|Dean for America
On May 30, 2002, Dean mailed the FEC papers establishing Dean for America, a presidential campaign committee. Dean for America is headquartered in Burlington, Vermont. Joe Trippi is campaign manager, overseeing the day-to-day running of the campaign in Burlington. Stephanie Schriock started as national finance director at the beginning of January 2003.
3rd Quarter 2003: Dean for America weighed in with "the largest FEC report ever compiled by a Democratic presidential campaign." The campaign raised $14.8 million during the quarter, eclipsing the record held by Bill Clinton, when he was the incumbent president. The average donation for the quarter was $73.69 and the average online donation was $61.14. Roughly $7.3-7.4 million was raised over the Internet. Over 10,000 people hosted or attended house parties in the quarter; one highlight was the world record largest conference call involving 3,466 people. Ten days out from the end of the quarter, Joe Trippi set a goal of $15 million by the end of the quarter. At that point the campaign had raised $9.7 million. The baseball bat graphic was posted on the campaign's web site (actually five $1 million bats) . The campaign met the challenge of the five bats, but it fell a tad short of the $15 million; Trippi took responsibility for the "rounding error." Some reporters questioned the campaign's burn rate, the $8.8 million spent in the quarter. Campaign manager Joe Trippi responded that "running a national campaign is expensive" and pointed to investments such as the Sleepless Summer tour, staff in about a dozen states, and advertising in a number of states. Further $12.4 million in cash on hand placed the campaign well ahead of the nearest Democratic competitor (although well behind President Bush). Trippi said the campaign had had to boost its compliance staff to meet the challenge of getting the report done in 15 days--when printed out the report was over six feet tall. "The FEC is going to have to change all these regulations," Trippi said. Looking to the future, the campaign appeared in good shape; fewer than 1 percent of donors had contributed the maximum $2,000, leaving them free to make further contributions. Still under consideration is whether the campaign will opt in or opt out of public financing.
(The campaign also re-deployed
the baseball bat on its website for a three-day challenge from July 26-28,
2003. The challenge was centered on a fundraising luncheon Vice President
Dick Cheney was to hold in Columbia, SC on July 28, 2003 where he was expected
to bring in $250,000. According to the campaign, the challenge was
met in the first two days, and the campaign added a second bat signifying
contributions to go towards funding a “top secret” project. Over
the three day challenge, 9,621 Americans contributed over $508,640.31 to
the campaign with an average contribution $52.87).
2nd Quarter 2003: The Dean
campaign reported a dramatic increase upon its first quarter receipts and
the highest quarterly intake for a Democratic candidate yet in this cycle,
$7.6 million. Of this sum, the campaign raised about $3.6 million
online, including "nearly $3 million raised online in the the last week
alone." A baseball bat thermometer graphic on the campaign's website
proved very effective, allowing visitors to monitor fundraising progress
during the closing days of the quarter. Particularly impressive was
the final day of the quarter, June 30. The campaign posted half-hourly
updates on its website; the steadily growing sense of excitement resulted
in online contributions of about $800,000 on the day. During the
quarter 45,030 people donated online a total of 51,474 times, and the average
donation online was $74.14. All told 73,226 donors contributed in
the second quarter, including over 62,000 for the first time. The
campaign is third among the Democrats in cash on hand behind Kerry and
Edwards; however it notes that just a tiny percentage of its donors have
1st Quarter 2003: The campaign
reported ontributions from more than 12,000 individual donors; the average
contribution was about $180. Internet contributions exceeded $750,000.
See also 1st
3rd Quarter 2002: Report shows contributions ranging from $250 to $1,000 from 129 individuals. Noteworthy names include investment manager George Soros ($1,000-7/17), Barnes & Noble founder and chairman Leonard Riggio ($1,000-8/28), Human Rights Campaign executive director Elizabeth M. Birch ($1,000-9/30), and Calif. Assemblywoman Carole Migden ($500-7/31). 2nd Quarter 2002 report shows contributions from 33 individuals and $5,000 from the Fund for a Healthy America.
|Fund for a Healthy America
On November 8, 2001 Dean formed a political action committee, the Fund for a Healthy America, dedicated to advancing "the principles of fiscal stability, universal health insurance, better environmental protection, and equality for all Americans."
Kate O'Connor, a longtime aide who ran Dean's campaigns for governor and is his secretary of civil and military affairs, oversaw Dean's political efforts on a part-time volunteer basis. A junior from Seton Hall University worked as a full-time volunteer in mid-May 2002 and continuing through the summer. The Fund operated out of a small office in Montpelier.
The Fund did not raise nearly as much money as other presidential prospects'
leadership PACs. Explaining the relatively small receipts, Kate O'Connor,
treasurer for the Fund, said there is "a different philosophy" behind Dean's
Fund as compared to the other leadership PACs that are raising significantly
larger sums. O'Connor said purpose of the Fund is for Dean to be
able to travel around and support candidates, and he doesn't need a large
staff and millions of dollars to do that.
Dean's extensive out-of-state travels during 2002, when he was still governor, prompted some criticism. See for example this article: Ross Sneyd. "Governor's Absences Cause Strife," The Associated Press, May 9, 2002. Sneyd cited records showing Gov. Dean had been out of state for 63 of the first 128 days of 2002. In January 2002, Dean suffered the indignity of having three local newspapers, interested in the extent of his politicking, go to court to obtain access to his daily schedule. A Superior Court judge ruled in their favor on April 25; the matter was appealed to the Vermont Supreme Court, where it was argued on June 11, and a decision handed down on November 1.
Copyright © 2002, 2003 Eric M. Appleman/Democracy in Action.