Tuesday, August 10, 2021

How is Quincy McKnight financing his campaign?

by Hattie Bryant -Running for office can be complicated, especially when it comes to campaign finance. At the time of this writing, we have four candidates running for the 5th congressional seat. Jim Cooper, Jacquelyn Kelly, Robby Starbuck, and Quincy McKnight. As a Republican I find it interesting that according to the public records found at https://www.fec.gov/data/elections/house/TN/05/2022/ that as of the end of the 2nd quarter, Jim Cooper is way ahead in the race for cash. 

While it’s good for us to know what the Democrats are doing, at this point I am doing research on the two Republican candidates because I have never voted for a democrat in my life. My goal is to make sure we have the best, serious candidate as we just might have a shot to unseat Cooper in 2022. 



Until a few days ago, I was in an organization with McKnight’s girlfriend and when I heard he was running, I asked her about him. In person she told me that he lives with her then she texted me, “He’s got more money than probably any candidate that will run.” 

McKnight texted me, “I’m self-funding my campaign…Troy Brewer is my treasurer.”  When I went to https://quincyforcongress.com I find on the home page a large “DONATE” opportunity. When he ran into my friend in the Washington D.C. airport, he told her that he was there because a certain congressman was going to do a fundraiser for him. 

These mixed messages inspired me to do my own personal research on this candidate. Here’s what I found. 

Looking Back at 2014 
I have only lived in Nashville since January of 2019, so I wasn’t here when Mr. McKnight ran for the state senate in 2014.  A Tennessean article from August 6, 2014, states that when McKnight ran for the GOP nomination in Senate District 21, he “had not filed any reports with the Tennessee Registry of Election until this afternoon.” The article also refers to Drew Rawlins, Tennessee’s Registry of Election Finance then-election executive director, who reiterated that candidates for state offices are required by state law to file campaign financial disclosures even if they haven't raised or spent any money. Very few candidates completely ignore the requirement, and the ones who do generally aren't campaigning seriously, he said. McKnight said in this article, "We did raise money; however, it just didn't get (reported) turned in.” 

Here is a screen shot of when and what McKnight filed in that race seven years ago. 


Not sure if the article is what got McKnight to do a filing, but you can see that he did file his first-quarter report, due 4/15/2014 four months late and on the same day as this article appeared. You can also see that in January of this year, 2021, he filed reports that were required of him during that campaign season of 2014. 

The minutes from the Tennessee Ethics Commission meeting held on December 16, 2014 show that it fined McKnight $1,000 for failing to report. I have no idea if he paid the $1,000 fine, but in January of this year, 2021, he filed reports that were required of him during that campaign season of 2014. If you search these records yourself for the treasurer of the McKnight campaign, you’ll see that he served as treasurer of his campaign which is perfectly legal. 


The address is where his wife lives even now according to how she is registered to vote. 

If you search yourself, you will find that all of McKnight’s reports look like this: 


Again, I was not here in 2014. For those of you who were, did you ever see a yard sign? Did you ever attend an event where he spoke? Did he have a website? Did he have any flyers? Did anyone donate to the campaign? These reports say no to all of those questions. (Please note: Tennessee does not have a spending or income threshold for filing financial reports as does the Federal Government.) 

Let’s look at 2021 
Troy Brewer is a CPA who over the years has served as treasurer for many Republicans running for state and federal officers. Troy Brewer was treasurer for Mr. McKnight and filed FEC Form 99 Statement of Candidacy, for Quincy McKnight for Congress on 2/19/2021. Candidates who are self-funded have the same reporting requirements as any other candidates. Neither of these reports could be found on the FEC database and shows no data available in table for Mr. McKnight. Also, once a candidate for Federal office, House of Representatives, meets the spending or income thresholds mentioned above, they are required to file a personal financial disclosure with the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives. A search of the Clerk’s database could find no report filed for Quincy McKnight. Information about this requirement can be found at https://www.fec.gov/help-candidates-and-committees/registering-candidate/other-agency-requirements/” 

On 7/14/ 2021, Mr. Brewer resigned from the campaign. I called Mr. Brewer to ask why and he told me that Quincy had not provided the information needed for the report due on 7/15/2021, so he resigned as treasurer for that campaign. You can find Mr. Brewer’s letter of resignation as campaign records are open to the public. Go to this link https://docquery.fec.gov/cgi-bin/forms/C00769950/1526750/ then choose “View Miscellaneous Document” to see this: 
To: Federal Election Commission 
Ref: Report Analysis 

As of July 14, 11:59 pm, I resign as Treasurer of Quincy McKnight for Congress Committee, FEC ID C00769950. Effective Immediately. 

Thank you, 
Troy Brewer, CPA 
Now that Mr. Brewer has resigned, Mr. McKnight was required to replace the treasurer in 10 days and that has not happened. Here’s an excerpt from a Federal Election Commission Letter to Mr. McKnight:
QUINCY MCKNIGHT 
QUINCY MCKNIGHT FOR CONGRESS INC. 750 OLD HICKORY BLVD SUITE 750 NASHVILLE, TN 37027 
IDENTIFICATION NUMBER: C00769950 

Dear Candidate: 

 RQ-1 

 August 3, 2021 

Response Due Date 09/07/2021 

It has come to the attention of the Commission that your treasurer for Quincy McKnight for Congress Inc. has resigned and the Commission has received no information regarding a new treasurer. A treasurer must be appointed within ten (10) days of the resignation of the previous treasurer. (11 CFR § 102.2(a)(2)) It is required that for any committee to conduct any business, they must have an active treasurer. Failure to appoint a treasurer will result in the inability of the committee to accept contributions and make disbursements. (11 CFR §§ 102.7(a) and (b)) 
More Questions than Answers 
Typical of the government it does not make finding things so easy. So far, I have not found any record of Quincy McKnight’s personal financial disclosure. Not sure if he’s done it or if I’m just not so good at discovery. I can’t find any records of Mr. McKnight owning property which I asked him about and he texted me, “I have a trust. It’s private. All my financials and private info are in a trust.” Sure, trusts are legal. 

Here’s the score today for the race to win the 5th: 
 
Cooper $783,697.13 
 Kelly $140,423.89 
 Starbuck $44,131.30 
 McKnight $0 

How does this make you feel about Mr. McKnight as a candidate? What does it tell you about him? How is he financing his campaign? What will Jim Cooper’s opposition research uncover about this candidate? Since this is a small part of my research on this candidate, I am betting Cooper’s campaign staff has more than I have. Good for us all to know sooner than later. 

Hattie Bryant is a Nashvillian active in civic affairs and is an author. You can learn about me at authorhattiebryant.com.

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1 comment:

  1. Way to go Hattie! Keep up the good research and open flow of information.

    ReplyDelete