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Mark Warner's Money Boosts His Campaign, Party

Tim Craig

Former governor Mark R. Warner and his wife, Lisa Collis, kicked in a lot of cash to get the Virginia Democratic Party's campaign efforts off the ground.

Some of Warner's biggest supporters aided in the effort, donating to a new Virginia Democratic fundraising committee after they gave all they legally can to Warner's Senate campaign.

Updated Federal Election Commission finance reports for the committee won't be available until next month. But the initial reports filed in the spring show both Warner and Collis contributed $28,500 to get the committee started last fall.

The committee, called Virginia Victory 2008, is a fundraising entity that bundles donations for Warner, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and the Virginia Democratic Party.

Jared Leopold, a party spokesman, said the fundraising organization is not connected to the official Virginia Democratic Party coordinated campaign, even though that is also called Virginia Victory 2008.

The state party coordinated campaign, which compliments Warner's Senate campaign, was created to help all federal Democratic candidates in Virginia, including Democrats running for Congress and the party's presumptive presidential nominee, Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.).

Leopold says Virginia Victory 2008, which Warner donated to, will transfer some money to the Democrats' coordinated campaign, but he says they are two different organizations with the same name.

Last week, Warner and the Virginia Democratic Party created a third federal fundraising operation, Win Virginia 2008, but it has yet to receive donations, according to the FEC.

After their initial donations in November, Warner and Collis donated another $10,000 each to the Virginia Victory 2008 committee in January, although $5,000 was later refunded to Warner, who is worth an estimated $200 million, according to the FEC.

Warner and his wife were just two of about two dozen high-dollar contributors who gave to Virginia Victory 2008 late in 2007 or earlier this year.

Former Louisiana senator John Breaux (D) , who is now a lobbyist, contributed $33,100 in January, as did William N. Melton, an investor from Vienna.

Suzann W. Matthews, a civic activist in McLean who is a big donor to Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D), gave the committee $28,500 in January, according to the FEC.

Janice Brandt of AOL donated $20,000 to Virginia Victory 2008, created as a one-stop outlet for people to give to Warner, the senatorial campaign committee and the Virginia Democratic Party.

Ten thousand dollar donations were made by Samuel Bleicher of Arlington, a consultant; Thomas Depasquale of Alexandria, a vice-president at Concur Technology; Richard Hausler of Fairfax, an attorney; Hal Malchow of Arlington, an attorney; Charlotte M. Minor of Richmond, president of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts; Jonathan S. Perel of Richmond, who works for the General Services Corp; DJ Rogers of Virginia Beach, president of Associated Distributors; and James E. Ukrop of Richmond, founder of Ukrop's grocery chain.

Helen Elizabeth Dragas of Virginia Beach, president of Dragas Management Corporation and Lewis Webb of Virginia Beach, an attorney with Kaufman & Canoles, donated $5,000 in February.

By Tim Craig  |  June 30, 2008; 2:47 PM ET
Categories:  Election 2008/Congress , Election 2008/Local , Election 2008/President , Election 2008/U.S. Senate , Mark Warner , Tim Craig  
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Corruption is awesome!

Posted by: Anonymous | July 1, 2008 8:59 PM | Report abuse

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