Hillary has another shady fundraiser

Sometimes I offer advice to candidates.

When you are trying to shake a story about felon-fundraisers, don’t hold fundraisers at the home of people convicted of extortion who steal elections. We are talking about Raul Martinez, the former mayor of Hialeah, Florida with a shady past. Back in 1991 Martinez, was convicted of extortion and racketeering. The conviction was later reversed. Then just two years later, Martinez ran for office. Won. But then a judge threw out because of voter fraud. H/T: Right Wing News

At least Mitt Romney had the decency to push his crook out of his campaign.

Thompson’s fundraising numbers are a self-trap

Jim Geraghty posts the Thompson defense of their "disappointing" fundraising numbers. I, frankly, don’t know what to make of all of this, but I have two thoughts.

First, people are comparing John McCain, Mitt Romney, and Rudy Giuliani’s fundraising numbers to Fred Thompson’s. Simply, these are apples and oranges. McCain and Romney had been running for President for several years. Romney ran for his RGA position in 2004 and starting building his national fundraising network soon after. And Giuliani had started his political operation at least a year beforehand, collecting business cards and favors as he campaigned for candidates all over the country. Compare that to Thompson. I first heard his name circulated at CPAC, when it seemed laughable. Three months after that, he raises more money in one month than the total amount raised by any one 2nd tier candidate. Starting from scratch.

That said, it illustrates a trap that the Thompson campaign has set for itself. No plausible number was high enough to meet the expectations. And that’s going to be part of the problem for him. He will never be as conservative as the hopes and dreams of his followers. He will never be as articulate as Reagan. He will never (or at least not for a while) have the fundraising apparatus of someone who has been running for President for 3-4 years. Etc. Etc. Etc.

People might cut him some slack if his followers didn’t present him as the savior…

Cash on hand and Ames

In Q1, the refrain from the 2nd tier was that the only fundraising number that really matters is Q2 Cash on Hand. The reasoning for that was Ames. The amount of money that a campaign has right now limits the amount of money it can spend at Ames, and there’s a linear relationship between the amount of money that you invest in Ames and your vote. And 2nd tier campaigns are looking for a boost from Ames. So let’s try to reason around what is going on with the CoH numbers, taken from WaPo.

Candidate Cash
Giuliani $14.6
Romney  $12.1
McCain  $1.9
Paul  $2.4
Brownback $0.6
Huckabee $0.5
T. Thompson $0.1

The first conclusions are about the people who are not contesting Ames. Clearly Rudy Giuliani could contest Ames and expect to do well, if he had identified the voters. The fact that he is not contesting, with the polls and CoH, suggests either that he has not developed the ground game necessary, or they don’t think that winning would be that helpful. Or that a loss hurts quite a lot.

In contrast, John McCain clearly could not afford to contest Ames with the amount of cash he has. Lucky break from Rudy.

Sam Brownback and Mike Huckabee have very similar CoH numbers, despite Brownback’s much superior fundraising. This suggests that their relative results are probably going to be a measure of who has better organization and popularity in the state.

The real question, as Patrick Ruffini has pointed out, is what will happen if Ron Paul comes in second? He clearly has the money to perform well. He appears to have a reasonable in-state organization and almost all of the energy in the race. It seems that most people are assuming that only the top two or three, of those contesting Ames, will will advance after Ames. What if Ron Paul is one of those guys? What impact does that have on the race?

And what about those 527s that Fred Thompson and Newt Gingrich have? Are they going to be cranking out straw poll votes? We might not know until mid-January when those disclosures become public.

Huckabee disappoints in Q2 fundraising

In Q1, Mike Huckabee’s fundraising team disappointed. Looks like he did it in Q2 also:

Republican Mike Huckabee raised $764,000 for his presidential campaign from April through June and had $437,000 cash on hand at the end of last month, according to financial reports filed Sunday.

The former Arkansas governor spent nearly $703,000 during those three months. More than half went for payroll, travel, and media and fundraising consultants.

Compare that with Sam Brownback, who more than doubled that:

Senator Sam Brownback reports raising nearly $1.5 million for his presidential bid in the last three months.

That’s about $200,000 more than the Kansas Republican reported in the previous quarter.

However, Ron Paul is still the 2nd-tier Q2 winner.

Giuliani fundraising blogger conference call

Details from Mike DuHaime on Rudy Giuliani:

  • 60k donors. Thinks that this can grow. Lower than McCain’s and Romney’s.
  • $33m raised for this cycle
  • $11m spent in Q2
  • $18m CoH and $0 debt
  • "Finance numbers catching up polling numbers"

Campaign contnuing to grow:

  • Active in 12 states
  • "Only candidate who can win the general election"
    • Can pick up NJ. CT, RI, WA, OR, PA.
    • Says that other  candidates cannot.
  • Anne Dunsmore is credited for finance operation. We last met Anne when she left Mitt Romney’s operation

Anne had platitudes.

Questions:

Ian Schwartz. Asked about McCain’s failure. DuHaime is worried about Rudy not McCain.

Ed Morrissey. Rate of fundraising.DuHaime says that they are increasing from quarter-to-quarter.

Brian Faughn, Influence Peddler and Weekly Standard. Compare with Democrats. DuHaime said that they were two different raced.

I asked about the 12 states that they have staff in. DuHaime would not say. I also asked about expanding the 60k donors and they said that they were confident that they would expand it.

It strikes me that part of the reason that Rudy’s burn rate is so low is that he does not yet have the infrastructure for Feb. 5th in place. He is in great shape, don’t get me wrong, but the campaign is not fully up and running.

It is likely that the real test for him in Q3 will be the number of donors he adds. He has to demonstrate a depth of grassroots support that he has not yet.

Rudy raises $17m, $18m CoH

Update: $2m was raised for the general. That means that he raised $15m primary  money in Q2 and has $16m in the bank for the primary.

Details coming soon.  This means that he spent $10m, about half of what Romney spent. And raised $4m more than Romney. And has $6m more in the bank.

Oh yeah, and he’s in the top in the polls.

Advantage Rudy.

Here’s the press release:

The Rudy Giuliani Presidential Committee reported today it has outraised every other Republican campaign and has over $18 million cash on hand.  The campaign raised over $17 million in the second quarter, for both the primary and general election, and ended the quarter with zero debt. 

The second quarter fundraising totals highlighted the Giuliani campaign’s growing momentum and commitment to discipline and efficiency with campaign dollars. 

The campaign both outraised first quarter totals by more than $2 million and doubled the number of individual donors.  Contributions have been received from all fifty states, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and the District of Columbia. 

“We are thrilled by our fundraising this quarter and are running a strong and efficient campaign.  We are well positioned to win both the primary and the general elections,” said Giuliani Campaign Manager Michael DuHaime, “and we are serious about being good stewards with the money that has been entrusted to us.” 

Deputy Campaign Manager Anne Dunsmore added, “Since joining Team Rudy, I have been increasingly encouraged by the response to Rudy’s message across the country.  That strong support translates into an increase in the number of events, donors and dollars which will allow us not only to compete and win the primary, but to win the general election.”

Romney only raises $14m? Spent $32m in 6 months

Ok. Mitt Romney was supposed to be the money king. But he only raised $2.8m more than John McCain, according to AP.  Between Q1 and Q2 Romney raised, including the $9m from himself, about $44m. And now he has $12m COH.

That means that Romney spent $32m, with about $20m in Q2.

And CBS still puts him at 6% nationwide.

That is shocking. This is a failure to meet expectations on par or greater than John McCain’s. And there is no question at all that Rudy Giuliani will raise more and have more CoH than Romney.

Update: I found another way to think about this.  If Mitt Romney hadn’t cut himself about $9m in checks, he would have $3m CoH. And having $2m CoH has been viewed as a meltdown for McCain, who was never supposed to be any good at fundraising anyways. The only reason Romney is in this race is that he can cut himself big checks. Combine that with the 6%, the campaign looks to be sputtering.

Questions for remainder of fundraising numbers

Now that John McCain’s disappointing numbers are out, there are still a couple more interesting questions remaining:

  1. Mitt Romney versus Rudy Giuliani:
    1.  What does it mean if Rudy raises more money than he did in Q1, but Romney raises less? That seems to be the conventional wisdom.
    2. If Romney has a McCainiac burn-rate, that would leave Rudy with substantially more CoH. After all, Romney raised (and gave to self) $8m more than Rudy in Q1, but they ended up with the same CoH.
  2. Fred Thompson may not be required to release any numbers because is "testing the waters". Presumably he will if it looks impressive.
  3. Rest of the field. The rest of the field will actually compete in the Ames Straw Poll. So their numbers will be really important to determine CoH for Ames. Probably only the top one or two Ames performers, except Romney,  will even bother competing in the Iowa caucus. But some specific questions remain:
    1. Sam Brownback was the top of the 2nd-tier in Q1 fundraising. Will he stay that way?
    2. Mike Huckabee has been the clear winner of the debates. Can he convert it to real cash. His $400k Q1 haul was very disappointing.
    3. Ron Paul’s energy could be converted to some level of money. He could be an interesting dynamic a bunch of ways.

A lot of interesting questions remain left in the money chase.

McCain’s fundraising numbers

Ryan Sager has the info. John McCain’s campaign fired about 50 staff, raised $11.2 CoH, and has $2m CoH. That means that they spent about $13m in Q2. Where did that go?

Apparently, the strategy is to focus on New Hampshire and South Carolina. I assume this means that they will pull out of Iowa.

I assume that Fred Thompson will try to pick up much of the staff. This will simplify his staffing problems.

Update: McCain will still compete in Iowa, according to Jonathan Martin.

Mitt’s money man: The creepy donor sued for torturing children

Pop quiz for all you wannabe political strategists. If you had a campaign leader who, according to today’s Salt Lake Trib,  was named as a defendant in a suit alleging that at a school he ran:

[S]tudents were forced to eat their own vomit, clean toilets with a toothbrush and brush their teeth afterward, were chained or locked in dog cages, kicked, beaten, thrown and slammed to the ground and forced into sexual acts.

Would you distance yourself from him? Not if you are Mitt Romney, and the guy is one of your Utah Finance co-chairs. In fact, Mitt seems to be good buddies with the guy. Romney got a quarter-mill to fund a candidate in Maine last cycle, according to the Portland Press Herald:

Romney and Lichfield also made the news in Maine recently when the Portland Press Herald reported that an organization affiliated with Lichfield was the top donor in the governor’s race there. RECAF Inc., the paper reported, gave $250,000 to a political action committee set up by the Republican Governors Association to buy television time to support Republican Chandler Woodcock.

Ok. So Lichfield is probably a big donor for Romney and a friend.  Who …. misrepresents himself on campaign contribution filings?

The same penalties apply to any false statement made in campaign disclosure reports. In this case, the address listed for RECAF is 170 N. State St. in La Verkin, Utah.

However, the entire 100 block of North State Street is occupied by Cross Creek Programs, a youth treatment center that sits on land owned by a partnership in Lichfield’s name.

Now, what does the Romney campaign say? Well, when the issue first arose, they said:

"Mr. Lichfield has donated to numerous Republican candidates and committees," Pompei said in the statement, "and is just one of more than 34,000 donors to Governor Romney’s campaign."

"Nothing special." Nothing to see here. Move on. Yesterday, in the Hill, they said:

Mr. Lichfield is one of 6 Co-Chairman of our Utah finance team,” said Romney spokeswoman Gail Gitcho in a statement.

Just one of 6, just one of 34,000, that gave $250k and held a fundraiser:

Lichfield helped to organize a February event in St. George, Utah, that raised about $300,000 for the Romney campaign.

Right…… The Hill had a suggestion:

The allegations could force Romney to re-examine his relationship with his Utah finance co-chairman or put pressure on him to give away the contributions Lichfield helped raise.

Is he gonna do it?