Recent Federal Election campaign finance filings show that in the second quarter ending March 30th, the Lamar Alexander campaign raised over $600,000 and ended the quarter with over $3.1 million cash on hand. Announcements from the candidate's campaign say that in April and June Alexander raised another $900,000.
The Carr campaign raised $257,000 in the second quarter and had $466,000 on hand at the end of the quarter. While Alexander, Carr and George Flinn have all made media buys, we can expect Alexander to have a lot more exposure than Carr or Flinn. Carr simply cannot raise the money to compete with Alexander. While some activist tea party people within the state have rallied behind Carr, the national tea party PACS with deep pockets have not. Apparently they have evaluated the race and do not see Carr as a winner. Alexander has received endorsements from Tennessee's Republican U.S Representatives, dozens of State legislators, and several former Chair's of the Tennessee Republican Party and conservative leaders such as Newt Gingrich and Arthur Laffer. While not formally endorsing Alexander, tea party favorite Rand Paul has said nice things about Alexander and has appeared at functions with him.
Definitely Carr is the underdog, and while Alexander is scoring at below 59% in voter approval ratings, a lot of people don't even know who Joe Carr is and will probably still not know by elections day. A poll in mid-May showed 77% of the likely voters had never heard of Carr. The Dave Brat victory over Eric Cantor in Virginia did provide a shot in the arm to the Carr campaign and he got some exposure in conservative media and some endorsements, but he is still largely unknown. And, if voters learn more about Carr, they will probably like him less.
In looking over the campaign finance reports of the candidates, I found that the cash-strapped Carr campaign has two family members on the payroll. The following payments were made to Erin Carr: 1/6/14, $3500; 2/3/2014, $1500; 2/19/14, $500; 3/5/14, $1000; and others payments in 2013. Also, the following payments were made to Maddie Carr: 1/7/2014, $4000; 1/7/2014 another one for $2000; 2/4/14, $4000; 3/6/14, $4000; and $4000 for each of the months of October, November and December 2013.
So, it looks like Maggie Carr is being paid $4000 a month and Erin Carr is earnings little over $2000 a month. I have been told that Maggie and Erin are Joe Carr's daughters. Now, there is certainly nothing illegal about putting your family on the campaign payroll, but often family pitches in works for a candidate for free. I don't know how hard they work or what the qualifications are that make Maggie Carr worth $48,000 a year. Who knows, they may be well worth it and they may be working 16 hour days, seven days a week. They may be so good and hardworking that, that is the biggest bang for the buck. I don't know. I am not making any allegations that this is improper or even unwise but I do find it curious that a cash-strapped campaign pays that kind of money to family members.