Monday, July 18, 2005

Nelson's War Chest at $2.3 million

by Kyle Michaelis
Ben Nelson has officially flexed his political muscles, revealing heretofore unknown fundraising prowess that must have Nebraska Republicans worried as all get out. The Lincoln Journal-Star reports:
Sen. Ben Nelson has built his campaign war chest to $2.3 million after stepping up fund-raising during the second quarter of the year.

Nelson raised $867,000 from April through June compared to $519,000 during the first three months of the year.

The Democratic senator's $2.3 million in cash on hand as of June 30 compared to nearly $23,000 for Republican challenger Don Stenberg, who didn't enter the Senate race until April 28.

Republican candidate David Kramer announced his candidacy on June 28 and will not file a campaign finance report with the Federal Election Commission until the end of September.

All told, Nelson has raised more than $2.6 million and spent $323,000, according to his FEC report filed Thursday.

$2.3 million vs. $23,, Ben Nelson has raised a full 100 times the amount Don Stenberg has been able to put together. That's a 10,000% difference. Of course, there's a huge advantage in incumbency, but I don't think it explains this sort of disparity. It seems painfully obvious from these figures that even die-hard Republicans don't believe in Don Stenberg. His campaign is floundering right out of the gate.

Meanwhile, the Omaha World-Herald added this little bit of information:
[Nelson] is on target to far exceed the amount he raised in beating Stenberg in their first contest. Stenberg spent $1.8 million in that campaign; Nelson spent $2.7 million.

To have already raised as much money as he spent to win election in the first place a full year before the race will even heat up - that's pretty damn impressive.

Of course, I'm not one to gush over big money in politics, but it's inescapable. Ben Nelson, in just one term, has become a force to be reckoned with in the U.S. Senate. He has maintained the respect of his own party and gained that of many, many Republicans without even a hint of the flashy, parlor-room politics to which his partner Chuck Hagel so often resorts.

Nelson is a man with whom it is frustratingly easy to respectfully disagree because he so obviously does care that his votes reflect the values of his constituents. He is an asset to his country and his state....and today he is flush with cash and seems plenty ready to ask the people of Nebraska for another term.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does Nelson have a campaign website yet? I've looked and couldn't find one.


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