FLIGHT OF FANCY
No one in the Republican party quite knows the motivation of Perry Johnson of Bloomfield with his announced candidacy in the 2024 presidential primary election. The multi-millionaire failed gubernatorial candidate (invalid petition signatures) has already loaned his campaign committee around $3.7 million, according to FEC filings as of this June. And his campaign committee has spent about $1.8 millions on ads in New Hampshire and Iowa, plus Super Bowl ads. But all of this could be for naught. Yes, everyone knows he has the bucks, as evidenced by his original announcement party at his home (replete with three-hole golf course), according to one of the crowd who attended the catered dinner where “Johnson spared no expense,” with the cheapest wine pegged at $40-50 per bottle. However, personal wealth doesn’t mean squat thanks to new threshold requirements imposed by the party. Any primary candidate who wants to make the stage at the first primary debate in August must prove that they have 40,000 unique individual donors to their campaign, and further, must have 200 unique donors from each of at least 20 states. Johnson falls way short of that requirement with only 330 donors, and a few of those donated more than once, according to our reading of the entire list on file with the FEC. We saw many $1, $2, $3 and $5 donations, which one party insider said likely came when his campaign workers collared people in the hallways of the Maryland CPAC meeting earlier this year. And then there is the polling threshold that must be made before you can be part of the August GOP debate – one percent in three national polls or two national and one poll of the first four states to conduct voting and the polls must be conducted in the July-August period. Maybe his greenbacks can purchase such a ranking in the next couple of months but it’s doubtful. Said one traditional (non-MAGA) Republican, he must be hoping for either a cabinet position if the GOP wins in November or an ambassadorship, although this observer said he is “too eccentric” and possibly too old (75) for the latter.