Magazine article Newsweek

Bush Campaign: We're in the Money

Magazine article Newsweek

Bush Campaign: We're in the Money

Article excerpt

Byline: Michael Isikoff and Tamara Lipper

Mobilizing his new elite team of moneymen known as the Rangers, President George W. Bush is about to kick off a two-week fund-raising blitz that aides say will shatter existing records, putting them on track to nearly double the $100 million they raked in during the 2000 campaign. The intense money tour begins in Washington on June 17 with a $2,000-a-ticket cocktail reception. A lineup of power lobbyists--including those representing the U.S. Oil and Gas Association, the Edison Electric Institute, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and many others--are among the event co-chairs. Bush will also fly off to fund-raisers in New York, California, Florida, Georgia and possibly Ohio. Local Republican officeholders are besieging the Bushies to add more events. "You can't believe how motivated the base is right now," says one top GOP moneyman, citing tax cuts and the toppling of Saddam Hussein. "You've got to strike while the fire is hot."

The fund-raising frenzy underscores the Bush team's determination to avoid the mistakes of the first President Bush, who GOP strategists say waited far too long to begin his re-election campaign. The blitz also highlights the GOP's campaign-finance-reform advantage. The new law--whose constitutionality is to be argued before the Supreme Court this fall--bans unlimited "soft money" donations to political parties. As it turns out, the Democrats are far more dependent on "soft money," especially from wealthy trial lawyers, Hollywood liberals and labor unions. …

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