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Jun
11

Kande campaign in debt, needs help

In Section: News blog Posted By: Neal
- Former active 8th Congressional District candidate Kande Ngalamulume has moved back to Philadelphia, but his campaign is in debt a few thousand dollars and needs your help, according to a e-mail being sent around by a former campaign worker.

Bob Alexander, who worked on the campaign, and who himself has run for the seat twice (and gone into debt doing it), has sent out the e-mail trying to sop up a debt of between “$2,500 and $3,000 in bills to Mid Michigan businesses and individuals.”

The complete text of the e-mail is as follows:

“Wednesday’s Lansing City Pulse has a ‘mostly accurate’ follow up story on the sudden close down of the Kande for Congress campaign, which includes comments about efforts by others to raise funds to re-start the Kande effort.

I write today to explain how the Kande campaign ended up with between $2,500 - $3,000 in bills to Mid Michigan businesses and individuals, and to ask you help in paying off those local bills.

Kande returned to Michigan about March 1 and began campaigning full time to gain credibility, support and donations. With the $5,000 we raised in March we opened an office about March 25, installed our phone system for fund raising calls, and Kande, volunteers and I began calling for donations. By late April we had the endorsement of the Michigan Council of Building & Construction Trades and promises by several other unions and potential large donors, and we hired a Campaign Manager. Thru the Building & Construction Trades we had a May 24 fund raiser planned in their Washington DC office, where Randy Kinder worked.

By early May we had promises of endorsement by the MI AFL-CIO and the UAW Region 1C, and Congressman Conyers took a fervent interest in Kande. Conyers presented Kande at the monthly meeting of the 14 Cong. Dist. in Detroit, generated almost $5,000 in donations and said he would help with a May 25 gathering in DC of the Congressional Black Caucus, and would be a Special Guest at a June 1 East Lansing fund raiser at the Eagle Eye Resort. We hoped to raise $25,000 or more from those events.  In mid May we expanded our phone bank fund raising and field staff to 3, and added 10 low-paid interns.

Then, sadly, our fund raising by phone calling and events went from ok, to poor, to awful. Due to a lack of people in DC to facilitate our two fundraisers, both DC events were postponed to later in the summer.  Our last hope was local supporters attending our June 1 Conyers event, or at least sending in donations. That event brought in only enough funds to pay our June 1 bills.

With little hope for sufficient funds coming in during the three long months of summer, there was no alternative to just stop ASAP to limit our bills. Kande issued a statement on June 2 that our campaign was suspended. That resulted in a few MI leaders saying they would raise needed funds, but no new funds appeared. Kande announced the end on June 7. He has since returned to Philadelphia and is looking for a new job.

Many receiving this email did not donated to the Kande effort for your own good reasons. Would you please help us now with a $100, $50 or even $25 check to “Kande for Congress” to help him pay off his local bills, and send it to Kande for Congress, P.O. Box 4339, East Lansing, MI 48826. Please give me a call at (Redacted) if you want to discuss this request.

Thank you for your understanding and support.”

Don’t know what was “mostly accurate” about my article — I was never contacted one way or the other by Ngalamulume or Alexander — but I suppose they would have liked a longer explanation as to how the campaign became financially unsustainable. Alexander attached the article to the plea.

It’s not shocking that the campaign is a few bucks overspent; according to campaign finance reports, the campaign had only $535 on hand at the end of March (compared to Republican incumbent Mike Rogers’ $870,876). But it is somewhat surprising that Ngalamulume has already moved back to Pennsylvania (he’s originally from the former Zaire, but moved to East Lansing in the early 1990s; after graduating from MSU, he moved to the Philadelphia area). When I interviewed him, he said that if he lost the race, he would like to stay in Michigan and perhaps pursue a higher business degree. I guess, though, this didn’t really count as losing the race.







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