Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s campaign made a series of payments to a direct mail firm that started just days before the first payment April 28.
Officials from the Trump campaign paid Left Hand Enterprises, LLC (LHE) a total of $730,637 over three payments. The campaign paid the first invoice April 28, and the last five days later. The three payments make LHE the 10th largest vendor the campaign has ever paid.
The Trump campaign’s contact with the company was Darrin Schmitz, a former executive director of the Wisconsin Republican Party, and according to The Hill, Schmitz currently works on the Trump campaign.
Left Hand Enterprises, LLC registered its base of operations in Delaware. According to FEC statements, it is currently owned by Michael Dougherty, and the address on file for the company is a vacant lot in Purcellville, Va. Further investigation into the ownership of the property revealed that Dougherty’s wife, Florence, actually owns the property.
In addition, volunteers and residents on a direct mailing list were asked if they had received any mailings between April 26 and the Indiana primary. The results only came from competing direct mail firm Whiz Bang Solutions; no household on the mailing list remembered receiving a campaign mailing different than the ones sent out by Whiz Bang Solutions.
At the time of the payments, the campaign operated with two major budgets: one covering headquarter and travel expenses that was overseen by Corey Lewandowski, and the other was reserved for state operations. Current campaign head Paul Manafort oversaw the second budget.
“The campaign reached out looking for higher quality mail at a cheaper price point than what they were getting, and we delivered on that,” Schmitz said in an email. “Mr. Trump self-funded his campaign and I wanted to make sure we were spending his money wisely, and were getting the best pricing on the services needed to secure the nomination.”
“I can tell you because I have worked there for an extended period of time that every dime that goes out of that building is scrutinized,” Lewandowski responded. Lewandowski worked for the campaign until three days ago.
The Trump campaign remains under scrutiny for a $35,000 payment to a consulting firm that listed a rural New Hampshire residency as its headquarters.
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