Daily Kos
Political analysis and other daily rants on the state of the nation

Friday | February 14, 2003

Bush may have 5x more money than Dems

If you want a sobering look at what we're up against in 2004, check out this WP piece.

New campaign finance laws, plus control of the White House and Congress, have given President Bush and his party an unprecedented edge in all-important "hard money." Strategists in both parties and independent experts believe Bush is likely to raise three to five times more than his Democratic opponent in this type of contribution, which can be used for any purpose in a campaign.
The Democrat's most dangerous period will be right after a nominee emerges -- broke and wounded -- to face a GOP advertising onslaught. Terry McAuliffe has been hitting donors hard to build up cash reserves to fight back, but under the best circumstances the GOP will have a solid advantage.

Indeed, early guesstimates peg Bush's war chest at the $250 million range.

But all is not doom and gloom in the murky world of campaign finance law. Assuming the law doesn't get tossed out (ironically by Republicans who most stand to benefit from the law), the Democrats can still utilize their soft money parity to hammer Bush. Previously, such dollars flowed from unions, environmental groups, and other allied organizations straight into the Democratic Party coffers. Now, with such fundraising prohibited by CFR, those organizations can still spend the money directly. They are not allowed to "coordinate" with the Democratic Party, but who cares? The Sierra Club doesn't need the Dems to tell them how to hammer Bush's environmental record.

And Terry McAuliffe, fundraiser extraordinaire (why do you think he kept his job after the 2002 mess?) has vowed to raise $100 million in hard money for the presidential nominee. And, there's a reason McAuliffe has been pushing hard to move the primary schedule forward -- the sooner a nominee is annointed, the sooner he can get to the important task of fundraising.

Ultimately, it is worthwhile to note that the Republicans have always held a fundraising advantage over Democrats. It's the only way they can win any national elections. Given equal funding and an honest appraisel of their respective agendas, the American people would clearly elect overwhelming Democratic majorities.

But our system is not based on parity or honesty, so the money race is important. Sure, a 3-1 or 5-1 disadvantage in money will hurt. But it will simply make our victory that much sweeter.

(How's that for some Valentine's Day optimism?)

Update: From CADem in the comments:

Here's a secure link to the DNC's contribution page. They have a Sustaining Member option where you can donate every month, so if you're unsure about donating in a larger amount right now (the economy sucks, after all), you can donate a smaller amount each month.

You can think about it this way: Many of us pay $30, $35, even $50 or more each month on our cell phones. I signed up to give $35 a month, about the amount of my phone bill, which isn't much to my bank account every month but adds up to over $400 over the course of a year.

Excellent idea! I just went over and signed up for $25/month. It's the best I can do at this time (bad economy and all), but it's $300 over the course of the year, not exactly chump change.

Here's the link again: https://www.democrats.org/support/donate.html. I'll be adding it to the sidebar sometime soon.

Posted February 14, 2003 08:49 AM | Comments (27)


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