Tags: Democrats' | $300 | Million | Stash | May | Snatch | Election

Democrats' $300 Million Stash May Snatch Election

Wednesday, 20 October 2004 12:00 AM

With the election just days away, the Democrats have amassed a sack of loot of more than $300 million that they hope will help them capture the White House.

The Democrats also cleverly did not use the bulk of these funds on TV commercials, but have been spending the money to build a massive grassroots infrasture to get out the vote.

As one pro-Kerry group, America Votes, told the New York Times recently, its backers – "labor unions, trial lawyers, environmental groups, community organizations – will spend $300 million on registration and turnout in swing states, a sum that dwarfs the $150 million in public financing the two candidates together will receive for the entire fall campaign."

The Democrats gained the money advantage this year because they were the first to successfully exploit a loophole in campaign finance law that allowed them to boost support for Sen. John Kerry despite the McCain-Feingold law.

The loophole's vehicle was the so-called 527 political entity that allows individuals to make unlimited donations as long as the organization they're donating to does not coordinate with any specific candidate.

Wealthy Democratic donors stepped up to the plate – and the Democratic 527s already have collected more than $300 million.

Among these donors is billionaire financier George Soros. This week he claimed he's already spent $26 million of his own $7 billion fortune to see Bush defeated.

Others, like Peter B. Lewis, the longtime CEO of The Progressive Corp., also have donated heavily.

It works like this: The loophole essentially bypasses the most important part of the 2002 campaign finance reform law by allowing unlimited monetary donations to so-called 527 groups — tax-exempt organizations so-named for the section of the tax code that defines them.

In the end, though such groups are not allowed to name candidates, their advertisements and messages make it obvious whose policies and politics they're backing.

And in this area of the 2004 election cycle, Sen. Kerry has benefited the most.

Republican-leaning groups made a good run for it after a late start, but, according to published fund-raising statistics, they were hopelessly outclassed and outmatched.

The Washington Times reported recently, "Anti-Bush 527s have been a political force this election cycle, with nine of the top ten fund-raising 527s being Democratic or anti-Bush groups, according to the Center for Responsive Politics."

"Among the top 50 fund-raising 527s, which CRP determined based on Internal Revenue Service records as of Monday, just a handful are working against Democratic presidential nominee Sen. John Kerry," said the paper.

NewsMax recently reviewed 527 filings and here's how the money game has stacked up so far:

1. Joint Victory Campaign 2004 $55,438,751

1. Progress for America $30,591,888

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With the election just days away, the Democrats have amassed a sack of loot of more than $300 million that they hope will help them capture the White House. The Democrats also cleverly did not use the bulk of these funds on TV commercials, but have been spending the money...
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Wednesday, 20 October 2004 12:00 AM
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