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ARGENTINA | 01-11-2023 17:08

Who spent what? Expenses and campaign contributions of Argentina's presidential candidates

Milei’s campaign was almost entirely funded by the State, but it was also the most austere. Bullrich spent twice as much, and Massa used the most public funds.

Expenses and public and private campaign contributions for Argentina’s elections must be presented by each political space after the event. 

But before finding out the final balance, Argentina’s national electoral court accessed a preliminary delivery, highlighting differences between each of three main candidates: Sergio Massa (Unión por la Patria), Javier Milei (La Libertad Avanza) and Patricia Bullrich (Juntos por el Cambio).

Rather ironically, Milei’s campaign, which rails against the “political caste” and proposes a strong adjustment of public expenditure, was financed almost entirely with state funds, according to this report. La Libertad Avanza received 397,859,930 pesos from the government, whereas he only collected a further 56,997,721 pesos from donations. Thus, out of the 455 million pesos amassed by the liberal bloc, 87.5 percent came from the state’s coffers. 

From these numbers, La Libertad Avanza informed that 278,502,478 pesos were for operating expenses such as preparing ballots, while 192,297,757 pesos were spent on advertising. Total expenses were 475,539,161 pesos – a negative balance of 20 million pesos, exactly the same amount they had left over from the primaries, the Letra P news portal reported.

Among the largest donors to the libertarian alliance was businessman Sebastián Braun, from the family who owns La Anónima, who contributed over eight million pesos, while another contribution came from the company Sistem Melesur Argentina.

Despite using the highest proportion of public funds, Milei also ran the least costly campaign: Patricia Bullrich and Sergio Massa reported much greater expenses, also with high income from the state, but also with more significant private campaign contributions.  

Bullrich’s campaign from Juntos por el Cambio was the most costly, as well as the one raking in the most cash: 659,525,302 pesos of public funds, 589,910,334 pesos of donations and 4,381,644 pesos of “other contributions.” Out of that total – 1,253,817,281 pesos – the party reported it spent all of it. 

The main contributions to her campaign came from Supervielle Asset Management and Inversiones Urbanas Nuevo Milenio (40 million pesos from each firm), Global Valores SA (25 million pesos) and Massalin Particulares SRL, Promtex Argentina, Florida Grill & Bar and Securitas Buenos Aires (six million pesos each).

Though in operating expenses, Juntos por el Cambio reported similar figures to Milei, at 345,161,522 pesos, the great difference came in advertising, where they reported spending of 908,499,823 pesos. This was made up of 52 percent from private contributions and 48 percent with public funds.

Lastly, in the case of Sergio Massa and Unión por la Patria, the ruling coalition candidate spent more than Milei and less than Bullrich overall. The economy minister, however, used the largest amount of public funds: 722,510,882 pesos. His private contributions totalled 204,196,500 pesos and, in total, the campaign cost 926,621,216 pesos. Thus, 78 percent came from public funds and 22 percent from private capital. 

Private funding came from: Massalin Particulares (which had also donated to Juntos por el Cambio) at five million pesos, the Cámara de Depósitos Fiscales with 13.5 million pesos, and Francisco De Narváez, the biggest business contributor to Unión por la Patria, transferring 10 million pesos.

The ruling coalition reported operating expenses to the tune of 359,792,998 pesos and 548,320,943 in electoral advertising.


– TIMES/PERFIL

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