Campaign Donors Undaunted by ‘Terrorist Economy”

Fundraising in governor’s race picks up steam after 9/11

February 25, 2002

Madison - The post-September 11 economy has produced layoffs, reduced charitable contributions and falling tax collections but it certainly has not stopped powerful special interests - many of which are pleading for tax breaks and stimulus plans - from investing heavily in candidates for governor, a Wisconsin Democracy Campaign analysis shows.

A WDC analysis of campaign reports filed by the candidates for the last six months of 2001 found that large individual contributions to four candidates for governor collectively totaled $215,968 between July 1, 2001 and September 11, 2001, the day of the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks. Meanwhile, large individual contributions to the candidates totaled $1,319,968 between September 12 and December 31 - more than a six-fold increase over pre-9/11 levels.

TOTAL LARGE CONTRIBUTIONS TO
MCCALLUM, DOYLE, BARRETT AND GEORGE

Chart 1: Total Large Contributions to McCallum, Doyle, Barrett and George

Even though there were more days to raise money in the post-9/11 time period - 111 days versus 73 days - the overall daily fundraising average both collectively and for each of the candidates dwarfed the amount raised between July 1 and September 11. The candidates collectively raised an average of four times more per day - $11,892 - after September 11 compared to an average of $2,958 per day before the attacks.

AVERAGE DAILY LARGE INDIVIDUAL CONTRIBUTIONS TO MCCALLUM, DOYLE, BARRETT AND GEORGE

Chart 2: Average Daily Large Individual Contributions to McCallum, Doyle, Barrett and George

Republican Governor Scott McCallum raised $646,162 in large individual contributions in the last six months of 2001 - 78 percent or $506,033 came in between September 12 and December 31. On average he raised $4,559 per day after September 11, versus $1,920 before the attacks.

Democrat James Doyle raised $527,381 in large individual contributions during the six-month period, including 94 percent, or $493,488 after September 11. On average he raked in $4,446 per day after the attacks compared to $464 per day between July 1 and September 11.

Democrat Tom Barrett accepted $299,094 in large contributions from July to December, including $261,248 or 87 percent after September 11. On average he raised $2,354 per day after the attacks versus $518 per day before the attacks.

Democrat Gary George raised $63,299 in large contributions in the last half of 2001, including $59,199 or 94 percent of it after the attacks. On average he raised $533 per day after Sept. 11 compared to $56 a day before.

The pre- and post-September 11 fundraising totals would have been even higher had figures for Democrat Kathleen Falk and Libertarian Ed Thompson been included. However, both of those candidates, particularly Thompson, declared their candidacies well after July 1 and did not appear to have their fundraising operations in full gear for the entire six-month period.

Falk, who declared her candidacy in early August, raised $319,826 in large individual contributions, including $222,282 or 70 percent, after September 11. On average, her campaign took in $2,003 per day after September 11 versus $1,336 per day before.

Libertarian Ed Thompson, who declared his candidacy November 15, raised $45,252 in large contributions, including 37,197 or 82 percent after September 11. He averaged $335 per day after the attacks and $110 per day before.