Sorry, Tampa Bay Times, but Jeff Brandes is not spending “most” of his money on paid canvassers

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In a report-by-numbers profile of the race for State Senate District 22, the Tampa Bay Times‘ Mark Puente reports that:

After entering the race in June, Brandes has raised nearly $91,675 and threw in $500,000 of his own money. Brandes, whose family started Cox Lumber, is worth at least $10 million. Brandes has spent about $265,000, mostly on paid staffers to knock on doors. “I’m proud to put my own money into it,” Brandes said. “Pinellas and Hillsborough are important to me.”

Mostly on paid staffers, huh?

I guess that depends on what is your definition of “most.” Because by my count, Jeff Brandes’ campaign hasn’t spent anywhere near “most” of its money on “paid staffers to knock on doors.”

And I say that as the guy who first noticed and reported about how much Brandes was spending on paid canvassers.

No, Jeff Brandes is not spending most of his money on paid staffers. At best, Brandes has expended about 12% of his budget (a detailed breakdown of his spending is at the bottom of this post) on paid canvassers.

What the reporter did here was take the number allocated to salary ($45,460) and counted that against what Brandes has raised $(91,675) rather than what Brandes has expended ($374,176).

That’s just bad math.

Row Labels Sum of Amount
MEDIA PLACEMENT $     168,600.00
SALARY $       45,460.93
DIRECT MAIL SERVICES $       36,833.67
SURVEY $       21,164.00
CONSULTING $         9,700.00
PRINTING $         9,655.00
POSTAGE $         9,238.24
CAMPAIGN SIGNS $         7,816.60
OFFICE RENT $         7,770.00
MEDIA PRODUCTION $         7,650.00
WEBSITE SERVICES $         5,000.00
PAYROLL TAXES $         4,206.67
ADVERTISING $         3,697.43
TELEPHONE CALLS $         1,985.50
INSURANCE $         1,850.00
BALLOT QUALIFYING FEE $         1,781.82
CAMPAIGN T-SHIRTS $         1,765.50
RESEARCH $         1,500.00
REIMBURSEMENT $         1,470.89
UTILITIES $         1,467.55
LEGAL SERVICES $         1,405.00
VOTER DATA $         1,400.00
PRINTING/MAILING SERVICES $             816.05
PAYROLL ADMINISTRATION $             745.30
INTERNET ACCESS $             375.78
EQUIPMENT RENT/COPIES $             300.28
ONLINE FUNDRAISING $             182.83
MILEAGE $             104.17
SERVICE CHARGE $               89.95
COPIER MAINTENANCE $               85.00
DEPOSIT SUPPLIES $               55.90

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.