Romney fundraisers can keep 10%
We all know that the first quarter closes this weekend for all presidential candidates... and now the game of managing expectations has begun.
Mitt Romney's campaign chief counsel Ben Ginsberg sent an internal memo to top fundraisers yesterday with a warning to examine the first quarter fundraising numbers raised by his opponents.
First, Governor Romney's totals will be indicative of our extraordinary success in building an organization and stirring excitement among grassroots activists. The number will be quite a tribute to Governor Romney and all of you since the other leading candidates enjoy universal name identification, existing networks of contributors and clear advantages in the national polls.
Second, be aware that some campaigns' totals will include monies raised for the general election. This money will artificially inflate totals, but it is meaningless in gauging current strength since not one penny of a campaign's general election funds can be used in the primary. Reports that don't separate primary and general election contributions will be misleading. As you know, Romney for President has raised only primary funds, but the McCain, Giuliani, Clinton and Obama campaigns have raised both. (While there may be some advantages in raising both kinds of money now, know there are also disadvantages – for example, 100 percent of general election monies raised must be returned if the candidate is not the nominee. This means that all the costs of general election fundraising, including fundraisers' commissions and event costs must be paid for with primary funds.)
Me thinks the Governor doth protest too much.
Sen. John McCain has already warned that he would not meet the campaign's fundraising goals this quarter. McCain's camp seems to acknowledge that Mitt Romney may wind up raising more.
But a loyal reader (and personal friend) of this blog sent in a tip last week from Forbes which reports Romney is allowing students to keep 10% of the money they raise for his campaign.
Participants in "Students for Mitt" will get 10 percent of the money they raise for the campaign beyond the first $1,000. While candidates often offer professional fundraisers commissions up to 8 percent, campaign experts believe the Massachusetts Republican is the first to do so with the legion of college students who have historically served as campaign volunteers.
"For the kids that want to get involved in a political campaign and they don't want to spend their summer painting houses, they can help the campaign and themselves at the same time," said Romney spokesman Kevin Madden.
For the "kids"?
Are they joking? Not only does it seem condescending, I'm not sure the AFP would be thrilled to learn about this.