We SUPPORT and ENDORSE JOHN EDWARDS, HILLARY CLINTON , Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Dennis Kucinich, Tom Vilsack, Bill Richardson, Chris Dodd, John Kerry , Wesley Clark and their SUPPORTERS AND OTHER DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES




Tuesday, January 23, 2007


Forget sleep, it's time for fundraisingCandidates need $274,000 daily just to compete
By Mike DorningWashington BureauPublished January 23, 2007
WASHINGTON -- The Iowa caucuses that kick off the presidential campaign are nearly a year away. For the most viable contenders, make that one year and $100 million away.
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) has that capacity, and other contenders believe they do as well.
To wage a serious presidential campaign in 2008, the ante is $50 million raised by Dec. 31 of this year, said one adviser to Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.). And that is just to get a place at the table.
Those are daunting figures. To make the $100 million mark in a year, a candidate must bring in an average of nearly $2 million a week. That's $274,000 a day, including Sundays and holidays, all of it raised in increments legally limited to no more than $2,100 per person.
Start late or fall behind and the burden increases. "Every single day, the biggest part of your day is fundraising. Fundraising is going to take up more of your time than sleep if you're a candidate," said Democratic strategist Tad Devine, who advised presidential nominee Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) in 2004.
Clinton and New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson joined in the competition for campaign money last weekend, announcing their own presidential exploratory committees less than a week after Obama entered the race, highlighting the importance of the intense competition for campaign funds.
On the Republican side, Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas entered the race, part of a surge of early announcements that strategists attribute to a rush to raise campaign funds.
In this election, candidates will court well-heeled, well-connected supporters who can bring in hundreds of thousands of dollars from wealthy friends and business contacts. They will commute back and forth among New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Palm Beach, Fla., and other money centers for mammoth events that in some cases may raise $1 million or more in an evening. They will hone marketing campaigns that use Internet sites, Web videos and e-mail to galvanize large followings of dedicated supporters whose modest individual contributions can add up to staggering sums.
Federal Election Commission member Michael Toner predicted "an unprecedented fundraising sprint during the first six months of this year, with candidates raising up to $50 million to $60 million by the end of June and $100 million by the end of the year."
Presidential election campaigns regularly set records for their cost. But this time there is an extraordinary confluence of forces that most political professionals believe will drive the costs of the early primary campaigns especially high.

An altered political road map
The primary schedule is highly front-loaded. In the Democratic Party, contests are tentatively scheduled in Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire and South Carolina within a 15-day span next January.
So instead of the traditional focus on Iowa and New Hampshire, most top-tier candidates are expected to mount early full-fledged campaigns in all four states, with costly field operations, television advertising and travel back and forth among more locations. Moreover, because the contests are so close together on the calendar, there is less time to use a strong showing in one state to raise money for the campaigns in the others.
At the same time, the field of candidates is unusually crowded in both parties, with no incumbent president or vice president running for the first time since 1952, creating an open field. With such a large pack of candidates, a big campaign treasury demonstrates political strength that helps a candidate gain attention from the media and voters.
"You're not the only person competing for voters' attention, so you're going to have to be louder, more provocative, more consistent in your message and that's going to cost a lot of money," said Chip Smith, deputy campaign manager for Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore in 2000.
Add to that the wholesale defections of presidential candidates from a voluntary public financing system that previously had set strict limits on campaign spending for primaries in exchange for federal matching funds. Those candidates who choose to accept public financing, which provides matching payments for the first $250 of each individual contribution, will be limited to spending slightly over $40 million in their campaigns for the 2008 nomination and also must abide by state-by-state spending limits that inhibit the resources they can devote to crucial early primaries and caucuses.
George W. Bush opted out of the public financing system during the primaries in 2000 and went on to win the Republican nomination and the presidency. Kerry and Howard Dean declined public financing for the 2004 primaries and went on to lead the Democratic field that year.
Clinton already has declared she will forgo public financing in both the primary and general election campaigns to avoid the spending limits. Clinton spokesman Howard Wolfson cited "the rising cost of campaigns."
Most campaign consultants now believe the public financing system places crippling limits on a presidential primary campaign and do not expect the leading candidates to accept matching funds.
"Essentially, the lid's been blown off on the scheme of funding," Devine said. "And when there's no roof, the altitude can be extreme."

Candidates and campaign advisers generally play down expectations for fundraising, anxious to avoid perceptions that their campaigns are under-performing should they fall short.
But a confidential campaign strategy memo prepared for former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, who is considering a run for the Republican nomination, was leaked to the media recently and offered an inside glimpse of his fundraising plans. His advisers calculated he would need to raise $100 million by Dec. 31, 2007.

Likewise, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, a Republican who has created an exploratory committee for a presidential run, has set a goal of $100 million by the end of 2007.

Sen. Clinton ahead of the game
Clinton starts with more than $14 million left over from her Senate campaign last year that she can transfer directly to her presidential campaign. That, noted one Democratic strategist, "is a considerable down payment toward $100 million."
Clinton also can draw on the kind of formidable fundraising base normally associated with an incumbent president. She and her husband have been cultivating key Democratic fundraisers and donors since before Bill Clinton's election as president in 1992, and the former first lady has accrued plenty of political and social IOUs. She has in her husband a surrogate with almost unmatched appeal to party donors. And in the Senate, she has represented the nation's most important financial center for more than six years.
Former Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.), a presidential primary candidate and vice presidential nominee in 2004, built his funding base for his last campaign and has had plenty of time to nurture it for his current presidential run.
In order to compete, Obama and other candidates have to rapidly assemble their own fundraising networks, filled with the kind of people willing and able to ask friends for big-dollar donations and serve on the host committees that make sure that $2,100-a-seat fundraising dinners are sold out. It often takes plenty of personal attention from a candidate in advance to nurture that kind of commitment.
"Even if you're Barack Obama or [Sen.] John McCain, you can't just show up in Los Angeles," said Monica Notzon, a Republican fundraiser. "There is a whole bunch of legwork they hopefully have done already."
On the strength of his electrifying speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, a compelling biography and his personal presence, Obama already has attracted an influential group of financial backers.
Billionaire investor Warren Buffett and Hollywood moguls Jeffrey Katzenberg, David Geffen and Steven Spielberg are among past supporters of Obama's political action committee, Hopefund. Billionaire philanthropist George Soros, an early supporter of Obama's U.S. Senate bid and Hopefund donor, demonstrated his backing for the presidential campaign by sending the maximum legal contribution--$2,100--within hours of Obama's announcement, according to Soros spokesman Michael Vachon.
These high profile donors are helpful because they also bring with them potential networks of additional contributors. Corporations are prohibited from donating directly to campaigns; only individuals and political action committees can give candidates contributions.
The Internet opens the potential for a flood of additional money, particularly for a candidate who can generate excitement.
McCain (R-Ariz.) took in a surge of money via the Internet after winning the 2000 New Hampshire primary and setting a style embodied by the name of his campaign bus, Straight Talk Express. With his anti-war crusade, Dean attracted legions of givers through his Web site, bringing in more than $30 million from small-dollar donors who contributed no more than $200 each.
Broadband Internet access is now much more common. And people have grown accustomed through electronic commerce to entering their credit numbers on a Web site and spending money with the click of a mouse. So most political strategists believe the potential for raising money through the web is even greater now.
"The real thing to watch is who's going to electrify the low-dollar donors," Smith said. "You can get to $40 million or $50 million very quickly."
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