Rich Anderson’s Big Lie
By Jamie Morgan
In 2017, a article in the Washington Examiner summed up the loss to Hala Ayala in an article stating, “Anderson had no scandal, no unpopular votes, and no ties to Donald Trump. He ran in a district that’s supposed to be reasonably safe — it’s been held by Republicans for 16 of the last 18 years. And he got beat like a drum.”
I think it’s safe to say that one of the main reasons Rich Anderson lost a Republican seat twice to the Democrats is his inability to raise money to fund a campaign capable of beating his opponent. This Saturday, when you cast your vote, remember: integrity and facts matter, and in this case the facts show that Rich Anderson is not the man he says he is.
All of the delegates have been receiving various messages from the candidates for RPV Chairman on why they are the best choice. With the election less than 48 hours away, we felt that a text from Rich Anderson deserved to be fact checked.
In his text, Rich Anderson asserts that he has raised over two million dollars. That would be quite an accomplishment if he had done that for his race in 2019 or if he had actually raised that kind of money since 2017 but the fact of the matter is the assertion is a falsehood at best.
Looking at Anderson’s finance reports one will find that Anderson raised in his entire political career 1.7 million dollars. Seem impressive? We don’t think so considering his two-time opponent, Ayala, raised $2.2 million dollars since entering the political arena in 2017 as a virtual political neophyte.
So we reviewed the finance records of Rich Anderson, and his claim of being a fund raising juggernaut does not hold water.
Political finance reports can be hard to follow and most parts require a little insider baseball knowledge to fully grasp all the nuances so we are going to keep it simple. House of Delegate campaigns are funded in varying amounts from small donors, major donors, and political party organizations.
The last type, political party donations, are not considered a real measure of fund raising but more so a matter of reliance on others. Sort of like a candidate welfare system. Strong political fund raising candidates raise their own money from small and major donor contributions.
In 2017, Anderson raised $403k of which over $367,558 came from political party donations which includes a donation from the Republican Party of Virginia for $107,749. What does this tell us? That Anderson’s pitiful fund raising ability netted less than $36 thousand as a four-term legislator.
The books for 2019 are even further proof that Anderson’s $2 million plus fund raising is nothing short of a lie. In a rematch with Ayala, the fund raising machine, Anderson only raised a paltry $238k. Out of the $238k raised by Anderson in 2019, again over $123k came from the political party.
We find the attacks on Jack Wilson even more disingenuous after finding Rich Anderson received a $31k donation from the RPV with Jack Wilson as the Chairman.
When it came to spending the money he raised for his campaign we had to note some serious issues we found in his expense reports. The first thing we noticed was that he spent almost $30k on polling … seriously, for a delegate race. There are many political consultants that could have told him he was going to get beat for a whole lot less money. Those poll results must have been bad because in the last month of Anderson’s campaign, he only did one piece of direct mail.
But the real question Anderson needs to answer is how could his campaign account end with over $53k in the bank. Will Rich admit that he wanted to repay himself $15,000, while Delegate Chris Stolle and other candidates needed every available Republican dollar they could find? Will he admit he held out on those that had a chance to save our Republican majority?
Doubtful. Anderson will just blame someone else when actually it’s his failed campaign tactics and persona that cost him his seat and the Republican majority.