The steady stream of emails I get from the Draft Biden 2016 super PAC inspired me to take a gander at its most recent filing with the Federal Election Commission – and that turned out to be interesting indeed.
The effort to draft Vice President Joe Biden into the 2016 presidential election may have some grassroots support, but it’s not rolling in dough: the super PAC raised $78,841.22 and spent $69,369.26 in this year’s second quarter, leaving $16,002.95 cash on hand as of June 30.
Its receipts include almost $4,600 in “in-kind” donations of time, office supplies, event and travel expenses, and so on from PAC executive director William Pierce III of Chicago.
Only five Californians contributed to the PAC, but three were substantial enough to account for a significant percentage of the total:
Dr. Howard Mandel, OB/GYN, Los Angeles, April 16 – $5,000
Elise Kroeber, retiree, San Francisco, April 20 – $250
Clare Springs, attorney at Titchell, Maltzman, Mark & Ohleyer in San Francisco, May 5 – $1,000
Richard Alexander, attorney at Alexander, Hawes & Audet in San Jose, May 18 – $1,000
Robert Farnsworth, retiree, Sacramento, June 23 and 30 – $220
A few notes about these: Springs listed Titchell Maltzman was listed as Springs’ employer, but that firm was dissolved in 2008 and she founded her own firm that same year. Mandel served on Obama for America’s Health Policy Advisory Committee and was previously an advisor to then-Senator Biden on health care issues during his presidential campaign.
But the report’s most interesting revelation is that more than half the PAC’s money essentially came from a single, mysterious source.
Curtis Block, president of Madison & Monroe in Pompano Beach, Fla., gave $5,000 on May 18, and then Madison & Monroe gave $38,000 on June 12. We’ve been unable to determine who Block is – there don’t appear to be any prior legal, business or other records for him – or what Madison & Monroe does; their address is a post box at Parcels Plus, and the business was only just incorporated on June 2 to conduct “any and all lawful business.”
I asked the Draft Biden 2016 staffers to shed some light on this – but they declined.
“I reached out to Curtis on your behalf and he’s asked that we only give out the personal information he was required to provide for the FEC report,” spokeswoman Sarah Ford said in an email Friday morning.