WASHINGTON (CNN) – A brief look back at former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack's campaign for president:
* Filed candidacy papers with the FEC on 11/9/2006 (two days after midterm)
* Dropping out 2/23/2007
* Length of campaign: 15 weeks, 1 day (106 days)
* Not the first 2008 presidential hopeful to drop out: Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Indiana) dropped out 12/15/2006
* Also not the shortest presidential campaign of 2008: Sen. Evan Bayh dropped out after 10 days
* Elected Iowa governor in 1998; served two terms
Presidential Fundraising from 11/9/2006 thru 12/31/2006:
Total Raised: $1,165,075.99
Total Contributions: $1,133,827.51
Contribs. from candidate: $2,100.00
Loans from candidate: $31,148.48
Total Spent: $769,113.13
Cash on hand (as of 12/31/06):$395,962.86
Personal assets between $761,000 and $2,315,000
Liabilities between $115,000 and $300,000
On the issues
Abortion: Supports abortion rights.
Immigration: Expressed concern over Bush immigration proposals, but eventually deployed Iowa National Guard troops to assist at the California-Mexico border. Signed law establishing English as Iowa's official language, but now says he regrets that decision.
Iraq: Opposes Bush plan to send more American troops to Iraq. Opposes setting a specific time-table for troop withdrawal. Would consult with military advisers on removing troops from Baghdad and central and southern Iraq, while keeping them in northern Iraq.
Same-Sex Marriage: Supports Iowa's law banning on same-sex marriage, but says a federal or state constitutional ban is unnecessary. Supports civil unions for same-sex couples.
Social Security: Opposes Bush plan allowing workers to divert some Social Security payroll taxes into private retirement accounts. Signed state law phasing out income taxes on Social Security benefits.
Taxes: Signed law cutting or eliminating certain taxes for Iowa seniors and reducing tax rate on pensions. Vetoed income tax cuts in a 2004 state economic bill, but was later overturned by the courts.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Under a draft proposal released Thursday by the Federal Election Commission, Sen. Barack Obama would be allowed to raise private funds for the 2008 presidential general election while keeping open the option of returning that money should he later decide to accept public funding.
Obama and two of his main rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination, Sen. Hillary Clinton and former Sen. John Edwards, all plan to fund their campaigns solely from private contributions rather than accepting up to $105 million in public funds for both the primary and general election campaigns.
However, if Obama wins his party's nomination, he has expressed interest in accepting public funding for the general election, totaling roughly $84 million, if his GOP counterpart agrees to do the same. Obama asked the FEC earlier this month whether he would be permitted to do so upon returning any privately raised funds.
In its draft opinion, the FEC said that the Illinois Democrat could raise private funds for the general election and later return it in favor of public money as long as the private contributions were kept in a separate escrow account, and that all privately raised general election funds are returned within 60 days of becoming eligible for public funds, among other conditions.
"We're pleased this draft opinion moves the ball forward in the direction of preserving public financing of campaigns this election," said Bill Burton, an Obama spokesman.
The Commission will make a final ruling on the matter at a meeting next week.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – California Rep. Duncan Hunter is asking constituents to support his bid for the Republican presidential nomination, in the first television commercial aired by a candidate for the 2008 presidential race.
The ad shows Hunter sitting before a blue backdrop as he thanks Southern California voters for electing him to Congress and then solicits their support for a national campaign.
"I authorized it so that Lynne and I could thank you for some 26 years of great support as your representative in San Diego," Hunter said in the ad that began running Thursday on KUSI, an independent station located in the San Diego media market. "Now I'm running for the presidency and lots of folks have asked how they can help.
"Please join our campaign and help us spread this message of a strong national defense, border control and protecting American jobs," he added.
Hunter spokesman Roy Tyler did not disclose the amount being spent on the ad, but described it as a "test buy." Tyler said the campaign will evaluate their television advertising strategy next week.
"It is the first ad paid for by a candidate's presidential committee," said Evan Tracey, chief operating officer for TNSMI/Campaign Media Analysis Group, CNN's consultant on television advertising spending. "Hunter has been very aggressive in his use of TV advertising dating back to December of 2006 when his political action committee began running ads in key early states."
Tracey noted that Hunter has opened the door for what is going to be a record-breaking cycle for political ad spending.
"When all is said and done this will be an asterisk in the record books," he said. "The 2008 elections will be the longest and most expensive advertising cycle we have ever seen for a presidential race."
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Sen. Barack Obama unveiled the official name of his presidential campaign Monday in papers filed with the Federal Election Commission. Eschewing the traditional "Obama for President" moniker, the Illinois Democrat has opted instead for "Obama for America."
Other presidential campaigns that have used the "[Candidate] for America" nomenclature include:
* "Dean for America" (2004) - Howard Dean (D-Vermont)
* "Bartlet for America" (1999-2006) - fictional TV president Josiah Bartlet (D-NBC's "The West Wing")
In 2003, the Dean campaign acknowledged that a campaign staffer and "West Wing" fan suggested the name "Dean for America" after hearing the "Bartlet for America" slogan on the NBC TV series, and that the former governor decided on the name without realizing the connection.
Dan Pfeiffer, an Obama spokesman, tells the Ticker that the new campaign name is not in homage to the show but rather "reflects the grassroots nature of an Obama candidacy."
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Had they decided to run for president, Sens. Evan Bayh ofIndianaand John Kerry of Massachusetts would have found themselves near the top of the Democratic field in terms of early available cash, thanks to warchests they had accumulated from previous campaigns.
According to reports filed recently with the Federal Election Commission, Bayh started the year with almost $11 million in his U.S. Senate campaign account, roughly the same amount fundraising heavyweight Sen. Hillary Clinton had remaining in her Senate account after her 2006 New York re-election bid. Federal law allows candidates to transfer an unlimited amount of funds from a Senate or House account to a presidential campaign.
Kerry had a combined $7.4 million at the start of the year saved away in both his 2004 presidential primary account as well as his Senate campaign account. The Massachusetts Democrat and former Democratic presidential nominee also has $5 million saved away in a special account reserved for legal and accounting costs related to his 2004 general election campaign. Federal law is not clear as to how much of this amount could be used for a future bid for federal office, or in what capacity the funds could be spent.
Another Senate Democrat who ruled out a 2008 White House bid, Sen. Russ Feingold of Wisconsin, reported having $1.5 million in his Senate account at the start of the year.
The Ticker reported last week that Clinton lead the Democratic presidential field in early available cash, more than doubling the $4.9 million that Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd had saved in his Senate account at the start of 2007. Delaware Sen. Joe Biden had $3.6 million in cash in his Senate campaign, while Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois had about $516,000.
Bayh announced in December that he would not mount a White House bid, just days after creating a presidential exploratory committee. Kerry announced last month he would not seek the presidency a second time.
The next presidential fundraising milestone will be in April, when candidates will report their fundraising activity from the first three months of the year.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Republican presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani began the year with over $3 million available to spend on a presidential campaign, more than six times the amount his closest GOP rival had available at the same point.
The Ticker had previously reported that Giuliani had saved at least $1 million in cash for his presidential exploratory committee by the start of the year, but a new report made available this week by the Federal Election Commission shows that the former New York City mayor had another $2 million stored in an account originally created for his aborted 2000 Senate campaign. Under federal law, Giuliani may transfer this entire amount to a presidential campaign.
Sen. John McCain of Arizona posted the second-largest warchest of the GOP presidential field, with a combined $492,000 saved in his presidential exploratory committee and his senate campaign account.
Giuliani filed a Statement of Candidacy with the FEC last week and publicly stated that he intends to seek the Republican presidential nomination.
The next fundraising milestone will be in April, when presidential candidates will report their fundraising from the first three months of the year.
Combined federal cash-on-hand for 2008 Republicans:
Rudy Giuliani (R-New York): $3,108,524.41 (Presidential and Senate cmtes.)
Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona): $492,487.30 (Presidential and Senate cmtes.)
Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Colorado): $189,092.12 (House cmte. only)
Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-California): $53,379.37 (House cmte. only)
Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kansas): $41,758.84 (Senate cmte. only)
Mitt Romney (R-Massachusetts): $20,159.89 (Senate cmte. only)
Tommy Thompson (R-Wisconsin) $500.00 (Presidential cmte only)
NOTE: No presidential reports were required from Jim Gilmore, Hunter, Romney, and Tancredo because their presidential committees were created in 2007.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Thanks entirely to a healthy Senate campaign account, Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York banked the most campaign cash in an incomplete field of 2008 Democratic presidential hopefuls, according to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission and the Secretary of the Senate.
All Senate and House members, as well as some presidential candidates, were required by Wednesday to disclose their campaign fundraising activity through the end of 2006. Candidates are free to transfer an unlimited amount of funds from a Senate or House account to a presidential account.
Clinton lead both the Democratic and Republican fields, with $11 million in her Senate campaign account as of Dec. 31. Sens. Chris Dodd of Connecticut, Joe Biden of Delaware, and Barack Obama of Illinois also reported the cash available in their Senate warchests. Dodd had $4.9 million by the end of the year; Biden had $3.6 million; and Obama had just over $516,000. Former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack had almost $400,000 in his presidential account, while Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio had a combined $43,000 in his presidential and House accounts.
Another New Yorker, former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, started the year with the most available cash of any Republican presidential hopeful, with at least $1 million.
Clinton, Dodd, Biden, Obama and other presidential hopefuls who opened their presidential committees in 2007 are not required to report their presidential fundraising until later this year.
Combined federal cash-on-hand for 2008 Democrats:
Sen. Clinton (New York): $11 million (Sen. cmte. only)
Sen. Dodd (Connecticut): $4,925,913.07 (Sen. cmte. only)
Sen. Biden (Delaware): $3,598,479 (Sen. cmte. only)
Sen. Obama (Illinois): $516,553.08 (Sen. cmte. only)
Vilsack (Iowa): $395,962.86 (Pres. cmte. only)
Rep. Kucinich (Ohio): $42,963.39 (Pres. and House cmtes.)
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani boasted the most ready cash for a presidential bid of any Republican White House hopeful, according to reports due yesterday to the Federal Election Commission.
The reports offer a first but incomplete snapshot of the early Republican fundraising race. Some candidates, including former Gov. Mitt Romney, R-Massachusetts, are not required to report their presidential fundraising until later this year. Several Republican White House contenders still control funds in Senate or House accounts, which can be tranferred to a presidential bid.
Giuliani had over $1 million in his presidential exploratory committee as of the end of 2006. He also controls a Senate campaign committee from his aborted 2000 bid which had $2 million in the bank as of Sept. 30, but the committee's most recent report had not been received by Senate officials as of Thursday afternoon. Giuliani transferred a total of $100,000 from his Senate committee to his presidential committee late last year.
Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, reported the second highest cash-on-hand in the incomplete GOP field, with a combined $492,000 saved away in his presidential and Senate committees.
Combined federal cash-on-hand for 2008 Republicans:
Giuliani (New York): $1,014,531.62 (Pres. cmte. only;
Sen. cmte. info unavailable as of Thursday afternoon)
Sen. McCain (Arizona): $492,487.30 (Pres., Sen. cmtes.)
Rep. Tancredo (Colorado): $189,092.12 (House cmte. only)
Rep. Hunter (California): $53,379.37 (House cmte. only)
Sen. Brownback (Kansas): $41,758.84 (Sen. cmte. only)
Romney (Massachusetts): $20,159.89 (Sen. cmte. only)
Thompson (Wisconsin) $500.00 (Pres. cmte only)
NOTE: No presidential reports were required from the following because their presidential committees were created in 2007: GOP - Former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore, Hunter, Romney, Tancredo.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – A handful of Democratic and Republican presidential hopefuls disclosed their first official presidential fundraising numbers of the 2008 campaign in reports due to the Federal Election Commission Wednesday.
Only candidates who created a federal committee in 2006, either an exploratory committee or a full-fledged presidential campaign, were required to submit reports; candidates such as Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-New York, and former Gov. Mitt Romney, R-Massachusetts, who created their committees in 2007, will not be required to disclose their presidential fundraising until later this year.
Several candidates submitted reports for their Senate or House campaign committees. Any money in these accounts can be transferred to a presidential committee.
A compilation of the latest filings appears below. Some reports were not available as of Thursday afternoon.