Political parties have a spree with money from the electoral fund. Campaign expenses financed with public funds include payments of up to R$80,000 to election officials and multi-million-dollar contracts with landscaping, school transport and parties companies, under the pretext of hiring labor to glue stickers, distribute flyers and agitate. of candidate flags on the streets.
Supported by First Lady Michelle Bolsonaro in the Senate race, former Women’s Minister Damares Alves (Republicans) hired retired public servant Herbert Felix, for R$44,000, as a “campaign coordinator” in the Federal District. The agreed working period was 45 days. In all, Damares has already spent R$ 535,500 on electoral cables.
In Bahia, candidate for federal deputy Eric Pereira (Podemos) recruited Alane Ramos to be his “campaign coordinator”, for R$80,000 – R$50,000 has already been paid. Until last year, she was a beneficiary of emergency aid of R$ 600 for those who ran out of income in the covid-19 pandemic. To Estadão, Alane could not say what role she played in the campaign. The candidate also did not explain what she does. He said only that the payment is not “illegal”.
Federal deputy Margarete Coelho (PP-PI), an ally of the mayor, Arthur Lira (PP-AL), hired a landscaping company for R$880,000 to provide her reelection campaign with “street militancy service”. The company’s owner, Francisca Ermita Macedo, told the Estadão, however, who works “for free” for the candidate and co-religionists. The administrator of Margarete’s campaign, Juçara Castro, stated, however, that Ermita’s company hires electoral officers in more than ten cities and receives 10% of the amounts paid.
Ermita Macedo is a commissioned employee of the Água Branca city hall, where she receives a monthly salary of R$ 3,300. She owns Vitta Service, which specializes in landscaping, urbanization works and temporary labor hire. “I don’t get paid to work with her (Margarete Coelho), I don’t get paid,” said Ermita. “I have a salary as a professional from somewhere else. I’m not an electoral corporal. I don’t sell votes, I’m a woman of value.”
The figures paid with public money are above the market average. A federal deputy and a senator each earn BRL 33,700 per month. Data from the Superior Electoral Court (TSE) show that the amounts paid to street election officials usually range from R$600 to R$2,500. Campaign coordinators earn, on average, R$5,600.
So far, general expenses with electoral officers and other employees have consumed R$ 151.6 million. Most of this money is covered by the R$ 5 billion electoral fund, which became known as “fundão” and is the main campaign financing mechanism, supplied by public money. O Estadão disregarded expenses with lawyers, accountants and marketers.
In Alagoas, candidate for federal deputy Alfredo Gaspar (União) hired a micro-company for R$280,000 for “street mobilization activities”. Pollyanne Barros is registered with the Federal Revenue as an individual entrepreneur in the field of “organization of fairs, congresses, exhibitions and parties”.
She also received another R$97,900 from the candidate for the “event production and organization” service. Asked about how she carries out her work and whether she subcontracts other electoral officers, Pollyanne recommended that the report seek advice from the campaign. Gaspar’s team said it had hired a “specialized company”, without further clarification.
TSE data account for just over 110 thousand electoral cables across the country. The number, however, is underestimated because there is no detail on subcontracting. Ten days before the elections, at least 160 candidates spent R$ 10.9 million only with companies that subcontract electoral officers. By not publicly registering the names of contractors, it is not possible to know who they are or whether there are commissioners or relatives on the list.
Candidate for re-election to the government of Rio, Cláudio Castro received from his party PL, R$ 12.5 million to run his campaign this year. Of the total from the fundão, Castro used R$ 5.7 million for a company in Duque de Caxias, in Baixada Fluminense, to supply 36,000 electoral officers. Castro’s rendering of accounts indicates that Cinqloc Empreendimentos Ltda. will pay R$ 144 per day to each militant.
The governor has already transferred R$ 1.1 million to the company. In a note, Castro’s campaign informed that “it will account for all expenses to the Regional Electoral Court”. O Estadão could not find Lucia Helena Siqueira Lopes de Jesus, a partner at Cinqloc. The small business, registered at a residential address, was opened in 2014. In June this year, it won a R$ 17 million auction from Companhia de Engenharia de Tráfego (CET-Rio), linked to the city hall of the capital, to broker “management services to support traffic operation activities”, in the north zone.
In Ceará, candidate for federal deputy Vaidon Oliveira (União Brasil) hired a school transport company in order to recruit 1,000 electoral officers. To pay it, he will use almost half of the R$2.6 million he received from the electoral fund. Olivier Serviços e Locações will earn R$ 1.05 million to provide employees to the campaign. According to the website of the Federal Revenue, the company is also specialized in teleservice activities, construction of buildings and collection of hazardous waste. Olivier has already received R$ 525 thousand.
The candidate said the company was recommended by the accounting team because the management fee was lower. “It’s a service company. If it’s services, it provides any type of service. That’s what my legal officer saw and told me,” said Oliveira.
The survey took into account 5,000 different descriptions for “militant activities”, “street mobilization” and “personnel expenses” reported to the Electoral Court by all candidates. In the absence of standardization by the Superior Electoral Court (TSE), each candidate can apply whatever level of detail they prefer when declaring their coordinators, pamphlet deliverers and flag wavers.
The rendering of accounts does not allow control over the activities performed or the workload applied to each person paid with public money in the campaigns. Each candidate is free to enter the values.
The hiring of the Damares campaign, for example, ranges from payments of R$990 to R$44,000. These salaries are paid for varied services during the official period when candidates are allowed to ask for votes.
Zildete Dantas is a seller of Jequiti brand beauty products and was one of those hired by Damares, for R$ 2,500. “I received only a little. You have to close the month to find out the rest”, said Zildete, arguing that the payment was not made at once.
The invitation, according to her, came through a friend who provided services for the Ministry of Women when the candidate headed the portfolio. Zildete took her son, Jean Phillip, to work on the campaign. He was hired for R$1,700.
Retired Cleuza da Silva was also called by the Damares campaign, for R$ 2,500 and won the role of “team coordinator” on the streets of Brasília. “It was already my candidate. If I didn’t work, it would be my intention to vote and it ended up (the job)”, said Cleuza. When contacted, the press office for the Damares campaign did not respond.
+The best content in your email for free. Choose your favorite Terra Newsletter. Click here!