John MacGovern: A fiscal conservative who can’t balance his own books

A correspondent brings to my attention a post-election fundraising letter from John MacGovern.

You remember him, don’t you? The “winner” of the Republican primary for U.S. Senate, who went on to be predictably trounced by Bernie Sanders. Well, it appears that ol’ John overspent his budget just a little bit, and he needs some help from whatever friends he might still have.

For most of us election day, Tuesday, November 6, was not a great day. Certainly, it was not a great day for America. However, considering this was my first statewide run in Vermont, I did well in my race against Senator Bernie Sanders receiving 25% of the vote, in a 6-way race.

Actually, John, for “most of us” Election Day was a very good day; after all, “most of us” voted for the Dems, didn’t we?

But let’s move on to his evident self-delusion. John MacGovern may be the only candidate in American political history who thinks he “did well” by getting one-quarter of the vote. And who apparently believes, in spite of that dreadful showing, that he deserves another shot at political office:

…I am not sure what my next effort will be, but I plan to continue.

In order to do that, however, I must first retire the small debt I am left with so I can consider the next race. 

… Please, will you help me retire my debt? I owe about $30,000 to campaign vendors and workers. Please, be as generous as you possibly can so that we can move forward as strong as possible.

First of all, that’s “as strongly as possible.” As a Dartmouth man, I’d expect you to know that. But grammatical quibbles aside, $30,000 would be a “small debt” to many politicians, but it amounts to a sizable proportion of MacGovern’s hapless campaign.  

According to, as of mid-October, MacGovern had raised $102,000 and spent $81,000, leaving him with roughly $20,000 in cash.

If that report is accurate, then somehow MacGovern managed to outspend his resources by $50,000 in the final three weeks of the campaign. Exactly what he spent it on is anybody’s guess; his campaign was, to all intents and purposes, invisible. (Maybe he hired Darcie Johnston; that’d do it.)

But it seems blatantly hypocritical, coming from a guy who issued a clarion call against the federal debt on the homepage of his campaign website:  

Currently that debt has reached a staggering $15 trillion. As our broken entitlement system hurtles toward the cliff of insolvency, that already unsustainable debt will explode.

How can we spend money we don’t have?

I don’t know, John. How could you do it? And why should you expect anyone with a brain in their head to bail you out?  

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