Over 80% of Money Came from Virginia; Over 450 Total Donors
Chatham, VA -- State Senator Robert Hurt, conservative Republican congressional candidate in Virginia's 5th District, announced Thursday he raised $293,408 in his debut fundraising quarter. Hurt only began soliciting donations after November's elections so as not to detract from the fundraising efforts of our state-level GOP candidates. Senator Hurt will also report over $259,000 cash on hand.
The majority of Senator Hurt's money came from the 5th Congressional District and over 80% was contributed by in-state donors. In total, over 450 people donated to his campaign.
Senator Hurt released the following statement remarking upon his strong fundraising report:
"I'm incredibly humbled by and grateful to all of the people who have recognized the importance of this campaign and the promise of my candidacy. I'm proud to announce that we were able to raise nearly $300,000 in less than two months, even during the Christmas holidays. We owe our early success to grassroots Republicans in central and Southside Virginia who believe in our campaign's conservative message. I'm delighted to note that we exceeded our fundraising goals and appear to have raised more money from district residents than any other Republican in the race. Defeating Tom Perriello in November will not be easy, and it will take someone who can persuade hard-working folks from Danville to Charlottesville that this cause is worth their time and investment.
I'm also proud of our ability to attract financial support from over 450 people. A donation is an investment, and I believe it's important to have a broad financial base of in-district support that will translate into votes instead of simply relying on a handful of large contributions. I'm confident this philosophy will serve us well throughout the campaign, and I'm very much looking forward to building on our early strength with everyday Virginians in the year ahead."
Hurt's finance report only confirms that I am only conservative that can beat NRCC-bckd moderateThis is possibly the most ridiculous statement I have ever heard. According to this CQ Politics report of $287,604 that Laurence Verga raised in 2009, all but $11,025 came from loans to the campaign from Verga himself. This campaign report proves the exact opposite of what Verga is trying to say in this tweet. Senator Hurt:
1. Raised around $6,000 more than Verga and raised more than any other candidate in this race.
2. Had donations from over 450 individuals which is more individual donors than any other candidate running for the GOP nomination
3. Has more cash on hand than any other candidate in this race.
4. Has the highest number of donors from within Virginia out of all candidates for the GOP nomination.
To me this shoots to hell the argument that the other candidates have been trying to prove, mainly Verga, throughout the whole campaign. I learned during my early days in politics that large number of donors=grassroots support.
I hope all of you will take the time to read this article about why self-funded candidates are bad for the Republican Party as well as the conservative movement, and that is exactly what Laurence Verga is. His campaign has nothing to say except that Robert Hurt is bad and that they did well fundraising, and they neglect to tell you that it is because Verga made a huge personal loan to the campaign. I've said it before and I'll say it again that whoever wins this nomination will win because they talk about the issues and what solutions they will bring to Washington that will help Virginia and its 5th Congressional district back on track, not how Robert Hurt, the NRCC, and the 5th District GOP Committee are supposedly trying to screw you.
Self-funders are particulary popular among money-addled political insiders for a few key reasons. First, their personal money takes the need for much party money off the table, or so it's thought. Second, they can afford to pay consultants, and lots of them, and for eye-popping amounts. Third, they will often refill the coffers of local parties in a wink and nod exchange for much-needed endorsements.
But the record of self-funders in American politics is notoriously poor. In California alone, about a half dozen of them have spectacularly crashed on the rocks, from the campaign that gave us Arianna Huffington in 1994 to Al Checchi's $40 million gubernatorial campaign in 1998, Jane Harman's effort in the same primary, and Steve Westly's losing 2006 campaign for the Democratic nomination for Governor.
This year, Jon Corzine was unable to put away Chris Christie with his vast personal fortune, ending one of the few self-funding success stories in American politics. And Michael Bloomberg spent $102 million in one city to eeke out a five point victory against bland party apparatchik Bill Thompson. The size of Bloomberg's bank account in reaching for a third term (for which term limits were repealed) was cited as a factor in the last minute closing of the race.
At the federal level, ask Senator Pete Coors how well self-funding works. Or President Mitt Romney.
It's not just that these candidates were running unwinnable races. Often they were way ahead after an early barrage of advertising. But they blew it, despite their money.
Update 2: From "The Scorecard" blog on Politico:
One of his conservative opponents is Laurence Verga, a businessman who loaned his campaign $214,000 but raised only $23,000 in donations. Verga banked $218,000 at the end of last year.
Verga has been railing against Hurt as a moderate establishment type, and has been appearing on talk radio and posting on RedState.com to position himself as the only true conservative in the race.