Tim Pawlenty, $454,000 in debt, needs help paying Nick Ayers, everyone else

Tim Pawlenty, Nick Ayers: Debtor, creditor.
Tim Pawlenty, Nick Ayers: Debtor, creditor.

Tim Pawlenty's campaign ended more than two months ago, coming to an abrupt stop that was like when a party host throws on the lights at midnight and says, "Party's over, everybody out!"

Now that we all had our fun at his expense, Pawlenty is stuck with the bill. And it looks like he's just a bit short. Okay, he's way short.

Pawlenty for President has outstanding debts of about $454,000, according to reports filed with the FEC. In the liquid world of presidential campaign finance, 454 large isn't a daunting number. But when your campaign is over, and you're not actively going after donations anymore -- well, it's hard to imagine where exactly T-Paw's going to get the  money. Maybe we could pass around a hat?

Among the people who are waiting with their hand out is everyone's least favorite campaign staffer, James "Nick" Ayers, who apparently ran up quite a tab on his travel expenses.

In fact, a decent little chunk of Pawlenty's debts are owed to former staffers, though not necessarily for salary. Aside from Ayers, Pawlenty also owes "TRAVEL" debts to a handful of other staffers, including Sara Huckabee, daughter of Mike. (Wonder if Pastor Huckabee will preach forgiveness on T-Paw's debt?)

But, because Ayers is such a well-respected rising star in the Republican Party, his contribution should be acknowledged first and foremost. In Pawlenty's previous FEC report, Ayers had picked up more than $30,000 in salary. But this time around, that kind of coin was just too much  for T-Paw's fledgling campaign.

Tim Pawlenty has a fever, and the only prescription is more finance consulting.
Tim Pawlenty has a fever, and the only prescription is more finance consulting.

From July 1 through September 31, Ayers got paid around $15,000 in salary, with an additional $3,055 for travel expenses, according to FEC filings. Now, Pawlenty needs to somehow scrape together another $4,897 for Ayers, also accounted for as "travel."

Pawlenty's FEC report also disclosed a $1,730 debt to the Koch Brothers. No, not the shadowy, cloak-and-dagger-and-cash conservative billionaires. These Koch Brothers, the furniture and office supplies salesmen from Des Moines.

The great irony of Pawlenty's outstanding debts is just how much is owed to firms and individuals who were hired on for "finance consulting." Here's a list of the people and companies Pawlenty hired for consulting, and what he still owes them:

Trisha Hamm - $3,000
Molly Mandigo - $5,000
Shauna Stoughton - $750
Shanna Woodbury Consulting, LLC - $5,000Roosevelt Group - $5,000
Marriott Group - $10,000
Mcintosh Company - $6,500
Woods Herberger - $5,000
Starboard Group - $2,500
Stacy Davis & Associates - $7,500
Kramer & Associates - $3,750
Political Capital, LLC - $5,000.
PLK Consulting, Inc. - $10,000
Vandenberg and Associates, Inc. - $5,000

So, yeah. That's $64,000, in debt -- not including the stuff he actually was able to pay for -- just for people to tell Tim Pawlenty how to raise and spend money. Apparently, none of them had the guts to say, "Stop paying people like me."

You can almost imagine Pawlenty  running from floor to floor in office buildings, saying, "I need a second opinion! Someone tell me my campaign is doing well!"

Wait a minute. Pawlenty was too optimistic, then quit too early. He spent a lot of money on fancy TV stuff. He paid a bunch of money for bad advice from financial wheelers and dealers, and now that the bill's come due, he's broke.

Maybe Tim Pawlenty is America, after all.


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