors to pay $5,000 and Individuals to cough up $2,500 for this event.

Walberg's going to be a busy fundraising machine on December 1st. Before going to dinner at Carmine's he'll be at the Capitol Hill Club for a Holiday Thank You Reception. I am not certain who will be thanking whom, but it ought to be Walberg saying thanks for the cash. On the other hand those doling out the loot probably have expectations, so maybe they'll be saying thanks for Walberg getting on board their Special Interest train. Walberg wants $1,000 a PAC and $500 a person. That, compared to his dinner party later that night at Carmine's, is a bargain.

This isn't Walberg's first tour of the fundraising circuit. He was elected in 2006 and defeated in the next general election. His figures didn't jibe in the 2008 race either. According to, in that race he raised $2,112,214, spent $2,128,559, had cash on hand in the sum of $21,617, and claimed no debt.

Walberg raised less than he spent but claimed no debt? Okay let's look at the numbers. His cash on hand plus what he spent goes on the negative side of the ledger and what he raised goes on the positive side. The difference is either surplus, if it is a positive number, or deficit, if it is a negative number.

$21,617cash on hand + $2,128,559 spent = $2,150,176 total debits.

$2,112,214 raised or total credits - $2,150,176 total debits = ‹$37,692›, that's a negative $37,692. If you backed out the cash on hand from the reported deficit then you'd have ‹$37,692› - $21,617 = ‹$16,075› and he's still in the hole not claiming debt!

Tim Walberg ran, in part, on a platform of fiscal responsibility. It is sad that his campaign finance reports demonstrate that he doesn't have a clue about the most basic concepts of fiscal responsibility. But by golly he knows that he's got to raise money, no matter what label you put on his invitations! Debt Retirement Indeed! The money would be better spent on crash courses in remedial math and basic accounting!

Walberg's events are being managed by D.C.'s Hammond & Associates, but you can't blame them for Walberg's fuzzy math.

Tim Wallberg

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