"One-fourth of President Bush's mammoth reelection treasury was collected by a group of 68 friends and moguls who raised $100,000 or more in the campaign's first seven weeks, according to records released yesterday," The Post 's Mike Allen reports.
"The Pioneers were a well-known part of the financial engine that shattered all fundraising records for Bush's first campaign. The Rangers are new, created by the 2004 campaign's architects to provide an incentive for even more diligent dialing for big money." LINK
"Katherine E. Boyd, an interior designer in Northern California, was among the maiden group of Rangers and raised her $200,000 in increments of $2,000 by selling tickets to a chicken salad lunch Bush headlined in San Francisco last month. Boyd said she wasn't sure when she hit Ranger status."
"'I don't pay any attention,' she said with chuckle. 'I just go to it.'"
Boyd has been a family friend long enough that she refers to President George H.W. Bush, who appointed her to the federal Advisery Council on Historic Preservation, as "Papa Bush."
The AP's Sharon Theimer writes that "[at] least 50 people have raised enough since Bush entered the 2004 race in mid-May to become a pioneer. New pioneers include New York Gov. George Pataki; Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff, a longtime ally of House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas; Miami lawyer Al Cardenas, former chairman of the Florida Republican Party; and John Tsu, chairman of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, a panel created by Bush." LINK The campaign has $32.6 million in cash on hand, and expects to spend $2.4 million this quarter — about 7% of the amount raised.
12,500 donors have maxed their contributions.
When Bush-Cheney '04 went online with their donor lists yesterday, the Note was as excited as a 4-year-old on Christmas morning. And we commend the campaign for its disclosure efforts, which, as Mehlman correctly Noted in yesterday's conference call, go beyond the legal requirements.
But we were dismayed to discover that the donor database does not allow you to search for individual names without knowing what state the donor is from. While we've got plenty of time for 51 state searches in the hopes of viewing donors around the country, this may not be the most convenient way to get those names out there.
Campaign spokeswoman Nicolle Devenish kindly responded to our query and assured us that the campaign will "review the tool" and its ability to search donors in all 50 states to make sure it is adequate.
The campaign says there is no ceiling on the amount of money they want to raise. $150-$170 million is where they want to be, Mehlman said. "If we were to raise $170 million that would be an outstanding result."
He reiterated that they will not take matching funds for the nomination, but will accept them for the general election. Asked why the campaign needs to raise so much cash when they're not facing a nomination opponent, Mehlman replied, "We intend to use these resources to deliver our message" and build a strong grassroots organization.
The take from this weekend's fundraising in Texas will be announced as they go. "The president strongly appreciates the support he receives all over the country and looks forward to visiting with old friends in Texas," Mehlman said.