Occasional Reports, Notes and Commentaries on the Road to the White House
FEC Reports Confirm Conventional Wisdom: Gore and Bush
by Eric M. Appleman
||Net Debts & Obligations|
|April 18, 1999--The
first quarterly reports submitted by presidential campaign committees to
the Federal Election Commission show that Vice President Gore took in $8.9
million in the period from Jan. 1 to March 31, 1999, while Texas Governor
George W. Bush raised $7.6 million. Both had about $6.8 million in
cash on hand at the end of the quarter.
Some of candidates only formed committees in February or March, so the July quarterly reports will provide a more accurate gauge of fundraising strength. Candidates have adopted varying approaches to the task of raising money, using a mix of events and direct mail. For example, Sen. Bradley has focused on major events, while Gary Bauer has made a significant investment in direct mail. Bradley's strong showing was one of the surprises of the first quarter; he pulled in $4.3 million during the period, behind only Gore and Bush.
First Quarter 1999--Total
McCain 2000, Inc.--The McCain campaign had a solid first quarter, boosted significantly by more than $1.9 million transferred from McCain's 1998 re-election campaign. The campaign itself raised more than $1.6 million from individuals and another $113,195 from PACs. It finished the quarter with a healthy $2.7 million-plus in cash on hand. A spokesperson said the campaign had done about 25 events in the first quarter as well as four mailings. Chief fundraiser for McCain is Carla Eudy, who was finance director of Phil Gramm for President in 1995-96.
Quayle 2000, Inc.--The Quayle campaign raised more money in the first quarter than any of the other Republican hopefuls with the exception of Gov. George W. Bush. With more than 35,000 contributors, Quayle 2000 has established a solid fundraising base. However, the campaign also spent the most of any Republican campaign and accumulated the most debts and obligations of all of the campaigns during the first quarter. National finance director for Quayle 2000 is Jennifer Hodges, who in the 1998 cycle was a national field finance representative for the NRSC, assisting in a number of high profile Senate races around the country; Richard Norman, a Northern Virginia direct mail specialist, is another key figure.
Bauer for President 2000 Exploratory Committee,Inc.--In the two months since its inception on February 1, the Bauer exploratory committee raised almost $1.4 million. The committee has made a major investment in direct mail. Helping to raise money for Bauer are Connie Mackey, who served as an executive director of Bauer's PAC, the Campaign for Working Families, and was national finance director for Pat Buchanan's 1996 presidential campaign, and Walter Lukens, a direct mail specialist who is founder and president of the direct marketing firm Lukens Cook Company.
Alexander for President, Inc.--The Alexander campaign appeared to get off to a slow start, raising about $750,000, but finishing the quarter with less than $100,000 in cash on hand and more than $200,000 in debts and obligations. Alexander himself contributed $21,000 to the campaign. A spokesperson said the campaign has been focusing on "getting his name out" and organizing in Iowa and New Hampshire and has only done some small fundraisers. The spokesperson said that "most major fundraisers are scheduled for the second and third quarters" with the first big fundraiser to take place on May 4 in Nashville. Finance chairman for the campaign is Ted Welch, who was the lead fundraiser for Alexander's 1996 presidential campaign. The NYT Magazine (4/16/95) described Welch as "perhaps the best political fundraiser ever." Welch was state finance chairman for Alexander's first campaign, for Governor of Tennessee back in 1974. He served as finance chairman for the Republican National Committee from 1977-1988.
Forbes 2000, Inc.--The Forbes campaign only launched on March 16. Forbes provided $694,000 of his own money to the campaign, 97% of total contributions. Finance director for Forbes 2000 is Al Mitchler, who served as finance director at the National Republican Senatorial Committee through the 1998 cycle.
Elizabeth Dole for President Exploratory Committee, Inc.--The Dole exploratory effort launched on March 10, although donations had been coming into Mrs. Dole's office since February. The committee did one direct mail piece that roughly coincided with the March 10 announcment. Dole plans to begin a fundraising tour with an April 27 dinner in Washington, DC. Finance director for the exploratory committee is Phil Smith.
Buchanan 2000, Inc.--In the month since his announcement, Buchanan has brought in more than $500,000. Scott B. Mackenzie serves as treasurer for the committee.
Bob Smith for President Committee Inc.--The Smith campaign has come up with one of the more innovative approaches to fundraising, inviting citizens to purchase "shares of stock in America's future" at the par value of $20 per share. John Denning serves as treasurer for the committee.
Kasich 2000--The Kasich exploratory committee filed with the Ohio Secretary of State and does not yet report to the FEC. A spokesperson said the campaign had received about $1.3 million in contributions, and, should Kasich decide to run, he would transfer almost $1.5 million remaining from his 1998 re-election campaign into the presidential effort. Kasich has done most of his fundraising at small gatherings, in living rooms, although he did hold a big event the day he launched his exploratory committee. The committee's finance director, Tim Fermoile, is on leave from his position as a partner in the Washington, DC firm The Mahoney Group. Jim Rappaport, a former chairman of the Massachusetts Republican Party, has been advising the campaign.
Bill Bradley for President--A significant portion of the $4.3 million raised by the Bradley campaign came from two major fundraising dinners; according to the campaign, the kick-off dinner in East Brunswick, NJ on March 4 brought in $1.5 million and a March 10 event in Chicago raised $1.2 million. Fifty-eight percent of contributions were at the $1,000 level, the maximum allowable by law, and the average contribution was a high $685. Although the campaign had spent $1.4 million, it reported $2.8 million in cash on hand and no debts. There are three key people in the Bradley finance operation. Rick Wright, the national director of finance and fundraising, whose experience includes four years on former NJ Gov. Jim Florio's staff, makes key strategic decisions. Finance director Marian Matthews, who recently served as finance director for the Chavez/Denish gubernatorial campaign in New Mexico does the day to day work. Joyce E. Gresko, the former executive director of Participation 2000, a PAC Bradley co-chaired, does implementation.
Eric M. Appleman/Democracy in Action.