Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Politico's Vogel: "McCain qualifies for public funds" - updated version

The Politico’s Kenneth Vogel has an updated version of his story on Senator McCain’s qualification for public funds. Here’s the text:

McCain qualifies for public funds
By: Kenneth P. Vogel
August 28, 2007 05:49 PM EST

John McCain on Tuesday became the first 2008 presidential candidate to
qualify for taxpayer dollars for the primary election. McCain’s application and qualification for the funds is likely to be interpreted by opponents as a desperate move, even though it does not lock him into the public financing system. Jill Hazelbaker, a spokeswoman for McCain, said: “This isn’t a sign of desperation — it’s a sign of prudence and should be interpreted as such.”

McCain has lagged behind the Republican front-runners in the polls and in fundraising. Participating in the public financing system would allow him in the coming months to get an infusion of loans by borrowing against the promise of taxpayer dollars.

But the system is a trade-off, since it would also cap at about $50 million the amount of cash his campaign can spend during the primary — a limitation that would go into
effect immediately. The leading contenders for the nomination will likely quickly eclipse that level of spending, potentially putting McCain at a distinct disadvantage in early states.

McCain, a senator from Arizona once considered the leading candidate for the GOP presidential nomination, spent $22 million in the first six months of the year, according to a report he filed in July with the Federal Election Commission. It showed he brought in $25 million, and racked up $2 million in debt.

Compare that to the GOP field leaders: Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani since January has raised $33 million and spent $17 million. And this year, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney spent $31 million and raised $35 million from supporters , though he has also loaned his campaign $9 million.

The matching public funds would be provided starting in January, but McCain could use the FEC certificate promising the funds as collateral for loans before then.
Even if the campaign opted not to borrow against the funds, a source close to the campaign predicted the Jan. 1 start of the matching funds would be “just when it will be most useful to him in early primaries.”

“It looks increasingly unlikely that most other Republican candidates will raise significantly more than McCain by then,” the source said. “So having these funds available at a crucial time gives McCain an important option. Whether he decides to use that option depends on his other fundraising for the rest of the year.” The maximum amount a candidate could receive is currently estimated to be about $21 million. McCain spokeswoman Hazelbaker also pointed out that last week former commerce secretary and top fundraiser Robert Mosbacher joined the campaign as general co-chairman, which she called “evidence of the fact that we continue to attract well-respected leaders to assist in our effort.”

McCain applied to receive the funds Aug. 10, and the FEC announced Tuesday that he qualified. In order to qualify for the program, candidates must raise $100,000 by collecting $5,000 in 20 different states in amounts no greater than $250 from any individual contributor.

You can read the full text of the original article here.
You can contact Campaignia at publisher@campaignia.org.

NY Magazine: "The new McCain gang still paying bills" - and some more on the "Straight Talk Express" bus

Hat tip to The Politico's Jonathan Martin, for finding this short article from Geoffrey Gray of New York Magazine. Campaignia would also point out that this story is consistent with a question asked by TownHall.com's Matt Lewis during Senator McCain's August 20 conference call. Lewis asked if there had been an audit of the campaign, to which McCain answered in the affirmative.

John McCain’s new steward of the Straight Talk Express, campaign manager Ricky Davis, says that he’s been uncovering old bills and invoices for extravagant purchases that just don’t jibe with McCain’s image as a
frugal-minded maverick. Among them are whoopingly high receipts for a souped-up
Straight Talk bus McCain used on the campaign trail, which came complete with
flat-screen televisions and elaborate “art wrap”—the cellophane-y stuff that’s used to cover the bus with an image. “Every $10,000 counts now,” says Davis, who replaced Terry Nelson and McCain’s chief strategist, John Weaver, who resigned this summer after filings showed they steered McCain’s campaign off the road by spending too much on consultants and staff, among other things, and not doing enough fund-raising. Davis says he’s been able to balance the books a bit by focusing McCain’s bare-bones operation on three states—Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina—and finding a cheaper Straight Talk Express. “The next time we roll it out, it’ll be much more like the original version.”...

You can read the full text of the original article here. You can contact Campaignia at publisher@campaignia.org.

Innovative, video-included fundraising e-mail from McCain campaign, from his mother in re his birthday

Here is the text of an e-mail sent out under the signature of the Senator’s mother, Roberta, which was distributed at 12:20 PM on Tuesday, August 28, in advance of the Senator’s birthday on Wednesday.

A particularly innovative element of the e-mail is the video included within it. It is a short video in which Senator McCain’s mother, Roberta, speaks directly to the recipient about her son. Campaignia believes the e-mail to be effective, particularly the video aspect, which adds a personal, humanizing touch to the otherwise mundane topic of fund-raising. The complete text is below, with video link within it:

Dear [recipient’s first name],

Tomorrow is my son’s birthday and for such a happy day my daughter-in-law, Cindy McCain, has put together a birthday card to him that both of us hope you will sign.

My son, Senator John McCain, has been a leader his entire life. When he was a young boy, all of the kids knew me as “Johnny’s mother” because he was the leader of the other children. I raised him to be strong, to enjoy life, and to serve others. So I’m not surprised he’s grown up to be one of our country’s greatest leaders - and the best candidate for president. You do not have to guess about where he stands, his leadership abilities or what he can accomplish.

Service to one’s country is a tradition in our family. John has carried on our family tradition of service throughout his life in the Navy, in Congress and the Senate and hopefully as the next President of the United States. If you want a president with experience, character, courage and unwavering dedication to service, you’ll get one by helping John Sidney McCain get elected.

As a special birthday gift, I hope you will follow this link to sign the birthday card Cindy has arranged and make a contribution to his campaign for president. Campaigning is long, hard and expensive and your financial help will be appreciated. So please, give John a great birthday gift by making a donation today of $71, $142 or even $213 - as much as you can to help his campaign.

Yours sincerely,
Roberta McCain(Mrs. John Sidney McCain Jr.)

P.S. Please follow this link to sign the online birthday card Cindy has put together before John’s birthday tomorrow.

You can contact Campaignia at publisher@campaignia.org.

McCain to make his 9th (at minimum) appearance on NBC's "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" tonight (Tues Aug 28)

Senator McCain will be a guest on NBC’s The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, tonight, Tuesday, August 28, at 11:35 PM EDT. At minimum, this will be McCain’s 9th appearance with Jay Leno. His other appearances, courtesy of the Internet Movie Data Base (IMDB), are listed below. In spite of its name, it also tracks talk show appearances. It will mark McCain’s first visit to Jay in over a year.

Episode dated 29 June 2001 (29 June 2001) - Himself
Episode dated 18 September 2001 (18 September 2001) - Actor
Episode dated 19 July 2004 (19 July 2004) - Himself
Episode dated 4 November 2004 (4 November 2004) - Himself
Episode dated 18 July 2005 (18 July 2005) - Himself
Episode dated 18 April 2006 (18 April 2006) - Himself
Episode dated 7 August 2006 (7 August 2006) - Himself

However, Campaignia distinctly recalls Senator McCain appearing on Leno, at least once, during the Senator’s 2000 campaign, and probably more often, in fact. So the IMDB list is only partially complete, and so the subject line reads that this will be his 9th appearance. (In addition, it is puzzling as why McCain is listed as “actor” rather than himself, in his September 18, 2001 appearance above.)

You can read the IMDB page here. You can contact Campaignia at publisher@campaignia.org.