Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Roskam's Million Dollar "Grassroots" Campaign

Peter Roskam's website says that the D.C. Republican fundraising syndicate's crown prince has raised more than a million dollars for the 6th District campaign.

Roskam FEC Report Highlights

· Total Individual Donors - 2,402
· Individual Donors who contributed less than $200 – 1,493
· Online Contributions - $130,000
· No personal loans/contributions from the candidate

"These fundraising numbers reflect the strong grassroots support that Peter Roskam has generated in his campaign for Congress. Republicans are united and energized behind this campaign and our fundraising reinforces our momentum," said Ryan McLaughlin, Roskam's campaign manager.
Really? Strong grassroots support?

We'd need to have different numbers to fully evaluate that claim -- contributions by zipcode or area code maybe -- but to me a "grassroots campaign" is one that's funded by ordinary citizens. Ordinary citizens who make small donations. Is that really how Prince Pete's campaign is funded? Lets take a look.

While I know plenty of folks -- my wife among them -- who would argue that $200 is no small campaign contribution, that is the number that the Roskam folks have provided us with so we'll use that generous amount to define "small donor." And Roskam's campaign boasts 1,493 donors who contributed less than $200. So what percentage of Roskam's campaign booty comes from these "small donors"?

Well, to give the Prince the benefit of the doubt, i.e. to maximize the contribution of those "small donors" to his campaign, lets say that each and every one of the under $200 donors gave $199 to the campaign. So we take the number of "small donors" (1,493) and multiply it by the generous contribution amount ($199) to come up with the maximum possible amount of money donated to the Roskam campaign by "small donors". That number is $297,107.

And that's no small sum.

But what percentage of the Roskam campaign's cool million does that best-case-senario small donor sum represent? The kids who did well in math class have already shifted the decimal point and arrived at our answer -- $297,107 /$1,000,000 -- twenty nine point seven percent.

29.7% of Roskam's plunder is from "small donors". And that's only if we define "small donor" as someone who gave less than $200 and we assume that those small donors gave $199 each.

So, at most, only 30% of Peter Roskam's campaign money has come from "small donors".

That is pretty consistent with the numbers from Roskam's previous FEC reports. You remember them -- the reports that Hiram Wurf analyzed, revealing that "almost half (49%) of Peter Roskam's itemized donations are $1,000 or above."

And that's a funny definition of "grassroots support."

And I couldn't let this post go by without reminding you that the 6th District's real grassroots campaign is here.

Cross-posted at the So-Called "Austin Mayor" blog

12 comments:

Extreme Wisdom 11:14 PM  

Though I'm sure you'll discount the date and the source (and the numbers may have changed since 2003)...

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,91516,00.html

"Meanwhile, Republicans have been growing their vast small-donor base since the Reagan administration, and as of the 2002 election cycle 64 percent of all donations were for amounts less than $200. Democrats raised only 34 percent of the funds from small-dollar donors, according to the report.

In total, the Republican Party outraised the Democratic Party in 2002, bringing in a total of $652 million to the Democrats' $466 million, most of it with smaller cash donations.

Democrats have long counted on big money from labor unions, trial lawyer associations and the entertainment industry. They reaped 92 percent of all donations in amounts greater than $1 million in 2002, according to the report.

But with soft money banned under new campaign finance laws and regulated hard-money donations capped at $2,000, Republicans have the clear advantage, say political observers.

“The Democrats have always depended more on the Barbra Streisand donor and less the proprietor of the local barber shop donor,” said Mike Franc, political analyst with the Heritage Foundation."
___

What does this all mean?

The left owns the extremely large and the extremely small donations, and the Right owns the middle.

Where would you rather be?

McGoldFeinCains's fake reform killed you guys by forcing all your large donations into MooreOn.org and other vitriolic bile generators. But I digress...

You are probably right about the questionable nature of "grassroots" in the Roskam camp.

You are also probably correct about the nature of Cegelis' campaign. She deserved her shot at the title. Just don't forget that it was your very own Delay (Limousine Liberal Rahm) who gummed up that shot.

You are a far more experienced and connected insider than I am, so tell us the truth. If you were Cegelis, wouldn't you be happy to be in Roskam's position - regardless of where the total dollars came from?

I thought as much.

Bill Baar 5:17 AM  

And Roskam --the Republican candidate-- lives in District.

Can't say that for all the Democrats.

So it's a little hard to take a shot at bringing in bucks from out of district, if the Democrats are having to bring in candidates from out of district....

...I don't split hairs on this stuff.

It will be an interesting race and an interesting to see how Rove's strategy plays out.

The Colonel,  5:38 AM  

Ditto, at least Roskam lives there.

Slimebag par excellence Emmanuel isn't raising hordes of cash for his straw-person in the race?

So-Called Austin Mayor 6:38 AM  

Of course one must concede that Roskam lives in the district... now. After moving from Winfield to Naperville to run for the 13th U.S. House District seat being vacated in 1998 by Republican Harris Fawell. After losing that race he then moved his family to Wheaton to set up his run for the 6th Dist. seat being vacated for Hyde.

So yeah, he lives here now.

Bill Baar 6:41 AM  

There are so few Districts in play, that the money (and candidates) are going to move to the few spots where they can have some impact.

It's really an indictment of how we district more than anything else.

Bill Baar 6:44 AM  

PS And what do you think of Rove's Strategy playing out in the 6th?

From Dick Meyers,

The 2006 GOP/Rove platform can easily be put on an index card, if not a Post-it note. It reads something like this: we are at war against foreign terrorists who want to kill you and your society and we'll do what it takes to stop it and the Democrats won't; we will cut your taxes and give you money and Democrats won't. Every Republican candidate in the country can spit that one out.

The controversy over domestic surveillance without warrants illustrates the efficient, black and white clarity of the Rovian message. Rove said, "Let me be as clear as I can: President Bush believes if al Qaeda is calling somebody in America, it is in our national security interest to know who they're calling and why. Some important Democrats clearly disagree."

Please draft a two sentence response that will work in a TV ad; my guess is it will sound as convoluted as John Kerry explaining why his vote for war was a vote against war.

Democrats thought the domestic surveillance revelations were a boon; if that were the case, why would the administration be devoting this week to a public campaign to trumpet the issue? Simple: because they think they have the gut punch: we'll protect you, they won't.

kbonline 7:49 AM  

Here's your two sentence response: "Democrats believe that if Al Qaida is calling somebody in America, it is in our national security interest to know who they're calling and why, but you don't have to break the law to do that. This country is strong enough to win the war on terror without sacrificing your rights in the name of fear."

The reason the administration is spending the week on a pr campaign to promote their spying is simple - they believe that the best defense is a good offense. They can talk tough about protecting us, but the conduct of the war in Iraq, the growing disorder in Afghanistan, and the revelation of incompetence that Katrina brought all show the weak underside of the message. Of course they're coming out swinging. They see the risk.

Anonymous,  8:04 AM  

Let's see this same analysis when Duckworth reports...I'm sure you'll see plenty of big donors and PAC money.

Bill Baar 8:08 AM  

Keep talking Kbonline...keep talking...

Here's Kos on Bin Laden and Bush yesterday. Cegelis and Duckworth should be asked to comment!

Let's not forget that ultimately, Osama's vision for the Arab world is far more akin to the Right's vision of America. Remember these old posts? On homosexuality, on militarism, on women's rights, on religion in school, on capital punishment, on free speech, on curtailment of civil liberties, and on a million different other issues Islamic fundamentalists don't share many disagreements with the ideologues running our country.

The reason we hate Islamic fundamentalists is pretty much the same reason we're fighting to take back this country from the Republicans. They are two peas from the same pod, and diametrically opposed to everything we liberals stand for.


Roskam should be using that cash to bring Kos to speak in DuPage.

Anonymous,  9:20 AM  

Wow.

Even though the Libs don't control any branch of the federal government our country is still screwed. No money, bogged down in war, no manufacturing base, spiraling debt and no good jobs.

That must be so frustrating for you guys, especially because it's true! Either that or living in Illinois is just eating you up. Maybe it is those gays or the illegal immigrants working at your favorite restaurant that has got your collective goats.

"The Libs, Rahm, Tammy, the Libs!" What a bunch of cry babies. It reminds me of something, all this whining, oh yeah - bleeding heart Libs.

Illinois Republicans are the stereotypical liberals, constipated and complaining and acting indignant and spitting out the same talking points, especially the ones posting here that I read typing the same crap over and over again.

But thanks for all the great advice. We'll see where Rove and his platform go - hopefully jail just before the Republicans go the way of the loser ones from Illinois.

Anonymous,  10:32 AM  

Rove will be fine...maybe if Democrats found a leader and message they could stop trying blame Karl for everything and come up with some good ideas...that's where they're failing.

Cal Skinner 11:22 AM  

Any other Illinois congressional candiate with over 2000 contributors?

Before the millionaires started running against Phil Crane--which is the first time he accepted any PAC money--I'll bet he had that many.

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