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Tom Daschle raises $50k in Rhode Island
The Providence Journal ^ | December 18, 2003 | Scott MacKay

Posted on 12/18/2003 1:44:00 PM PST by anonymous_user

Daschle gets R.I. money for S.D. race

Sen. Tom Daschle takes home more than $50,000 at an East Side fundraiser attended by top state businessmen and leading Democrats.

BY SCOTT MacKAY Journal Staff Writer

PROVIDENCE -- Things are definitely not looking up these days for Democratic leaders in Washington. Republicans control both chambers of Congress and are poised to hold on to their gains in next fall's elections.

A slew of Southern Democratic senators have decided against running for reelection, including such well-known incumbents as Bob Graham of Florida, John Breaux of Louisiana, John Edwards of North Carolina, Fritz Hollings of South Carolina and Zell Miller of Georgia.

President Bush is on the rise in national public opinion surveys. Fueled by a growing economy, congressional approval of a sweeping overhaul of Medicare, the capture of Saddam Hussein, and a fractious Democratic presidential race, the Republican president's reelection chances appear better every day.

Don't tell that to U.S. Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle of South Dakota, who dropped in to Providence last night for a fundraiser for his reelection campaign back in his home state.

Daschle remains an optimist, saying in a brief interview and in remarks to last night's well-heeled crowd that he believes voters still see the Democratic Party as the vessel of job growth, better health-care policies, balanced budgets and strong educational and enviromental policies.

"What kind of country do we want to be?" said Daschle. Republicans and Democrats, he said, offer "two very distinct visions" of the nation.

During the eight years of President Bill Clinton's administrations in the '90s, the U.S. economy gained 22 million jobs, Daschle said. Since Bush took office in 2001, roughly 3 million jobs have been lost, he said.

Democrats are "for keeping the ladder of opportunity down for every single person alive."

Daschle harvested more than $50,000 at the event at the East Side home of Democratic activists Jack and Sara McConnell that was attended by the top state corporate officials and leading Democrats.

Among those sipping drinks, munching shrimp and mingling at the fundraiser were Sen. Jack Reed, Attorney General Patrick Lynch, Providence Mayor David Cicilline, former Sen. Claiborne Pell, former lieutenant governor Richard Licht, Secretary of State Matthew Brown, Democratic State Chairman William Lynch and former Gov. Bruce Sundlun.

Tom Ryan, CEO of the CVS Corp., William Gilbane Jr. of Gilbane Inc., Donald Sweitzer, vice president for government affairs at GTECH Holding Corp., and a flock of State House lobbyists, including Guy Dufault and Joseph W. Walsh, attended the $1,000 per person fundraiser.

South Dakota is a prairie state that has over the years elected some strong Democratic liberals, such as former Senators George McGovern and James Abourezk, who appealed to the populist instincts of a major breadbasket state. But it is socially conservative and increasingly Republican in national politics; Bush carried the state by 22 points over Democrat Al Gore in 2000.

Daschle may face a strong GOP challenger, former U.S. Rep. John Thune, an ally of the Bush White House who lost a 2002 Senate race to Democrat Tim Johnson by 524 votes. So Daschle's Senate colleagues have been sponsoring fundraisers around the country to help him keep his seat.

At 56, the lithe and soft-spoken Daschle was first elected to the U.S. House in 1978. He moved up to the Senate in 1986 and has been reelected every six years since then.

He thanked Reed, calling him one of his "closest friends." And he thanked the McConnells, who live in a nice house on Elmgrove Avenue.

"My favorite people are those who live like Republicans and support Democrats," said Daschle.


TOPICS: Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; US: Rhode Island; US: South Dakota
KEYWORDS: campaign; campaignfinance; cfr; daschle; electionussenate; finance; fundraising; southdakota; tomdaschle
In 1998, 86% of Daschle's money was raised outside of South Dakota. He has already raised nearly $30 per registered voter in South Dakota. Your comments are welcome.
1 posted on 12/18/2003 1:44:03 PM PST by anonymous_user
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To: anonymous_user
I understand that before McCain / Fiengold money equaled free speech, but if there are to be limits, shouldn't one of them be that a politician can only raise money in his home state?

It's just nuts how politicians run all over the country to raise money to represent a small Congessional district.

If there are to be limits to fund raising, Senators should be limited to their state and Congresscritters to their districts.

Just my $.02
2 posted on 12/18/2003 1:50:48 PM PST by Weimdog
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To: anonymous_user
Of course Thune will also have to raise lots of outstate money. What percentage of outstate money did Thune take in 2000? I want Daschle to be crushed, but this might not be the issue to push.
3 posted on 12/18/2003 1:53:17 PM PST by DeweyCA
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To: anonymous_user
"the lithe and soft spoken".. what a graceful picture that conveys. Doubt any repbs get that sort of comment..:)
4 posted on 12/18/2003 2:18:39 PM PST by futureceo31
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To: futureceo31
"the lithe and soft spoken"

Translated to Republican: "A hissing, slippery, snake-like little man."
5 posted on 12/18/2003 3:02:41 PM PST by anonymous_user (Marketing: Making people buy things they can't afford to impress people who don't care.)
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To: anonymous_user
I got a lovely letter from Jumpin Jim Jeffords looking for money, and I live in Tennessee.

Needless to say, he got none.
6 posted on 12/18/2003 3:18:39 PM PST by Grammy
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To: anonymous_user
$50K?, A whole 50,000 dollars? Wow!! that's so...

Unimpressive

7 posted on 12/18/2003 3:22:41 PM PST by muir_redwoods
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To: anonymous_user
Is Little Tommy up for re-election in 04 or 08?

I plan on sending his "Rah" opponent a big donation!

8 posted on 12/18/2003 3:24:36 PM PST by TexasCajun
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To: TexasCajun
He is most definitely up for election in 2004. No official announcements as to who's running against him yet.
9 posted on 12/18/2003 3:58:23 PM PST by anonymous_user (Marketing: Making people buy things they can't afford to impress people who don't care.)
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To: muir_redwoods
$50k for a one-night dinner in a state he doesn't represent, unimpressive?

That's your opinion, I guess.
10 posted on 12/18/2003 4:01:41 PM PST by anonymous_user (Marketing: Making people buy things they can't afford to impress people who don't care.)
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Comment #11 Removed by Moderator

To: shanscom
True, but it's the value of the experience.

I can actually imagine people wanting to spend an evening with President Bush.
12 posted on 12/18/2003 4:45:34 PM PST by anonymous_user (Marketing: Making people buy things they can't afford to impress people who don't care.)
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To: anonymous_user
Keep in mind, RI is about 85% democrat and is generally considered to be Boston's south lawn. It also has a very impressive average income, probably in the top 10% in the US. Any national democrat ought to be able to clean up there. 50 grand is not a lot of money. I'll bet X42 spent that on cigars.
13 posted on 12/19/2003 2:54:32 PM PST by muir_redwoods
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To: muir_redwoods
When you put it that way, I guess $50k is kind of a joke.

I was thinking in "South Dakota" terms. I doubt there's anywhere here in his home state where he could raise $50k at a $500/plate dinner. But, that's why he's in Rhode Island, right? :)

Of course, there might be more shmoozing and private contributions above and beyond the "dinner cost" which didn't make the news. (?)
14 posted on 12/19/2003 3:02:44 PM PST by anonymous_user
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To: anonymous_user
In the Kennedy's second vacation home? Illegal contributions? I can't imagine such a thing.

Actually, in South Dakota terms $50K is probably not much more than it is in RI but it's just a whole lot harder to find enough folks who don't know all they need to about Daschle and wouldn't part with the money.

15 posted on 12/19/2003 3:29:38 PM PST by muir_redwoods
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