2.01.2004

POLITICS - Bush Money Hats

From Friday's Washington Post
Facing no competition for his party's nomination, President Bush's reelection campaign spent $31.6 million last year, more than any of the Democratic candidates with the possible exception of former Vermont governor Howard Dean.
Bush raised $131.8 million in 2003. Sixty-four percent of the contributions were $2,000, the maximum allowed by law. Contributions of less than $200 made up 16 percent of the total. The remaining 20 percent ranged from $200 to $1,999. Over the past three months, the Bush campaign has added 85 new "Pioneers," each of whom raised at least $100,000, and 22 "Rangers" who raised $200,000 or more each. This brings the number of Pioneers to 241 and Rangers to 151.

These corporate executives, lobbyists and industry leaders have become a powerful fundraising machine for Bush, collecting at a minimum $54.3 million, and unquestionably much more since many of them raise more than is required to achieve Pioneer or Ranger status.

I hope that Dean's supporters are also taking a good look at Bush's campaign money. 151 people have bundled at least $30 Million by themselves.
A more detailed breakdown by The Washington Post showed $2.33 million in payroll costs, $3.5 million for "media services," $1.1 million for list rentals, $3.23 million in unspecified credit card payments, $930,000 in fundraising consulting fees; $758,000 for catering and $4.83 million for printing.

$3.23 million in unspecified credit card payments? Is this normal for start-up campaign costs? Austin Republican media gurus Olsen - Shuvalov received $5.6 million for printing. Expect to see some massive mail-outs across the country beginning this summer. This is an expensive battle to fight for the Dem nominee, and Bush will have a near infinite amount to distribute. I'm glad that our leading candidates have both foregone public funds, and can generate as much support as possible from the ABB crowd.

Dems need to look for the positives in our candidates, and beware of hurting our public image by commiting hari kari on the public stage.

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