fat cats

Via [Say Uncle][1], I ran across [this article][2] at the [National Review Online][3] attempting to dispel the myth that George W Bush’s campaign success is due to small individual donations because of his popularity, and not a disparity in large campaign contributions:

A new study by the Center for Responsive Politics found that in the last election cycle, people who gave less than $200 to politicians or parties gave 64 percent of their money to Republicans. Just 35 percent went to Democrats. On the other hand, the Center found that people who gave $1 million or more gave 92 percent to Democrats ? and a whopping eight percent to Republicans.

This may be true for contributions to the parties alone – I can’t find any data either way – but it’s certainly not true for the presidential candidates thus far. To [Say Uncle][4]’s credit, he only uses the article to defend the assertion regarding the parties as a whole and not individual candidates. The article on the NRO, however, is not so meek, continuing:

Which would you call the party of fat cats?

It seems the real problem reformers have with George W. Bush is that he is more successful than they thought possible. The president aims to collect somewhere between $170 million and $200 million for the campaign leading up to next year’s GOP convention, and some reformers believe that’s just too much.

Now, hold on. Back up. They cite a study on contributions to all politicans or parties and apply them to the fundraising trends of GWB, one man, running for president.

A quick tour of some of the numbers on [opensecrets.org][5], the most awesome website on the face of the planet, reveals that GWB’s advantage is clearly in the arena of contributions over $200 and over $2000:

# of $200+ Donations # of $2000+ Donations

Candidate </td>

# of $200+ Contributors </td>

Avg Contribution </td>

Contributors Of $2,000+ </td>

% from
$2,000+ donors </td> </tr>

Bush, George W </td>

19,801 </td>

$1,521 </td>

12,280 </td>

76% </td></tr>

Kerry, John </td>

9,807 </td>

$1,175 </td>

3,488 </td>

56% </td></tr>

Edwards, John</td>

8,685 </td>

$1,304 </td>

3,826 </td>

67% </td></tr>

Dean, Howard </td>

8,643 </td>

$618 </td>

802 </td>

16% </td></tr>

Lieberman, Joe </td>

6,645 </td>

$1,114 </td>

2,117 </td>

54% </td></tr>

Gephardt, Dick</td>

5,379 </td>

$1,182 </td>

1,996 </td>

58% </td></tr>

Larouche, Lyndon H Jr </td>

1,543 </td>

$657 </td>

35 </td>

4% </td></tr>

Kucinich, Dennis</td>

1,201 </td>

$598 </td>

122 </td>

15% </td></tr>

Moseley Braun, Carol</td>

220 </td>

$765 </td>

39 </td>

36% </td></tr>

Sharpton, Al</td>

97 </td>

$1,302 </td>

48 </td>

61% </td></tr> </table>

Sorry, but that is one fat ass cat. See Opensecret.org's Donor Demographics for more.

They also throw in this weirdly revealing tidbit of condescension:

So are the good-government types happy? Not at all.

Huh? "good-government types"? Am I to assume then that the author is a proponent of bad government? Note to the NRO: pick better epithets.

[1]: http://saysuncle.com/archives/001124.html#001124 [2]: http://www.nationalreview.com/script/printpage.asp?ref=/york/york070703.asp [3]: http://www.nationalreview.com/ [4]: http://www.saysuncle.com/ [5]: http://www.opensecrets.org/