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Mitt the Money Man

Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has emerged as the leading alternative to Arizona Sen. John McCain in the 2008 Republican presidential sweepstakes for a number of reasons -- the most important of which is his fundraising ability and successful courtship of big-dollar donors.

Witness an invite to dinner event scheduled for tomorrow in California that made its way into the Fix's mailbox recently. The fundraiser will be held at the Stone Hill Tavern at the St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort in Dana Point at 7:30 pm. To sit at the head table with Romney, a couple must contribute $25,000 to Romney's Commonwealth PAC; it's $10,000 per couple or $5,000 per person to attend the dinner.

The host committee includes a number of California financial heavy hitters including Barbara and Mark Chapin Johnson, Barbara and Hadi Makarechian, LaDorna and Bob Eichenberg, and Stephanie and Tom Tellefsen. Tellefsen was a Bush Pioneer in 2004. (Scroll down to the bottom of this post to see The Fix's list of Bush Rangers and Pioneers -- aka "whales" -- who have signed up with a 2008 candidate.)

California is a gold mine (ahem) for potential presidential candidates. While it's generally considered more friendly for Democrats (Hollywood, etc.), there are any number of affluent Republican givers in the state who are free agents for 2008. Win a majority of the biggest money men (and women) in California and you are well on your way to the $50 million (or more) necessary to be competitive in the nomination fight.

Romney has several built-in national networks -- the Church of Latter Day Saints, the Republican Governors Association, Bain & Company -- that any candidate other than McCain would kill for. And, Romney has not been shy about tapping these various groups to raise cash in support of his presidential ambitions. From April 1 to June 30, Romney collected nearly $3.5 million through six Commonwealth committees -- a federal PAC and state-based PACs in the early primary and caucus states of Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Michigan and Arizona.

The recruitment of major donors in key states like California, New York and Florida is a constant process for candidates who want to be the next president. It is the most difficult element of the 2008 race to track since much of the courting goes on behind close doors and among a tight-lipped few. It is also happens to be the most important sign of viability a candidate can show heading into 2007.

Need evidence? Much of then Texas Gov. George W. Bush's inevitability as the Republican nominee in 200 was built in 1998 and 1999 by securing commitments from the major money players in the party. And, when McCain looked like he might upset the applecart after New Hampshire's primary, the huge warchest Bush had built allowed him to bounce back to win South Carolina and essentially end the McCain momentum.

The Whale List (former Bush "Pioneers" and "Rangers" are indicated)

John McCain
Wayne Berman, lobbyist (D.C.) RANGER
Fred Malek, Thayer Capital Partners (D.C.)
Carter Pate, PricewaterhouseCoopers (D.C./Texas) RANGER
Bob Mosbacher, Mosbacher Energy Co. (Texas)
Tom Loeffler, lobbyist (Texas) RANGER
Bill Clements, Former Texas Governor (Texas) PIONEER
Ron Weiser, Former Slovakia Ambassador (Michigan) PIONEER
Kent Hance, Former Congressman (Texas) PIONEER
Gerald Parsky, Aurora Capital Group (California) PIONEER
Sergio Pino, Century Partners Group (Florida) RANGER
Sig Rogich, Rogich Communications Group (NEVADA) RANGER

Mitt Romney
Mark Chapin Johnson, Chapin Medical Company (Calif.)
Peter Karmanos, Compuware Corp. (Mich.)
David Fischer, Suburban Collection (Mich.) PIONEER
John Rakolta, Walbridge Aldinger (Mich.) RANGER
Dave Phillips, Phillips Industries (N.C.) RANGER
Tom Tellefsen, Tellefsen Investments (Calif.) PIONEER
Anne Dunsmore, Capital Campaigns (Calif.) RANGER
Hadi Makarechian, Capital Pacific Holdings (Calif.)
Herb Collins, Boston Capital Partners (Mass.) PIONEER
Jim Sims (MA) GEN3Partners (Mass.)
Joe O'Donnell (MA), Boston Culinary Group (Mass.) RANGER
Tom Foley, NTC Corp. (Conn.) PIONEER
Eric Tanenblatt, McKenna Long Aldridge (Ga.) RANGER
Ron Kaufman, Dutko Group (D.C.) PIONEER

Bill Frist
Zachariah Zachariah, cardiologist (Fla.) RANGER
Ken Eldred, Living Stones Foundation (Calif.)
Michael Lebovitz, CBL & Associates Partners (Tenn.) RANGER
Jim Haslam, Pilot Oil Co. (Tenn.) RANGER
Chip Saltsman, former Tennnessee state party chairman (Tenn.) RANGER
Ted Welch, Ted Welch Investments (Tenn.) RANGER
Jeff McWaters, Amerigroup Corp. (Va.) PIONEER

By Chris Cillizza  |  August 17, 2006; 9:00 AM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
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Next: McCain Stumps for DeWine


Ro. 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

From the management of the Evangelical Congregational Church Svilengrad 6500 "Obedinenie" St with pastor Stefan Iliev and committee members Miroslav Raichev, Michail Angelov, Stefan Andonov

Our church is establioned for 5 years. Evangelical Congregational Church Svilengrad is a member of the Evangelical Congregational Church in Bulgaria Sofia, 49 "Solunska St
In April this year on the annual Congregational Conference our church was announced for a self-olpendent church

Our church has already established 5 ather churches and we all tahe care for the spiritual gowth amd materialsupport of uor brothers and sisters .

During thuse 5 years our church has grown and in Svilengrad were held several seminars for Pastors, Preachers, and other people involved in service.These seminars were for all Hepeople in our region.Hi has helped us for our spiritual development and for understanding the truths in the Holy Bible too.
The Evangelical Congregational Church , Svilengrad has regular sevices, You ths services , Special Family services for new members.
Our Evangelical Congregational Church has a special nissionary group which travels to the nearby villages and towns to establish new churches have a special meeting to study the Scriptures and to oliscuss some af the needs of the church amd the duties of the pastors and the other members.
There is a lot of unemployment in Bulgaria. That is why the churches belonging to the Evangelical Congregational Church in Svilengrad are in a difficult situation. Therefore our church is very thankful for your help . We would also hope for your future support for these churches. Svilengrad church supports 4 other churches therefore we need some annual funding for the needs of our servants, for paying some rents in the three towns and missionary work.
If it is possible the Svilengrad church to be funded we would supply an annual financial report for everything. Our aim is to supply Bibles and qualify pastors.
We hope our request to be well-met so the we can together work for the people who need to learn more about the Bible and our Lord.

bOur address is: Evangelical Congregational Church Svilengrad 6500
obl.Haskovo 15" Obedinenie St BULGARIA
Telephone numbers 0379/ 85-17; 0889794457;

Central Co-operative Bank Ltd Branah- Haskovo
Svilengrad CECBBGSF IBAN:BG 35 CECB 97904119051300 USD
Stefan Vaskov Iliev
Michail Milchev Angelov
Miroslav Atanasov Raichev

Posted by: Stefan | September 3, 2006 4:45 PM | Report abuse

I heard you on Countdown this week and wanted to tell you that I have exactly what you were talking about.

I have the composite job approval graphic for President Bush dating from 2000 to this week. I collect the non-partisan national and current polls and calculate the composite score. Then I put that on a graph.

You can see it for yourself at me web site, and click the "Bush Poll" button on the top of the screen. I keep details for the past three polls with the current one on-line so the numbers can be verified by anyone wanting to take the time.

Please let me know if this can be of any use to you. It's free, just mention the source if you would.

Posted by: Jerry | August 25, 2006 7:47 PM | Report abuse

I'm definitely a supporter of Romney. I think there are only a few reasons he hasn't totally come out as the clear front runner. First off Massachusets is a small state and Romney just doesn't have the name recognition factor. Because of the low name recognition, most people aren't aware of the brilliant leader he is. I for one am going to do everything I can to put this guy in the white house. I don't care about his religious persuasion, and I think that most good Americans will care more about his ability to govern than any particularly weird beliefs that some people say Mormons have. People that wouldn't vote for Romney because of his religion, probably wouldn't vote for him anyway if he was some other religion. I've seen a lot of comments on various posts, and heard some people say some nasty things about mormons. Thoughtful christians, and thoughtful agnostics can't argue with the fact that Romney took on a democratic legislature, and a massive deficit and turned the situation around to a budget surplus without raising taxes when he was governor. What other potential presidential candidate can say that? What other potential presidential candidate achieved consensus in their state and worked across party lines to get everyone in their state health insurance, and do it in a way that makes liberals, and conservatives happy? Only Romney. Every thinking American will eventually be won over by this guy, he is the real deal.

Posted by: Jay | August 24, 2006 10:28 PM | Report abuse

What did Howard Dean get for his $50 million? The reward was to be put in charge of the National Dems.

Part of the cost of the $1 billion for the 2004 race was because of all the donations sent to Dean the Anti War guy. Kerry, Edwards, Bob Graham, Lieberman all voted for it, so they could not be the anti war guy. Wesley Clark was Nato Commander, and he could not be the anti-war guy. So that left Howard Dean. (or Dennis Koo-sinich?)
So all the anger against Iraq got funneled into Dean, but he spent all his money and never got the nomination as president or even VP. Why? For having a sarcastic mouth and a hot nasty temper.

Did you all hear about Dean in a shouting match against US Rep. Rahm Emanuel? Arguing over how to spend their millions. Rahm slammed the door and cursed out Dean along the way. It was reported in many newspapers. So it would appear that a hot head in a verbal battle with another hot head only results in being ridiculed by level-headed observers.

Raising money is hard work. But by requiring any candidate to show where their money is coming from is one step to block corruption. And George Bush collected $100,000,000 in 2000 by $1000 maximum in donations. He followed the law regardless of what the Dems say against him. No reporter who investigated the money for Bush ever found any link to illegal money, no Buddhist temple deal like Gore and no Loral Technology pay off for secrets to China like Clinton.

Posted by: Susan | August 18, 2006 4:27 PM | Report abuse

A little late to post about it, but public money to spend on campaigns always gets trampled with private donations. So no, it doesn't work, take Mexico for example.

It just doesn't work, fund-raising is a much better system. Period.

Posted by: Deg | August 18, 2006 3:53 PM | Report abuse

The DEMS fail to understand the power of a president at time of war. FDR put Japanese and Asian looking families into camps to protect our society. Was he ever charged for violating their civil right? FDR was in office kept J Edgar Hoover in the FBI which was created to go after gangsters and booze runners prior to FDR coming into office. The FBI went after gun smugglers, drug smugglers, and helped end gang warfare. At least FDR understood he was in charge of protecting our society and the DEMS seem to forget their WAR HAWK heros like FDR, Truman, JFK. As it was stated earlier, the Dems have their own gang war going on now between the anti-war McGovernites/Adlai Stevenson group fighing the WAR HAWKs like Lieberman, and Ben Nelson. If the DEMS become another anti-war party, they will not win in 2008 no matter who gets nominated.

Posted by: Tina | August 18, 2006 12:43 PM | Report abuse

"Evangelicals are NOT GONNA support a Mormon. Just ain't gonna happen. They don't think Mormons are Christians and the Evangelicals will only come out for Christians."

I am not evangelical but I think it's funny you and others have put them into such a box. I think they are due a little more credit for their intelligence.

Also to those complaining about Romney's expensive fundraiser: I saw him for free and got a picture with him. Another time I saw him for $50 and got a picture with him. So, while you may not like the system, Romney can hardly be blamed for it.

When I saw him in Ames IA, one Iowa insider claimed that Romney's accessibilty to the common person is unparralleled with any other presidential candidate coming to Iowa in the last 25 years.

Posted by: jason | August 18, 2006 9:01 AM | Report abuse

Chris Cillizza,

You mentioned Romney's church as a source that he has "not been shy about raise cash in support of his presidential ambitions."

In the future, please be more careful to note that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints never supports or endorses political candidates, nor does it contribute money to them in any way. See here for the facts: ",19491,6056-1-462-44-462,00.html"

While it's true that individual Latter-day Saints have contributed lots of money to Romney, they do so through their own volition without any encouragement from their church leaders.

It's an important distinction, because folks like Drindl immediately get their panties in a knot over perceived trampling of the constitutionally guaranteed separation of church and state (clearly a gross misunderstanding of the Establishment Clause).

Posted by: murphy | August 18, 2006 12:26 AM | Report abuse


There's no denying the anti-mormon prejudice that exists among certain evangelical groups. But this is prejudice against the "imaginary" mormon candidate, the candidate about whom you know nothing other than his religion. As evangelicals get to know more about Romney (and there's plenty of time), they'll realize that he is one of the few GOP candidates who shares their common social values.

A little thought experiment. If religion was all an evangelical knew about a candidate, would they vote for a baptist or a mormon? Duh, the baptist. What if it turned out that the baptist was Bill Clinton, adulterous defiler of the oval office who nominated SCOTUS judge Ginsburg, and the mormon was someone who would appoint justices to overturn RvW?

My point is that while evangelicals may voice suspicion about a mormon candidate (much of which is based on misconceptions), that sentiment will fade quickly once the issues crystalize.

Posted by: murphy | August 18, 2006 12:08 AM | Report abuse

Drindl, I think we probably agree on more things than we disagree and I also enjoy reading your posts. But I would still say Broder is moderately liberal. Although I am not sure where the center is anymore. It has definitely moved rightwards over the last 25 years.

Murphy - I am not saying no evangelicals would vote for Romney. I am saying that there is a certain degree of anti-Mormon prejudice among a number of evangelicals. I personally know quite a few who have expressed this view. I also think that the attack ads focusing on some of the social issue positions he took in Massachusetts will severely undercut his support among that group.

Posted by: JimD in FL | August 17, 2006 9:40 PM | Report abuse

To all who say "evangelicals would never vote for a mormon", consider this.

Are you confusing the office of the presidency with the office of a minister? Evangelicals will not turn their backs on 30+ years of a political movement just on the basis of theology.

Politically speaking, mormons are more uniform religious conservatives than most evangelical sects. Don't believe me? How about President Carter? President Clinton? Mormons and conservative evangelicals stand side by side on the big social issues of the day. The religious right knows that, and will have no problem pulling the lever for someone who supports their programs.

Try heading over to ""

Posted by: murphy | August 17, 2006 8:49 PM | Report abuse

Tina, what does Condoleeza Rice have to say about working for a President who violates multiple Constitutional Amendments?

Posted by: F&B | August 17, 2006 6:03 PM | Report abuse

To J. Crozier, about the simple billboard,
there is a nationwide movement promoting Condi for president.

Americans for Dr. Rice is the most organized, and paid for 8 weeks of radio ads in Iowa. Also TV ads in Des Moines. That has paid off with the latest poll at the Iowa State Fair:
McCain at 24%
Guiliani at 20%
Condi at 20%

Chris Cillizza also reported later today that the Columbus Dispatch poll of Ohio shows Condi is rated higher than Newt, (after McCain and Rudy). All others are under 10%.

State polls in Michigan show strong support Condi and polls in New Jersey show support for her to run as well. The polls are done by groups who are unaffiliated with political groups, and to see that Condi's name is being listed is a correctly reading the mood of the nation. People are standing up for Condi at Republican conventions, and see her as a future leader of our nation.

Condi is a WAR HAWK, and if the Democrats want to create attack ads against her, she will defend herself. Right now, the UN Ceasefire in Lebanon is holding, and CNN just reported Israeli tanks with white flags rolled up to a base in Southern Lebanon and they were served tea. Can you believe it? Grown men acting civil under peaceful conditions? Sadly, I also heard the CNN reporters asked why the Israeli forces had not been shot? It would seem CNN does not understand what a white flag means?

Posted by: Tina | August 17, 2006 5:55 PM | Report abuse


Just on cue, here is some of that commentary on the case:

"ACLU wins one for the terrorists"

Posted by: Zathras | August 17, 2006 3:12 PM | Report abuse

One more thought on liberal Republicans of the past - many Northeastern Republicans were Republicans as a matter of social class and not ideology. Many others joined the Republicans in the heyday of big-city Democratic machine politics. There was a strong reformist slant to many of those Republicans. I went to college in Boston graduating in '73. Massachusetts had a liberal Republican governor and an African-American liberal Republican senator at that time.

Posted by: Jim D in FL | August 17, 2006 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Zathras and F&B, thanks for the heads up. Here's the post's coverage:

Posted by: bsimon | August 17, 2006 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Ugh. How can Condi have so much support? If anything, she is more responsible for missing the 9/11 plot than Bush. Hello, she was in charge of Security at the time... and she was rewarded with a promotion?!?

Posted by: bsimon | August 17, 2006 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Drindl and Zathras

I also grew up in the Eisenhower era and remember when there were almost as many liberal Republicans in the Senate as liberal Democrats (the most reactionary Senators were, for the most part, Southern Democrats). The John Birchers accused Eisenhower of being a Communist dupe. But they were not allowed in polite society. The Civil Rights Act would never have passed the Senate without Republican support. I am totally disgusted with the level of political discourse in the country today. Rush, Hannity, and the rest of the right wing echo chamber are bad enough and then Ann Coulter is in a class by herself - even O'Reilly criticized her for going too far.

Posted by: JimD in Fl | August 17, 2006 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Susan, I was reacting to the figure of Twenty Five Thousand Dollars (which is more than my wife and I spent for our cars) to sit at dinner with a guy. I find it disgusting, and a sign of how the system is broken. You cite other examples, though I must say, with a decidedly partisan bent (and questionable accuracy). If you'd care to point out similar examples to that which first triggered my sense of nausea, I'm sure I'll react similarly. Here's a hint: Bill is coming to MN soon to raise money for the DFL (local flavor of Democrats), if the pricing for a seat at the Billary table is comparable, I'll gladly shout from the rooftops how it is equally disgusting as the price for making small talk with Mitt over a dinner. The point, which you appear to miss, is that this is not the kind of democracy envisioned by our forefathers. The practice is indefensible.

Posted by: bsimon | August 17, 2006 2:37 PM | Report abuse


You are right. In the 50s and early 60s you did have the John Birchers and others like John Stormer ("None Dare Call it Treason"), but these people on the whole were not part of mainstream political discourse. What Limbaugh, Coulter, etc., have done is to make this type of wingnut demogoguery respectable, and it will take a long time for our country's political discourse to recover.

Fortunately, most of the judiciary has remained immune to this.

Posted by: Zathras | August 17, 2006 2:09 PM | Report abuse

You know, F&B, that's one of the most terrifying things about these people. I grew up in the Eisenhower era, when republicans were sane. We might disagree on certain things, but I respected them. They had zero tolerance for dangerous lunatics like DeLay and Coulter and the rest.

It's hard to fathom that people in high elected office, who are sworn to uphold the constitution, actually talk about murdering judges--and it's tragic to see that a once great party has been highjacked by batsh** crazy crackpots.

Posted by: Drindl | August 17, 2006 2:00 PM | Report abuse

God bless the judiciary! The Constitution! The separation of powers!

'then I walk around constantly unhappy' --oh hey, I don't do that. I'm like Susie Sunshine. .. umm, sorta, anyway.

I'm waiting for the trolls to come on and say something inane, like 'it's a victory for the terrorists'. Just wait. I'm sure that's how limbaugh and company will spin it. Somehow, in their twiested minds, the only way we can save our country is by destroying it. They want to do exactly the same thing as bin ladin. Therefore, they must be the terrorists!

Posted by: Drndl | August 17, 2006 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Of course this means that U.S. District Judge Anna Diggs Taylor will be needing 24/7 bodyguards and federal protection b/c of loony wingnuts like DeLay who advocate violence against judges.

But thank God for an impartial judiciary and the Constitution for that matter. If this was China it'd be a completely different story.

Posted by: F&B | August 17, 2006 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Here is the opinion.

Another victory for democracy!

Posted by: Zathras | August 17, 2006 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Sorry for the OT post but apparently the genius of the Founding Fathers is on display today as the judicial system has proven to WORK in protecting our civil liberties. This just in:

NSA eavesdropping program ruled unconstitutional
Judge orders immediate halt to program

Thursday, August 17, 2006; Posted: 12:57 p.m. EDT (16:57 GMT)

A federal judge on Thursday ruled that the U.S. government's warrantless wiretapping program is unconstitutional and ordered it ended immediately.


She further declared that the program "violates the separation of powers doctrine, the Administrative Procedures Act, the First and Fourth amendments to the United States Constitution, the FISA and Title III."

She went on to say that "The president of the United States ... has undisputedly violated the Fourth in failing to procure judicial orders."

Posted by: F&B | August 17, 2006 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Reading these posts, there is/are much to agree/disagree with. For those of you that think Rudy, McCain, or Romney will be the Repub. candidate in 08, think again. The far-right controlls the process and none of these guys measure up. At this time I don't have a clue on the Repub. side and believe firmly yhe Dem. ticket will be Clinton and Warner. Condi will not run for the simple fact that she is a very nice lady and no way has the stomach for the things she would have to do in order to make a successful run.

Posted by: lylepink | August 17, 2006 1:38 PM | Report abuse

All this is meaningless. America despises the Red Republicans, and their betrayal of our American values of Truth, Justice, and the American Middle Class way of life.

Nothing will save these unpatriotic slime.

Posted by: Will in Seattle | August 17, 2006 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Don't get me wrong Drindl. I'm as outraged as anyone - including you - about the policies that Bush has pursued since he came to office. I'm outraged concerning his weakening of the environmental standards of this country, his abandonment of numerous international treaties, his going to war on false pretenses, his erosion of my civil liberties and those of non-citizens, his skyrocketing of the national deficit to give tax breaks to millionaires and dozens of other things that I can think of.

However, if I let that get to me then I walk around constantly unhappy. So I try to keep my distaste on an intellectual level and not think about how horrible the governing of the country I love has been for the last 6 years.

Posted by: J. Crozier | August 17, 2006 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Thought y'all would enjoy this:

'Maybe somebody should have clued in Sen. John McCain.
First, Sen. George Allen, R-Va., wound up a few dozen veterans with a "we win, they lose, there's no substitute victory" strategy for Iraq, then McCain followed with a joke about a monkey flying an airplane.

McCain, R-Ariz., was in town Wednesday night to lure some votes for his Republican colleague, Allen, who has heard enough monkey jokes lately. Especially since a report was unearthed that he used "macaca" in reference to S.R. Sidarth, a worker of Indian descendent for the campaign of Allen's Democratic opponent, Jim Webb.

Macaca is a genus of monkey.

As stunning as McCain's poor taste and apparent dearth of comedic talent were (particularly given Jon Stewart's penchant for swooning over the Arizona Senator), there was another aspect of the event that bodes even less well for both McCain and Allen: no one cared enough about either of them to show up.

The evening was billed as a "veterans for Allen" rally, but the hotel's conference room was less than half-filled, even after a phone push for a larger turnout. Veterans came from as far away as Colonial Heights, but their numbers were little greater than the reporters and camera people who were there.
As it was, the rally started 10 minutes late and finished more than 20 minute early, according to a campaign worker's schedule. '


Posted by: Drindl | August 17, 2006 1:10 PM | Report abuse

And Tina,

I get it. Condi currently has strong favorability ratings and, apparently, a magnificent billboard in Texas somewhere. (It must be made of solid gold considering how often you mention it. Really, it isn't that impressive to have a single billboard up.)

Condi isn't getting press coverage because:

A. She has outright said she isn't running for President.
B. She has outright said she isn't running for President.
C. She isn't raising money or currying favor in Iowa or New Hampshire or with deep pocketed Republican doners, which someone running for President does. Therefore, people believe her when she says She Isn't Running For President.
D. Nobody knows where she stands on any of the issues. She hasn't at any time stated her own personal opinion on anything that matters. can people write about her? What do you want? The minute, and I mean the very SECOND, Condi announces that she is going to run for President in '08, I'll happily devote some bandwidth to writing about her chances as I see them.

Until then, you're going to need more than a single, magical, billboard in Texas to convince me to waste my time responding to your posts any further.

Posted by: J. Crozier | August 17, 2006 1:07 PM | Report abuse

'I'm in a very relaxed mood today.' Good for you, J. One of the butthead trolls that come on here occasionally said i am an 'angry middle-aged woman.' Which is true. I'm outraged that these boneheads have, in five short years, managed to tear my beloved country apart, gut the military, destroy our credibility, and bankrupt us.

I have a kid. I'd like her to have a future. That's all.

Posted by: Drindl | August 17, 2006 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Susan, you are asking a silly question and I think you know it.; 'Are Dems angry at Dean for raising big money'

Let me explain. We want big money out of politics. Period. Okay? Got it thus far? We want our congress and president to stop being for sale. We don't want our laws written by lobbyists.

However, it would be suicidal in the current envirinment to lay down your arms if your enemy isn't going to, wouldn't it?

And why single out George Soros? How is he different from the dozens of gazzilionaires who have built the republican party's gigantic echo chamber over the last 30 years? People like Richard Mellon Scaife, who spent many years and many millions trying to overthrow the last president elected in an undisputed election? Or the Coors or the Olins families, for instance, who have given much much more? At least Mr. Soros made the money on his own--he didn't just inhererit it like most republican donors.

Posted by: Drindl | August 17, 2006 12:59 PM | Report abuse

"It's just hard to stomach, that's all. But I also think it's time for Dems to take the gloves and stop being 'nice.' You can't win
a street brawl without getting dirty."

I go back and forth on this. Sometimes I think that having better ideas, communicating them, and explaining them is enough. Other times I agree with you that we need to throw a few more hard punches.

I suppose it depends on the mood you catch me in. I'm in a very relaxed mood today.

Posted by: J. Crozier | August 17, 2006 12:57 PM | Report abuse

I am not angry at Mitt romney for raising money, he is just playing the game that is national politics. But I am angry at the Game itself. It shouldn't cost 1 billion dollars to have an election in this country. And to the point of how it would bankrupt our government J Crozier summed it up nicely, but I will add that the main cost of campaigns is advertising and imparticular TV. Therefore, you require networks to offer free primetime advertising space to the candidates. that alone should lower the amount of money needed in a campaign by 3/4.

Posted by: Andy R | August 17, 2006 12:57 PM | Report abuse


It might be helpful if you actually acknowledged that I responded to your previous post and addressed some of your points.

I'm not angry at either side raising big money. Republicans are going to raise money to get their message out, Dems have to do the same and vice versa. I'm more angry at the system that allows for interest groups and very rich people to have more influence than your average Joe. That is why public financing of campaigns is attractive to me.

Now how about responding to my points from my previous post?

Posted by: J. Crozier | August 17, 2006 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Oh dear, she's baaaaaaaaack...

truthhunter, thank you for your kind words, and you too, J. Crozier. And I agree with you. I shouldn't call people names. But jeez, one does get so tired of this constant barrage of ludicrous delusional nonsense these people spew. They'll believe anything limbaugh drools, even though everyone in the world knows he's a junkie and serial adulterer. And then talk about 'values'.

It's just hard to stomach, that's all. But I also think it's time for Dems to take the gloves and stop being 'nice.' You can't win
a street brawl without getting dirty.

Posted by: Drindl | August 17, 2006 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Howard Dean ran as an "anti-war" candidate in 2004, and raised his $50 million based on it and on being a governor. So read the Joe Trippi book, and he was very successful in present Dean as viable. Trippi got dumped or resigned from the group, which probably led to Dean's downfall. That or maybe it was Dean's big mouth attacking Dick Gephardt in Iowa.

The point is, Howard Dean raised $50 million. So I go back to the same question, are the Dems equally angry at Dean for raising big money? Also, was it ok for George Soros to spend over $20 million to independent groups to help Kerry? The anti-Bush effort failed in 2004, in spite of the rich Dems funneling millions to help Kerry.

So if the Dems want to complain about rich fat cats buying our government, why do they keep taking the millionaires money?

Posted by: Susan | August 17, 2006 12:50 PM | Report abuse

The media seems think that if a candidate has a few million in their 2008 bank account that they will become a frontrunner.

Excuse me, but the national polls were buzzing back in October 2004 about who would run in 2008. (yes, they really did that before the election)

At that time, only 3 candidates were seen by the public as viable: Rudy Guiliani, Condi Rice, and John McCain. She was not even Secretary of State at the time, and the public already saw her with leadership skills and ability to run for president. Since then, each and every poll taken (which included the name of Condi) remains with her in the top 3 level.

The June 24, 2006 American Policy poll shows Condi at 53% vs Hillary 47%. Condi even beat Edwards by 5 points. Has any of you seen this reported? NO. Why not? Can't the media do their job and report this stuff? (go to to verify it.)

The Gallup/USA Today poll shows "the acceptability factor", to over 400 Republicans and Republican-leaning voters, asking if Rudy, or Condi, or John were the nominated presidential candidate for 2008 would they accept them:
Rudy 73%
Condi 68%
John McCain 55%

Again, go their website to see it for yourselves. USA Today newspaper never printed their own poll, which I find very strange unless they did not like the fact CONDI is still so highly favored.

Here is another theory, the media wants to avoid any report showing the favorability of Condi so that they can complain that she was handed the nomination if she decides to run in September 2007. The reporters will complain that she did not go to Iowa to build up the support, and complain that the Republicans want to hand her the nomination without working for it. Now, if you think that being Secretary of State is not a real job, that she did not use her strong will to get the UN ceasfire resolution created and passed at the Security Council, and that she is dedicated to serving her nation. That is what I would call being "groomed for higher office", and again, too many reporters think Condi has to be raising millions (and then ridicule her for using her post for political purposes) or flying to political events in order to show she is running.

Please go back and see how the voters got Eisenhower to run in 1952 and even in 2004, Wesley Clark was seen as viable, but he did not get into the race until September 2003. He was playing catch-up to get name ID even though he has been a paid military voice on CNN, getting $5000 a month, and getting money for himself before he was going to enter the race. Wesley Clark said in an interview that his role model was that of Eisenhower, but he fumbled all over the similar Kosovo and Bosnia interventions and could not see any similar facts on the ground to Iraq. Wesley Clark won the Oklahoma primary and a few delegates, and now he is running again for 2008.

In conclusion, it is the polls and public opinion which will determine who will be running for president in 2008. And it might even be Hillary vs Condi. It is just disappointing to see the continued efforts of people in Texas, California, and even Iowa to promote Condi for President that is being ignored by reporters.

Consider this: the billboard near the Crawford Texas ranch was seen by each and every reporter who flew to cover President Bush during the August recess. How many of them reported about the billboard?
If you do a google search:
Condi Rice 2008 billboard, then you will see the Waco Tribune covered it, as well as local news. The blogworld is talking about the Condi 2008 billboard, but why not Mike Fletcher of the Washington Post who was in Crawford? Why not Richard Benedetto of USA Today?

So the people for Condi march on, building the team across the nation. When Condi comes out and says she will run because she is listening to the "voice of the people", then you will all remember you heard the little TINA voice talking about her long ago.

I do owe a debt of gratitude to CNN, they do at least report fairly about the efforts to get Condi to run and they talk about the website too. But even CNN failed to report about the billboard in Crawford, and it is still there.

Posted by: Tina | August 17, 2006 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Evangelicals are NOT GONNA support a Mormon. Just ain't gonna happen. They don't think Mormons are Christians and the Evangelicals will only come out for Christians.

Posted by: not Drindl | August 17, 2006 12:31 PM | Report abuse

J. Crozier.... Lighten up. One must inject a little humor into the deadly state of our country. Drindl, keep up the candid posts. As they say in Iowa, "If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen." Respectfully.

Posted by: Truth Hunter | August 17, 2006 12:30 PM | Report abuse

I know this is not related to the Romney/presidential politics story here, but has anybody seen any polls on the upcoming Chafee/Laffey primary? Granted, its still just under a month away, but I am awfully interested in seeing how that is shaping up.

Posted by: Political Junkie | August 17, 2006 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Susan, You must be a lobbyist.... but not for the lobster industry :>)

You think that public campaign financing is too burdensome on taxpayers. Yet, the costliest campaign for taxpayers was the one conducted by Dubya.... it resulted in the largest national debt and deficit EVER!

Posted by: Truth Hunter | August 17, 2006 12:25 PM | Report abuse


I like you. I enjoy reading what you write, though sometimes I think you go a little far to the left even for me, but I wish you'd stop wasting your time and energy calling the other side names.

Yes, I know conservatives do it plenty. But I'd rather see liberals rise above that and stick to debating the issues on here. Rather than calling Susan a bimbo next time, ask her to cite her source and either critique the source she gives or dismiss her argument if she refuses to source her material.

Debates are about trying to convince people who disagree with you why your ideas are better than theirs. Sometimes this is possible. Sometimes it isn't. I've never seen someone change their minds because they got called names though.

Please understand I still hold you in high respect.

Posted by: J. Crozier | August 17, 2006 12:18 PM | Report abuse

I hear some nitwit said this

'I heard his [kerry] press plane was feeding reporters lobster and other luxury items'

HAHAHAHA. On Fox News? Or Rush Limbaugh?

Susan, you are a bimbo.

Posted by: Drindl | August 17, 2006 12:14 PM | Report abuse

I agree whole-heaaredly with politicus--it would be nice to have some idea what these candidates stand for --besides cozying up to the moneylenders in the temple.

It is true that it's hard to imagine now a republican candidate who is far-right enough to win the primary and centerish enough to win the general. I know that Romney does have some evangelicals backing him, which is interesting because I was raised as one and Mormonism was considered heresy then. I also wonder what they will think of his previous pro-choice stance.

JimD, we may differ on some issues, but I generally respect what yo have to say. However, I don't consider Broder liberal at all. It's true to has seemed somewhat more so lately, but to me he represents the voice of DC conventional wiisdom, which at this point resides somewhere in what used to be center right [granted that the rest of the republican has moved so far right they've fallen over a cliff]]. The party's base is now so far reich all their potential candidates are macaca extremists.

Posted by: Drindl | August 17, 2006 12:12 PM | Report abuse


I would absolutely back a system for totally financed public campaigns. The last presidential election cost somewhere around one billion dollars for all the people running. By comparison, we're spending roughly 3-4 billion dollars EVERY MONTH in Iraq. Anyone who says that having public financing of presidential campaigns would be too expensive needs to actually look at the numbers before making that claim.

One billion dollars every 4 years would be a drop of water in an ocean compared to the revenue that the government takes in with taxes, and the benefits of getting lobbyists, big money donars, special interests, etc. out of the business of buying influence with politicians would FAR outweigh the costs.

I'd be willing to have part of my taxes go towards public financing of presidential campaigns as a tradeoff for removing the seas of private interest money in campaigns these days.

Reasonable people could disagree on this point, but wanting to add one billion dollars to the government bill in order to try and lessen the influence of private sources of funding is hardly a "nitwit" proposal.

Posted by: J. Crozier | August 17, 2006 12:11 PM | Report abuse

To the person badmouthing the money being raised by Gov. Romney, were you equally outraged at the $50 million raised by Vermont Gov Howard Dean to waste on his campaign? I heard his press plane was feeding reporters lobster and other luxury items, if that is true, (Cillizza or any other reporter could verify it)would the donors be happy knowing how their money was spent?

A former Democrat from Texas donated to the Kerry campaign, saving money to send by eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches so that she could send him the money he needed to compete. She was totally disgusted when Kerry used his $6 million mansion in Boston to finance one last chance to win the Iowa caucus.

On another point, there is already a public financed system of presidential races, it was been set up and funded by the $3 box we check off on our federal tax return. Al Sharpton violated election laws, wasted taxpayer money, but I have yet to hear any Dems complain about it.

THE FEC sets up a $250 matching fund for each and every donation over $250, up to $2000. Because Kerry and Howard Dean bypassed the FEC money, does that mean the system is not working? Or is it because rich people (like Steve Forbes, John Kerry, and even Ross Perot) were willing to spend their own millions?

Some nitwit thinks we need to have a totally paid for tax system for running presidential campaigns? Where the heck does he think the money is going to come from? He is probably one of the same guys who complains about the national debt too, so his lame idea of totally financed campaigns would add to the debt. It makes no sense and the public would never accept it.

Posted by: Susan | August 17, 2006 12:03 PM | Report abuse


You may have a point, but on the other hand, I'm hard pressed to think of who the religious right will settle on in '08 if not Romney. Frist committed apostasy when he backed stem cells, very publicly and very dramatically. Giulani is to socially liberal. Evangelicals have always had it in for McCain and consider him to be a traitor most of the time (hence is constant kiss-a***** towards Bush over the last few years). Jeb Bush would be obliterated if he ran in '08 and so will likely wait until '12 or '16. Condi says she isn't running. Cheney is battling Osama for "least popular person in the known universe".

Who do evangelicals make their standard bearer if not Romney? They may not like the fact he is Mormon, but at least he backs their play on social issues. On the other hand, he DOES come from the only state in the U.S. who actually has legalized Gay Marriage.

The Republican field in '08 is more wide open than I can ever remember seeing.

Posted by: J. Crozier | August 17, 2006 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Mitt Romney has good hair.

But beneath that hair - he's smooched the butt of the extreme right to the point that he's willing to show hatred toward gays, women, etc. Ironically, the very people that he courted will end up rejecting him because they just won't trust a Mormon.

Any politician that's shown a willingness to play politics by purposely trying to make the daily lives of thousands of gay people more difficult in a pathetic attempt to buy religious right favor has no moral right to run this country.

Posted by: Hillman | August 17, 2006 11:54 AM | Report abuse

J. Crozier -

I do not think we will have to wait until the general election to see the kinds of ads you mentioned. The GOP is the party of Karl Rove and they certainly have shown themselves not averse to sliming their own party memebers in primaries - remember McCain and South Caroline in 2000?

I have a hard time seeing Romney getting the nomination. As someone who lives in a very conservative area, I know that many in the religious right are very suspicious of Mormons. I know that at leadership levels there is a strong alliance on social issues but I can tell you I have heard many evangelical acquaintances of mine refer to Mormons as a cult. Couple that attitude with the fact that he was governor of Sodom and Gomorrah (I mean Massachusetts) and I think he might be another Phil Gramm who raised enormous sums and won somewhere between zero and two delegates in 1996.

Posted by: JimD in FL | August 17, 2006 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Politicus... Hear! Hear!

Posted by: Truth Hunter | August 17, 2006 11:44 AM | Report abuse

I know that this blog is going to focus on the horserace aspect of politics, but the race is still very young.

Chris, why don't we start focusing on the ideas and less on the money. It's not just you, but most of the media denigrates the political process and creates early frontrunners in the public's mind by focusing merely on who built this organization and who got this much money.

In many ways, it was the media who fed us George W. Bush and is thereby partially responsible for the debacle we have in international foreign relations.

Why not focus on what these guys are saying, what they did, and move forward from there...make the money secondary.

Just a challenge to you and your colleagues. Focus on the ideas and the individuals, raise the level of discourse in this race.

Posted by: Politicus | August 17, 2006 11:40 AM | Report abuse

McCain sure isn't helping himself lately, even though the 1980s politicos still think he is relevant.... he went to Virginia Wednesday to shill veterans for Sen. George "Macaca" Allen. If McCain is going to concentrate on GOP damage control, he might start by regaining his once sterling "Straight Shooter" reputation.

I agree with B. Simon, Mitt's and all buying of the presidency, of our government, is sickening. Will it ever change as long as the lobbyists write the laws?

Posted by: Truth Hunter | August 17, 2006 11:37 AM | Report abuse

>>>25 Grand for a night out. Must be nice.

You can probably buy and refurbish a Katrina-damaged home in New Orleans for that much. Ok maybe a little more than that but yeah, why bother doing that when there's wealthy politicians with hungry staffers to feed.

Posted by: F&B | August 17, 2006 11:37 AM | Report abuse


If you read Broder's column more closely you would see he talked to those republicans on a trip through the Mid-West. The column was datelined Columbus, Ohio. I have been following his columns and TV appearances for well over 20 years now and he is one of the best at getting outside the Beltway and talking to real people. He regularly talks to voters of both parties in different states. Certainly, I think getting a candid opinion of the election outlook in the mid-West from veteran Republican politicians was very interesting. Also, encouraging from my perspective. I have found David Broder to be a very sensible, moderately liberal columnist. He has never been one of those strident talking heads of the left or right screaming at each other on cable. Nor do I ever see him partonizing people. Anyway, I am a longtime admirer of Mr. Broder and could not let your wisecrack go unanswered.

Posted by: JimD in FL | August 17, 2006 11:32 AM | Report abuse

McCain or Rudy are the only two Republicans capable of winning the White House in '08 unless the political landscape changes dramatically between now and then.

Sending Romney as the Republican representative would be a dream come true for Democrats, as I've said time and time again.

What are the ads going to look like?

"I was pro-choice as a candidate for governer until my views evolved as governer and I became pro-life."

"I was for gay marriage before I was against it."

Romney is the Republican John Kerry.

Posted by: J. Crozier | August 17, 2006 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Well, the rich don't pay taxes anymore, do they? So they have lots more 'discretionary' income to buy politicians...

Posted by: louisa | August 17, 2006 11:17 AM | Report abuse

You mean have this money to WASTE.

The only way to get the money out of this whole thing is for america to support full public financing. I certainly think it would be a great idea.

Posted by: Andy R | August 17, 2006 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Is no-one else sickened by the money race? C'mon, 25 Grand to sit at a table and have dinner with a governor running for President? What an absolutely disgusting state our democracy is in. I'm not sure if I'm more disgusted by the money race itself, or the fact that so many people apparently have this kind of cash available to spend. 25 Grand for a night out. Must be nice.

Posted by: bsimon | August 17, 2006 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Like RMill, I don't want to be too sure of any predictions concerning elections--literally ANYTHING could happen before November--the possiblities are endless and we know the record. However, two articles in this morning's WaPo are rather upbeat...

'Washington lobbying firms, trade associations and corporate offices are moving to hire more well-connected Democrats in response to rising prospects that the opposition party will wrest control of at least one chamber of Congress from Republicans in the November elections.

In what lobbyists are calling a harbinger of possible upheaval on Capitol Hill, many who make a living influencing government have gone from mostly shunning Democrats to aggressively recruiting them as lobbyists over the past six months or so.'

Although I have to say that I think lobbyists are like the last things Dems need. What I would really like is to flush them ALL out of DC, but sadly, that ain't gonna happen.

David Broder, who seems to talk to no one in DC who isn't a republican, has this to say...

'The impression these Republicans had is that support for GOP candidates had nose-dived this summer -- in part because of the chaos conveyed by the daily televised scenes of destruction in Iraq and Lebanon and in part because of the dismal reputation built by the Republican Congress that is home to many of the endangered GOP candidates.

The reason was explained in blunt terms by the Republican governor of one of the states where a congressman of his party is struggling for statewide office. "What has this Congress done that anyone should applaud?" he asked scornfully. "Nothing on immigration, nothing on health care, nothing on energy -- and nothing on the war. They deserve a good kick in the pants, and that's what they're going to get."

Couldn't have put it better myself.

Posted by: Drindl | August 17, 2006 10:52 AM | Report abuse

I disagree that Romney has been a good governor but that is just my opinion. The thing that gets me about him is that the election isn't for over two years, except he has been running for the president since over a year ago. I was pissed when Kerry did it, and I am pissed about Mitt doing it too. If you want to run for president then run for president, but quit your day job first.

Posted by: Andy R | August 17, 2006 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Folks these little tid-bits are beginning to come out, and it will get worse as time goes on. I made the comment earlier that this has been the worst couple of months I've seen in my close to 60 years working and being involved in politics. Just to see what I mean go to the cablr news outlets with your clicker. Swift Boaters -- Ramsey child killing - -. They, the pundits, are clearly attempting to link Lamont and Webb to these events. Just goes to show what the Liberal media will do.

Posted by: lylepink | August 17, 2006 10:40 AM | Report abuse

'Two top Pakistani intelligence agents said Wednesday that the would-be bombers wanted to carry out an al-Qaida-style attack to mark the fifth anniversary of the Sept. 11 strikes, but were too "inexperienced" to carry out the plot.

The detainees in Britain and Pakistan had not attended terror-training camps in Pakistan or Afghanistan and had relied on information gleaned from text books on how to make bombs, the officials said.

The two senior agents' comments offer a different perspective from that given by U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff. "Certainly in terms of the complexity, the sophistication, the international dimension and the number of people involved, this plot has the hallmarks of an al-Qaida-type plot," Chertoff said Friday.

Posted by: louisa | August 17, 2006 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Romney has been a decent governor, the thing that i don't like is he is going to spend the next year kissing the behind of evangelicals who are likely to reject him just because he is a mormon

Posted by: Keith | August 17, 2006 10:08 AM | Report abuse

wonder if this will have any effect in november:

'The newest accounts of the risks of civil war may already be altering the political dynamic in Washington. After General Abizaid's testimony, the chairman of the Armed Services Committee, Senator John W. Warner of Virginia, said that if Iraq fell into civil war, the committee might need to examine whether the authorization provided by Congress for the use of American force in Iraq would still be valid.

The comments by Senator Warner, a senior Republican who is a staunch supporter of the president, have reverberated loudly across Congress.

Bush administration officials now admit that Iraqi government's original plan to rein in the violence in Baghdad, announced in June, has failed. The Pentagon has decided to rush more American troops into the capital, and the new military operation to restore security there is expected to begin in earnest next month.

Yet some outside experts who have recently visited the White House said Bush administration officials were beginning to plan for the possibility that Iraq's democratically elected government might not survive.

"Senior administration officials have acknowledged to me that they are considering alternatives other than democracy," said one military affairs expert who received an Iraq briefing at the White House last month and agreed to speak only on condition of anonymity.

"Everybody in the administration is being quite circumspect," the expert said, "but you can sense their own concern that this is drifting away from democracy."

More Articles in International »

Posted by: Drindl | August 17, 2006 10:03 AM | Report abuse

I notice that McCain has every Republican who ran for Texas Governor in 1986. Probably meaningless, but interesting.

Posted by: JoeyJoeJoe | August 17, 2006 9:55 AM | Report abuse

'Romney has several built-in national networks -- the Church of Latter Day Saints...[ and] has not been shy about tapping these various groups to raise cash.'

Seems like just yesterday we had a Constitution, and a wall of separation between church and state. But clearly, no more. Now the church is just another Temple of Mammon. Which means the death of true religion and spirituality.

And I see Willard Mitt is a carpetbagger ==
'His critics cited his lack of government experience and claimed that he was ineligible to run for governor, citing issues regarding residency. The state Constitution requires seven consecutive years of residency before a run, and Romney claimed residency in Utah as recently as 2000. Romney filed taxes as a resident of Utah, and received $54,000 in tax breaks for having his "primary residence" there. In 1999 he listed himself as a part-time Massachusetts resident.

State Democrats filed a complaint with the Massachusetts State Ballot Law Commission. The commission (consisting of three Republicans, one Democrat and one independent) eventually ruled that Romney was eligible to run for office.'

I see they run Massachusets just llike they do DC.

Posted by: Drindl | August 17, 2006 9:48 AM | Report abuse

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