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eaprez Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-21-04 10:20 AM
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Edwards leading Kerry in Ohio money race

Edwards leading Kerry in Ohio money race
North Carolina senator helped by trial lawyers; Bush dwarfing the pack
Saturday, February 21, 2004
Darrel Rowland

Ohioans have given John Edwards 2 times as much cash as theyve given John Kerry, a Dispatch computer analysis shows.

But the senators camps disagree about whether the disparity means the Buckeye State is more likely to support Edwards in his bid to overtake frontrunner Kerry in Ohios Super Tuesday primary March 2.

The latest official campaign-finance figures for Ohio show Kerry was last among major candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination at the end of 2003, raising less than $90,000 barely more than Lyndon H. LaRouche Jr. and Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich of Cleveland.

At the same time, Edwards had raked in about $235,000, with numerous checks from his fellow trial lawyers.

"His edge in financial resources in Ohio shows he has been building momentum since last year," said state Rep. Chris Redfern of Port Clinton, the North Carolina senators Ohio campaign chairman.

Kerry supporter Paul Tipps, former chairman of the Ohio Democratic Party, pooh-poohed such a notion.

"Each of the candidates went for the low-hanging fruit, the contributions that were the easiest to get," Tipps said. "Fund-raising has not been really a big issue (for Kerry) yet. Hell put on a fullcourt press after winning the nomination."

Yesterday, Edwards stepped up his drive for more debates with Kerry.

"I ask that we also give people in places like New York and Ohio the chance to see where we stand on the issues," Edwards said in a letter to the Massachusetts senator. "While we are all Democrats, there are very real differences among us."

Kathy Roeder, Kerrys Ohio spokeswoman, said the campaign has no plans for any debates beyond the one scheduled in California next week.

"John Kerry hasnt shied away from debates," she said. "Hes already participated in 18 forums and debates. We just did one last week (in Wisconsin)."

Edwards will launch his first TV ads in Ohio this weekend.

"Its a significant buy across the state," said Patrick Dillon, Edwards Ohio spokesman. "People should expect to see John Edwards on TV Sunday."

Dillon declined to say how much the campaign was spending on the ads. One is expected to feature Edwards pet theme of "Two Americas" while the other likely will home in on job losses from the North America Free Trade Agreement. Kerry supported NAFTA in the Senate 10 years ago, although he has expressed reservations since.

Nationwide, Kerry has raised at least $7 million this year and wants $2 million more before Super Tuesday, the Associated Press reported yesterday.

Edwards has generated at least $4.7 million including, Redfern said, more than $400,000 since his surprisingly strong second-place showing in Tuesdays Wisconsin primary. Unlike Kerry, Edwards is taking part in the presidential public-financing system, which limits his spending but gives his campaign cash every month from federal income-tax checkoffs. Edwards likely will get about $1 million March 1.

Campaign-finance figures provided to The Dispatch by the nonpartisan Washington-area firm Dwight L. Morris and Associates show Ohioans opened their wallets widest in 2003 to Democrats who have since dropped out of the race: Rep. Dick Gephardt of Missouri and Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut. Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean and retired Army Gen. Wesley Clark also topped Kerry on the money list.

However, the combined Democratic fund-raising effort was dwarfed by President Bush, whose campaign snared $5.5 million of the $6.8 million given to presidential candidates by Ohioans.

In fact, Bush took in more from Ohio in a single day about $1.3 million on Sept. 30 than all his Democratic rivals combined during the entire year.

The presidents national finance chairman is Mercer Reynolds of Cincinnati, who has mined his hometown for almost $2 million in Bush re-election cash. Columbus is a distant second, adding about $420,000 to Bushs coffers.

Edwards got at least $156,000 from Ohio lawyers and law firms, about two-thirds of his total. Among his other donors were Cleveland Cavaliers coach Paul Silas, the former coach of the Charlotte Hornets who gave $2,000, and general manager Jim Paxson, who chipped in $500.

A couple of contributors, such as Cleveland lawyer John Climaco, gave to both Kerry and Edwards last year. Climaco gave $2,000 to Kerry on June 30 and provided the same amount to Edwards on Nov. 11.

Climaco said the latter was a donation requested by trial lawyers, and that he supports Kerry because he is the Democrats best hope to defeat Bush. Climaco added that Edwards would make a great running mate.

Most of Kerrys money came from northeastern Ohio, especially the Youngstown area. Only $800 came from Columbus, including $250 from Tipps, now a Statehouse lobbyist.

That was topped by a single $1,000 check to Edwards from another Columbus lobbyist: Tipps daughter Penny.

"I think she just likes the way he combs his hair," Paul Tipps said.

Dispatch Senior Editor Joe Hallett contributed to this story.

Edwards in Columbus

Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina will bring his campaign to Columbus on Sunday. Edwards will speak at 12:30 p.m. in the west ballroom of the Ohio Union, 12 th and High streets, at Ohio State University. The event is free and open to the public. Edwards also will attend services, and possibly address congregations, at two Columbus churches: the First Church of God, 3480 Refugee Rd., at 11 a.m., and the New Salem Baptist Church, 2956 Cleveland Ave., about 11:40 a.m.

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The Sushi Bandit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-21-04 01:52 PM
Response to Original message
1. I expect Dennis to win his home state!
"objects in your mirrior may appear closer than you think"
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