“The Horse’s Mouth” – Political Spending

Welcome to “The Horse’s Mouth” with Tom McManus, a unique talk show where guests belly up to the bar to discuss business, marketing, and life. No gossip, no hearsay, no BS, just the straight-up truth, right from the source.

Tom’s longtime love of bartending has come full circle since his days as a linebacker on the inaugural Jacksonville Jaguars football team—slinging drinks and talking shop with everyone from high-profile sports figures and entertainers to business leaders, journalists, and community leaders. Tom and guests trade insight and anecdotes, explore day-to-day topics and tackle the hard subjects, all with equal measures of energy, honesty, and laughter. Get the skinny on the real people behind the headlines, straight from the horse’s mouth.

This week, Tom spoke with Mike White from BluHorn, former Jacksonville Mayor John Delaney of the Fiorentino Group, entrepreneur Paz Patel from Trent Trust Investments, Austin Van Horn of Chitozan Health, and Wally Conway of HomePro Inspections.

How can people ensure that the money raised in political campaigns goes to what they think they are donating to?

John Delaney

You have to have faith in the candidate. No candidate has a self-interest in making sure that it’s spent right. Not only right but also in the most effective way. At the end of the day, it’s advertising, getting your name out there.

Austin Van Horn

These candidates have to be good stewards of the money that they are given. What confounds me is that a lot of the money that’s donated to political campaigns goes to pay consultants to do on-the-ground events, to cover any number of things. It covers the bus to the next stop, the party favors that you’re giving volunteers at the end of the campaign. So much of that money doesn’t go towards media. It’s siphoned off. There are a lot of ways that money may go towards things that you as a donor might not like.

Wally Conway

In these situations, you have a really strong budget; if you spend it in the wrong spot it’s all lost. The value of the consultant is showing you whose eyeballs do I need to be in front of with what message. You’re leveraging the spend because of that investment and the consultants.

John Delaney

I’m going to say that’s what’s got more sophisticated, the targeting. We are now able to isolate it. Cable’s kind of helped. Digital has helped because you can parse out those audiences. When I ran, these consultants were getting started. The consultant would tell me, walk this side of the street because you’re wasting your time if you walk on that side of the street.

Mike White

I don’t think there is anything wrong with candidates spending the five hundred dollars an hour on the consultancy. When I contribute to campaigns I really don’t think about all the different things they need to run. I’m giving it because the person asked and it is going to the core of the cause I support.

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