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Big Donors Boost Kaine's Fundraising

Tim Craig

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) has raised more than $370,000 from 15 contributors since mid March, a clear sign he plans to remain active in the political process even though he cannot seek reelection.

Kaine's fundraising for his political action committee, Moving Virginia Forward, includes a $100,000 donation on April 10 from Radford billionaire R.J. Kirk. Since Kaine took office in 2006, Kirk has donated $550,000 to Kaine's political committee, according to the State Board of Elections.

Kaine has received another $35,000 in donations since mid April from Shelia Johnston, co-founder of Black Entertainment Television. Johnston has contributed a total of $185,000 to Kaine since 2006.

Kaine has also received $25,000 checks over the last three months from Boyd Tinsley, a musician in the Dave Matthews Band; G. Gilmer Minor, owner of Richmond-based Owens & Minor Inc; W. Austin Ligon, the retired chief executive officer of CarMax; and John Wynne, a retired Norfolk businessman.

Ted Leonsis, owner of the Washington Capitals, gave Kaine's political committee $10,000 earlier this month, as did Allison Weinstein, president of a Richmond-based management company, according to campaign finance records.

The Democratic Governors Association is helping out as well. It gave Moving Virginia Forward $46,000 on May 6.

It's unclear why Kaine, who raised and spent $4 million last year to help the Democrats win control of the state Senate, is raising so much money again.

Although he vows to campaign hard for Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill) and Democratic congressional candidates this fall, Kaine can't legally use money from his state account to try to influence the outcome of federal elections.

But Kaine could use his money to finance party building activities as well to help the Democrats try to retake control of the House of Delegates next year.

"Right now we are working to raise enough money to sustain our operation for 2008 and looking to 2009," said Charlie Kelly, Kaine's political director.

By Tim Craig  |  May 27, 2008; 2:34 PM ET
Categories:  Election 2008/Congress , Election 2008/Local , Election 2008/President , Election 2008/U.S. Senate , Election 2009 , Tim Craig , Timothy M. Kaine  
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