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Vince Gray is the first mayoral candidate to file his campaign finance report today, but his initial numbers won’t exactly leave his opponents quaking. With his campaign only eight days old and campaign manager Chuck Thies trying to set up its accounting system, the mayor has raised a grand total of $0. Curiously, though, Gray’s campaign also reported $0 in expenses.

How can a campaign with a website and an account with organizing website Nationbuilder manage not to cost anything? As it turns out, Gray’s campaign owes its low initial overhead to the help of sympathetic web designers and campaign finance rules that allow campaigns to compile their expense report five days before the Dec. 10 deadline.

Thies registered the website himself on Nov. 20, long before he says Gray even told him he would be his campaign manager (LL imagines the ownership of the URL could have made for some awkward conversations if Gray hadn’t hired Thies). The site’s sparse layout came from a web designer Thies convinced to do it pro bono.

“That’s why you see the bare bones site, right, because I haven’t hired a professional to do it,” Thies says. As for Nationbuilder, Thies says the campaign hasn’t been billed for its first charge of $19.99.

Thies says opponents considering digging into whether the campaign is fudging its web expenses should find better material. “As a former opposition researcher, I’m a little disappointed in them,” he says.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery