Part Two of the 3-Part series assessing the Presidential Fundraising Operations is here! Inspiration? An excellent article in the Los Angeles Times on Sunday discussing his fundraising and finance operations.
For many political professionals, fundraising is an anathema. It’s unpleasant, unpredictable and there is a direct correlation between the “type” of supporters a candidate has to the quantity of money he/she brings in.
Mitt Romney – hands down – has the best finance operation of all Republican presidential contenders at the moment. I remember him coming to visit my former boss, a premier Bush fundraiser back in early 2005 to “discuss” ways of involvement. At the time, Romney was getting ready to start his term as Republican Governors Association Chairman. About that time, he was starting up his “Commonwealth PAC”…his leadership political action committee, to start raising money to build support from candidates and causes across the nation.
Romney started early and visited often…lining up support from key donors across the nation. And boy did they deliver.
I’m not going to re-hash the article…you should read it. Long story short, he’s got a HUGE network to pull from…and they all easily can not only max out to the campaign, but recruit others. The Bain Capital connection…Wall Street…and last but not least, the Mormon Connection. Romney’s main “handler” and national finance director… 28 year-old Spencer Zwick, is the son of a VERY prominent Mormon church leader, so you know they’re keeping VERY close tabs on his race.
Another major factor is Romney’s personal wealth. He’s estimated to be worth $300 million. From what my rich friends tell me, after your first $100 million, your lifestyle doesn’t change all that much for the next few hundred-millions. So the Gov could easily dump $100 million of his own money into this race if he really thought he had a shot, without it significantly impacting his lifestyle. After having a conversation with one of my good friends who is doing Romney fundraising, they haven’t decided if he will put in his first $20 million before or after the June 30 reporting deadline.
Romney will not have a problem with money in this race. He’s a likable, attractive candidate. It is being led by former CA GOP Finance Director & fundraising veteran Joanne Davis. Also on the team are former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger fundraisers Kristin Hueter in San Francisco & Karolyn Dorsee in San Diego. Los Angeles is being headed up by Matthew Jubitz and Orange County is being led by Jennifer Fitzgerald. They have arranged an impressive array of donors in California, including for BC 04 national finance chairman Bradford Freeman and major financier Robert Day of Trust Company of the West.
There is no doubt that Romney will be the most successful fundraiser when the June 30 reports are released. Let’s see if he can translate that money into momentum to boost his lagging poll numbers.