Kerry Outraises Bush

The Hill: 527 surge takes Kerry past Bush

Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and his Democratic allies have raised almost twice as much money as the Bush-Cheney campaign so far this year, according to recent government filings.

The data show that despite the fears of many Democrats, their White House nominee likely will not be significantly hurt by his funding disparity compared to President Bush this election year. The figures also call into question the effectiveness of campaign-finance reform and whether it has in fact wrung special-interest money out of politics.

Twenty-one of the largest Democratic-allied 527 groups — named after a section of the tax code — raised nearly $57 million in the first three months of this year, according to reports filed last week with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and sorted by fundraising watchdog groups such as PoliticalMoneyLine.com and the Center for Public Integrity.

Yesterday, at a closed-door meeting of trade associations hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on get-out-the-vote practices, Ken Mehlman, manager of the Bush-Cheney campaign, decried the impact of the soft-money groups.

“Thanks to 527s, we will be outspent by the Democrats,” said Mehlman, according to a participant who took notes of the meeting. “MoveOn.org is a huge threat and has hurt the president. Every action makes a difference.”

Very interesting indeed given all the complaining about the Republican money advantage.

And Mehlman needs to quit whining and start raising money. While I think it hypocritical that the people who were most adament about the need to “purify” the system by getting rid of evil big money contributions are now doing the better job skirting the law they pushed for, it’s hardly surprising that people who want to get their candidate elected are gaming the system.

Hat tip: Alex Knapp

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2004
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is a Security Studies professor at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Jim says:

    The problem I have with 527s is not that they exist. It is their paperthin non-partisianship that gets me angry. They are unaccountable: they can say the worse lies possible and the canidates can wash their hands of it. Whenever I hear the word nonpartian, I start the google search for the truth.