Saturday, August 05, 2006

More on fundraising and the spincycle

Saturday’s Globe has reaction from some of the campaigns that were on the lower end of the recent fundraising tallies released by Elections Canada this week.

Some of the highlights:

*Maurizo Bevilacqua’s campaign forgot to file many of its donations, including two fundraisers that raised $80,000. Opps.

*Stephane Dion’s campaign said things have been more active the past month, and said they’ve now raised over $100k. Of particular note, they said the day the original fundraising story appeared (with Dion near the bottom) more than $10k was donated on the Web. (There’s a handy link on my sidebar if you’re interested). I think that’s a great sign.

*Ken Dryden’s campaign said much the same, the focus is now on fundraising and they’re over $100k now.

Obviously, there’s some spin going on here, but I don’t think it’s too far from the truth. Campaigns were more focused on memberships until the cutoff, now fundraising is more of a focus. While a gap will remain, the monetary difference will be less important going forward.

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed, and a bit surprised, to see Dion near the bottom of the list. If I were spinning it though, I’d say I wasn’t overly concerned. He doesn’t have the large organization of an Ignatieff or the big business backing of a Rae, he had to focus more closely on memberships in the first phase. He also wasn’t initially viewed as one of the top tier candidates, that has now changed. I think the proof will be in the pudding with the next round of numbers. Also, being everyone’s second choice doesn’t mean lots of cheques flowing in. It does, however, mean lots of potential for growth and a very good shot in Montreal.

Spinning aside though, I think they’ve got some kinks to work out in their finance system. I sent in a cheque (yeah, I’m old fashioned) in late June that didn’t make it on this disclosure, and while I got a nice thank-you letter back quickly it was only cashed last week.

Lastly, I’d just say that while you need to raise money to win, there’s just a base level that needs to be met. Beyond that, it’s not the flashiest campaign that wins, nor the one with the swankiest hospitality suite or the most buttons. It’s the one with the best ideas and the best candidate, and I think in that respect we’re very wealthy.

PS. Great analysis on the fundraising issue Friday from Cerberus, very thorough and very right.

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Steve V said...

The fact Dion was able to raise that amount of money on the same day of the story is a very encouraging sign that he enjoys broad support.

Anonymous said...

I don't know why people are coming to any conclusions at this point - why not wait until the total tally is in before speculating. It's just a great big waste of time.

Jeff said...

I agree Steve, I think it's a very positive sign.

Anon, I agree to a point, but I think the preception of being seen as a "lower rung candidate" is something to be avoided, because so much of politics is preception

Also, it's summer and we're bored...