Small donors rewrite fundraising handbook
By: Jeanne Cummings
Sep 26, 2007
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — On a table near The Cashew’s upstairs bar, Nicola Heskett is laying out an array of pens and donor information forms as Jason Moehlman strolls in, still sweaty from the muggy evening’s air.
He slaps down a $20 bill to cover the recommended contribution for the Kansas City Lawyers for Barack Obama Happy Hour. “Uh, would you mind using your credit card? I think it’s a little cleaner,” says Heskett, 36, a first-time, small-time bundler for Obama who is helping to rewrite political fundraising playbooks this cycle.
The rise of the baby bundlers — people who ask friends and family to donate for a candidate and then direct the money to the campaign — is adding a face-to-face dimension to tactics used in 2004 to spur an explosion of Internet donations.
The influx of these new players, combined with unorthodox appeals by the candidates, also is fundamentally reshaping the parties’ donor bases.
The surprising end result could be that the Democratic nominee will buck historic trends and have a significant financial edge in a cycle when the nominees alone are expected to spend an unprecedented $1 billion.
Obama on Monday e-mailed supporters to report he had 75,000 new donors in the third quarter, which ends Sunday.
That figure nearly matches the entire Republican field’s donor base in the first six months of the year.
According to an August analysis by the Campaign Finance Institute done in partnership with Politico, 87 percent of the donors to Democrats in the first six months of this year didn’t give money to any candidate in the party’s crowded 2004 primary, the first presidential race after passage of the McCain-Feingold reform law that put a premium on limited individual donations.
There’s also a significant infusion of new blood on the GOP side: Among Republican givers, 89 percent of donors did not give to President Bush in his 2004 reelection race.
That figure could reflect two trends: the engagement of new donors such as those backing former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney from the Mormon community and the fatigue or disenchantment of Bush-Cheney donors.
Several high-ranking members of the president’s 2004 campaign finance team haven’t written a single check to a 2008 candidate.
Rest of the article is here:
I think this is interesting, because it means that this isn't the same old financial pie that they are cutting from. They are creating entirely new pies, which is something that hasn't happened before. Howard Dean was the first one to tap into this new financial way of doing things, but 'The Establishment' still had relative control over the money. With the kinds of money that candidates like Obama is bringing in, this is an entirely new group that ' The Establishment' hasn't been able to reach out to before and get to donate.
Of course, all of this could be settled with public financing of campaigns, but that would be too much like right.