And he has somehow spent $772,000 on hats.
His filing lamentably provides few details, but according to this photograph from The New Hampshire Union Leader, at least one of the hats is a trucker design emblazoned with the letters “W.T.F.” — “Way to Freedom.” The overall hat expense was part of a $5 million outlay to Victory Enterprises, a political consulting group in Iowa.
“To date, the Binkley campaign has produced more than 50,000 hats,” said Heath Flock, the director of Mr. Binkley’s campaign. “Yes, this is a lot of hats.”
Mr. Flock added: “We used Binkley-branded hats as giveaways at all of our campaign events, and as a contribution incentive. While other presidential campaigns solicited donations by offering free gas cards or college tuition incentives, we simply offered our hats as a thank-you to people who donated to our campaign.”
Mr. Binkley wasn’t the only candidate whose operation spent large on merch. The super PAC backing Ron DeSantis, Never Back Down, paid a vendor $43,000 for “canvassing field operations uniforms” as it deployed door-knockers across early nominating states.
Representatives for Never Back Down did not respond to requests for comment.
The super PAC also paid $13,858 for “collateral materials” — jackets, pins, flags — from ACE Specialties, a Louisiana company.