Tags: Dems | Outraise | GOP | Bigtime

Dems Outraise GOP Bigtime

Saturday, 27 August 2005 12:00 AM

1. Democrats Raise More Money Than the GOP

If you believe news reports, the Republicans are raising much more money than Howard Dean and the Democrats.

But that counts just "hard money" to the parties. Surprisingly, a recent examination of federal records shows that Democratic-allied groups who run 527s and other soft-money political committees are outstripping Republicans in fund-raising by a wide margin.

And, in another sign that the political temperature remains high even after last year's election, soft-money political committees have raised more than $48 million in the first six months of this year, well ahead of the fund-raising pace for the 2004 election cycle.

The committees that raised the most money for the 2004 election took in $78.5 million in all of 2003, the preceding off year.

But this year the "527" groups – nonparty political groups named after Section 527 of the tax code – are on a pace to raise nearly $100 million.

And the end-of-year total for 527 groups seeking to impact federal races is likely to be even higher, because fund-raising is usually slower in the first six months of a two-year election cycle, according to the publication The Hill.

Of the 30 groups that have raised the most money so far this year, 19 are either affiliated with labor unions or allied with the Democratic Party.

Only eight are clearly affiliated with the GOP.

The Democratic-leaning 527's have raised more than $28 million, while the eight Republican groups have taken in $18.2 million – about half of that raised by the Republican Governors Association.

Liberal groups have raised millions to fund the fight against President Bush's Social Security reform plans.

On the Republican side, Progress for America has pledged to spend $18 million to help confirm Supreme Court nominee John Roberts if necessary, and its affiliated 527, the Progress for America Voter Fund, has raised $1.3 million.

"The fund-raising pace to this point in the cycle supports predictions that soft-money groups will have a major impact on the midterm elections and may augur races in which the candidates are vastly outspent by outside groups," The Hill reports.

Democrats have opposed Republican-led efforts to curb fund-raising activity by 521 groups.

Michael Toner, a GOP-appointed member of the Federal Election Commission, said: "There's an imbalance when candidates can raise and spend only hard money and parties can raise and spend only hard money and 527's can raise and spend unlimited soft-money donations."

2. Billy Graham's Son: UN Is 'Godless'

Billy Graham's son Franklin pulls no punches when discussing national and world issues.

Recently, he declared that the United Nations will fail because it is a "godless enterprise."

In an interview with The New Yorker magazine, he also told writer Peter J. Boyer that homosexuality is a sin against God – and abortion is murder.

"I believe that when a woman's right to choose takes the life of another person, that's a sin against God," said the 53-year-old head of the Billy Graham Evangelical Association.

After the 9/11 attacks Franklin Graham had said that Islam was "wicked, violent, and not of the same God."

He was hardly backing away from that view in his New Yorker interview, saying: "The global war on terrorism, let's give it a name – it's Islamic.

"We're not fighting the Maoists. We're not fighting the Hindus or the Buddhists. It's Islamic."

During Billy Graham's final crusade in New York in June, Bill and Hillary Clinton attended as special guests and the evangelist recalled a comment he made when the Clintons were in the White House: "I felt when he left the presidency he should be an evangelist, because he has all the gifts – and he'd leave his wife to run the country."

The remarks created dismay among many evangelicals.

A few days later, Franklin issued a "clarification" from the Graham organization, saying his father had been joking about Bill Clinton becoming an evangelist.

"President Clinton has the charisma, personality and communication skills, but an evangelist has to have the call of God, which President Clinton obviously does not have, and my father understands that."

Franklin added that his father "certainly did not intend for his comments to be an endorsement for Senator Hillary Clinton."

Billy Graham's best legacy for America may turn out to be his son.

3. John Roberts Foresaw His Own Prominence

Back in 1985, who knew that John Roberts was destined for the Supreme Court or another post of national prominence? Maybe John Roberts knew.

Roberts was working as a young lawyer in the Reagan White House when he wrote a note to a colleague who had reviewed Roberts' files from his stint in the Justice Department to see which files should be sent to the National Archives, the Washington Post reports.

"How fascinating and edifying it must have been for you to review the files I compiled during my service to the attorney general," Roberts wrote.

"I assume that the archivist will deposit my files in one of those hermetically sealed display cases that drop into a concrete vault in the event of nuclear attack, similar to the cases housing the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.

"Once this is done, I will consider donating my personal papers, at a time to be determined by my tax advisers."

He adds: "Just in case you're thinking of it, if you plant compromising material in my files I will ‘amend' your FBI file with a large bottle of ‘white-out.'"

4. GoogleNet: Building the Mother of All Networks

4. GoogleNet: Building the Mother of All Networks

Google is building a national broadband network massive enough to rival even the largest Internet service providers – and free Wi-Fi access from Google could be just around the corner.

For the past year the company has been quietly shopping for miles of unused fiber-optic cable, and acquiring superfast connections between East Coast cities, according to Business 2.0. magazine.

"The rash of telecom bankruptcies has freed up a ton of bargain-priced capacity, which Google needs as it prepares to unleash a flood of new, bandwidth-hungry applications," the magazine reports.

These could include a service to troll podcasts and other audio files, and another to let users share personal videos and watch on-demand TV programming.

Building a network would also save Google millions of dollars a month, since it currently utilizes a network owned by an ISP when a user performs a search and Google has to pay as much as $60 per megabit in transit fees.

Once the network – which Business 2.0 dubs GoogleNet – is up and running, users could connect via wireless Internet after Google blankets major cities with Wi-Fi.

And the magazine speculates that Google plans to do just that. The company is already sponsoring a Wi-Fi hotspot in San Francisco.

"So is Google about to offer free Net access to everyone?" Business 2.0 asks.

Google officials aren't saying. But stay tuned.

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1. Democrats Raise More Money Than the GOP If you believe news reports, the Republicans are raising much more money than Howard Dean and the Democrats. But that counts just "hard money" to the parties. Surprisingly, a recent examination of federal records shows that...
Saturday, 27 August 2005 12:00 AM
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