Patterico's Pontifications

7/17/2008

Why $52 Million Just Isn’t What It Used To Be — The Fundraising Woes of the Obama Campaign: Updated

Filed under: General — WLS @ 7:13 pm

Posted by WLS:

Updated** —  Note below that I say the Obama campaign and the DNC have a combined $72 million cash on hand at the end of June.  This is being reported elsewhere that Obama has $72 million cash on hand.  On this washingtonpost blog they repeat the $72 million number, and claim the DNC has another $20 million, giving them a combined $92 million, nearly as much as McCain and the RNC.   Armbinder has the text from the letter the Obama campaign sent to its contributors:

The Obama campaign and the DNC ended June with a combined total of nearly $72 million in the bank. It’s a healthy number. But McCain and the RNC together still have a huge cash advantage, and we need your help to close the gap.

  

Much is being made of the fact that Obama revealed today that his campaign raised $52 million in June, second only to this record breaking fundraising in February when he raised $55 million.

But, can someone explain why this number comes out today in the form of a letter to contributors, but no FEC filing has yet been made?  What would be in an FEC filing?  Well, little things like “expenditures” for the month of June, and “Cash-on-Hand” as of June 30.  Obama says that the campaign and the DNC combined have $72 million — but doesn’t how much of that is Obama’s money.  If they did, we’d be able to figure out how much Obama spent in June, and how much cash-on-hand does the Obama campaign have?  Lets do a little math:

According to his filing for the month of May, Obama had $43 million cash on hand on 5/31.  Add to that his $52 million raised in June, and his cash available to pay expenses in June was $95 million.  Now the letter today tells us that Obama and the DNC combined have $72 million cash on hand as of the end of June, but they don’t tell us how much Obama has.  If we accept the accuracy of the reported expenditure amount of $42 million for June, then Obama’s campaign would have only $53 million cash on hand at the end of June.   

It was suggested by people close to the campaign that they thought he might raise $100 million in June, after Obama announced that he would not seek public financing for the general election.

“Specifically, they say Obama could raise $100 million in June and could attract 2.5 million to 3 million new donors to his campaign.”

“One hundred million dollars this June — it’s definitely within reach,” said Wade Randlett, who has raised more than $200,000 for Obama.”

Randlett said Obama would not likely reach the awe-inspiring total if he limited himself to contributions that could only be spent before the August convention.

“The big question is when we really open the floodgates to general-election money,” he said.

The campaign supporters understood that finding the time to conduct fundraising after the convention would be problematic, as would funding the appraratus necessary to conduct such fundraising on a massive scale.  If you take public financing, you shut down the fundraising apparatus and all those people go to work on things that produce votes.  No campaign wants to be paying people to fundraise in Sept and Oct. when they would rather have that money be spent on things that produce votes in the election.

Second, if Obama’s burn rate in June was $42 million, he only put $10 million in the bank after he paid all his bills.  

But lets also look at Marc Arbinder’s comments on Obama’s numbers over at The Atlantic:

The average contribution was $68.00, which does not tell us how much of the $52 million came from $2300 checks. Obama spent more time at fundraisers this month than at any time in the past.

One way Obama has played the PR campaign on the size of the “average” donor was to count every person who bought a button or bumper sticker as a “donor”.  Those $5 “contributions” work to bring the “average” way down.

Also from Armbinder:

$50 million of the $52 million can be spent before the convention; it’s not clear right now how much general election cash Obama has banked.

This is HUGELY important. 

(more…)

Colbert on Trump’s Pole

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:31 pm

Courtesy of reader (and neighbor) Jeff C. comes this amusing video of the local battle here in Rancho Palos Verdes over Donald Trump’s enormous (flag)pole:

Good stuff.

Obama Decries the Real Terrorists: Immigration Authorities

Filed under: Immigration — Patterico @ 5:31 pm

No matter who gets elected, the prospects for enforcing the laws against illegal immigration are dim.

But this is pretty eye-opening.

Here’s Obama addressing “La Raza”:

The system isn’t working when 12 million people live in hiding, and hundreds of thousands cross our borders illegally each year; when companies hire undocumented immigrants instead of legal citizens to avoid paying overtime or to avoid a union; when communities are terrorized by ICE immigration raids — when nursing mothers are torn from their babies, when children come home from school to find their parents missing, when people are detained without access to legal counsel.

Sounds to me like he’s not interested in enforcing the law in the slightest.

Whose fault is it if a parent breaks the law and is consequently taken from his children? Why, the fault lies with the terrorists — “terrorists” meaning “those who terrorize” — by which I mean, of course, the immigration authorities.

Joe Horn Update

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 1:20 pm

At least one of the burglars was a repeat burglar, according to the mother of his child. He also may be behind a rash of similar burglaries that targeted homes owned by Asians.

Please keep your comments civil.

D.C. Denies Heller’s Application for a Firearms Permit

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 12:56 pm

Unbelievable:

[Heller] says his gun has seven bullet clip. Heller says the City Council legislation allows weapons with fewer than eleven bullets in the clip. A spokesman for the DC Police says the gun was a bottom-loading weapon, and according to their interpretation, all bottom-loading guns are outlawed because they are grouped with machine guns.

All bottom-loading guns are outlawed? Nonsense.

He goes all the way to the Supreme Court and wins — and he still can’t have his gun??

Thanks to Charles N.

Obama Raises $52 Million in June

Filed under: 2008 Election — Patterico @ 7:20 am

WLS has recently been telling us that he suspects Obama’s fundraising capacity is drying up. I wonder what his reaction will be to Obama’s $52 million June.

Meanwhile, another “lifelong conservative activist” says he will vote for Obama, whose trip to Iraq will be covered wall to wall by a pack of sycophants.

You folks getting the picture yet?

Man Solicits Assassination of President, Pleads for Less Than 5 Years

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:48 am

Bush Derangement Syndrome is truly out of hand in some cases. Here is a link to a 2-page order from the Fifth Circuit which says:

Because Bolton solicited another person to assassinate the President and because he attempted to travel to the President’s ranch for reconnaissance purposes, the district court did not clearly err in applying the § 2A6.1(b)(1) enhancement.

Wow, I thought. I think I’ll look up some more on this, to see what he got. I pulled the minute order off PACER, which says he got 57 months — under 5 years. (For some reason, this .pdf can’t be saved properly, so I took screenshots from it here and here.)

Wow again, I thought. It sure sounds like he is soliciting the murder of the President. Wouldn’t that be worth more time than 5 years? I pulled some more documents.

In a superseding indictment, the Government alleges that the defendant, with a co-defendant, made “oral statements to the effect that one of them, or both of them working together, would shoot the President with a rifle at the President’s ranch near Crawford, Texas.” His co-defendant is alleged to have specifically talked about shooting the President “with a modified military .30-06 caliber rifle” at the Crawford ranch, and made “statements about specific locations from which he could fire the rifle.”

I looked for documents with more meat on their bones. There is a short motion for downward departure filed by counsel for the defendant, which claims he has an IQ of 64. Heck, that just means he’s a liberal — but we already knew that!

What I found interesting was this passage from the Government’s 22-page response, which gives a little more detail to flesh out the statements contained in the appellate order:

[T]he facts and the evidence are at odds with the Defendant’s allegation that he probably would not have tried to kill the President. The evidence shows that the Defendant and his co-defendant met with a potential accomplice, and that they attempted to recruit that person to participate in the assassination of the President. The evidence further shows that the Defendant and his co-defendant, at the time of their arrest, were en route to Crawford, Texas to conduct reconnaissance at the President’s ranch. In light of those facts, the Court should not credit the Defendant’s assertion that he probably would not have attempted the assassination.

(My emphasis.)

The Government goes on to “concede” that the defendant had little chance of success, but doesn’t clearly explain why.

I called WLS, who told me that there are cases of threats to the President all over the country — to the tune of dozens or perhaps hundreds. I suppose that people across the country are constantly sending e-mails and letters threatening to kill the President, and a lot of these people are just popping off because they’re angry. They deserve to be punished, but not necessarily to be treated as though they were serious.

I wonder whether this is different. In how many of those cases does someone speak to a confederate about plans to actually kill the President? In how many of those cases do the two confederates actually attempt to recruit a third person to kill the President? In how many of those cases does one of the confederates discuss the specific weapon to be used, and locations from which it could be fired? In how many cases do the confederates actually head out towards the proposed location of the assassination to carry out a reconnaissance mission?

WLS conceded that cases like that are certainly less common.

I stress that I don’t know all the facts here, but the Government argued to a court that this man really did intend to carry out an assassination, and took the above steps towards that goal.

Yet I can’t find a single news story about it anywhere, and he’s going to prison for less than 5 years.

What do you think? Does this sound like a harmless guy who got an appropriate sentence? Or like someone who solicited the assassination of the President, who should go away for the rest of his life?


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