Saturday, July 31, 2004

Updated July 31, 2004 at 1:15 pm-- It depends what the meaning of "So" is.

Quote of the week goes to State Republican Party Chairman Judy Baar Topinka.

The below exchange is a "Pull-out," from the blog entry, immediately below this blog entry.
Jeff Berkowitz: But, your [potential U. S. Senate] candidates, your candidates are behind [Barack Obama], any one of them, at least twenty points and at least five million dollars in the hole—

Judy Baar Topinka: So.

Berkowitz: How do you make that up, you know anyone who can [raise $50,000 per day]?

Topinka: We start. You have to have a candidate first and we will.
State GOP Chairman Judy Baar Topinka, July 29, 2004, Summer in the City fundraiser at the Metropolitan Club in the Sears Tower, Chicago, IL

When you think about GOP State Chairman Topinka's responses to my questions, they really are quite remarkable, don't you think?

Moreover, my question on the fundraising was understated. To get and stay even with Barack, a Republican U. S. Senate candidate entering the race on Aug. 2 would have 92 days until the election to catch up to the 5 million dollars, or so, that Barack Obama currently has in the bank and to match the additional 5 million dollars, or so, Barack Obama is likely to raise before the election. So, as Judy might put it-- that is $10 million, or so, for Liz Gorman [who the Chicago Tribune today claims tops the list of potential Republican Senate Candidates] Jim Oberweis or some other big name to raise in 92 days. So, as Judy Baar Topinka might put it-- that translates to having to raise about $108, 000 per day. In terms of an individual's max contribution of $2,000 [unless the fundraiser can snag couples or families], that means at least 54 successful calls per day or more than 5 successful calls per hour in a 10 hour day.

That is a fair amount of change to raise for relatively unknown candidates. For example, consider this hypothetical fundraising call:

Q: Hi, "I am Jane Fundraiser, could you please contribute $2,000 to Liz Gorman. She is a rising star in the Republican Party [says Cook County Board of Review Commissioner Maureen Murphy] and she is the Republican Candidate for the U. S. Senate. She needs your help because nobody knows who she is and she is losing by 25 points?

A: Liz who? Maureen who?

But maybe Liz Gorman has some money of her own. The Chicago Tribune reports today that Liz Gorman was previously President of Dodge of Midlothian, which was owned by her husband Gerald. The Tribune also tells us that the dealership lent Gorman's Cook County Commissioner campaign fund more than $325,000 to defeat long term Republican Cook County Commissioner incumbent Herbert Schumann in the March, 2002 primary. [Liz's husband claims, in a lawsuit, that Daimler-Chrysler forced him out of business-- so I guess that dealership may not be a source of funds for Liz in this campaign].

Of course, if Plummer kicks in 4 million of his own money, he only needs to raise $65, 000 per day to keep up with Barack. And, you argue, even Barack has to raise $54,000 per day to meet my projected target for him. True, but remember, (1) Obama is the projected landslide winner at this point, meaning even business PACs are willing to open their wallets to Barack Obama and (2) Barack has a fundraising operation in motion and it has been working smoothly at this for about 18 months. "So," Judy says. Yeah, right- "So."
Jeff Berkowitz, host of "Public Affairs," can be reached at