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  •   Gore, Bush Lead in Money Race

    By Ceci Connolly and Susan B. Glasser
    Washington Post Staff Writers
    Friday, April 16, 1999; Page A5

    Ten presidential hopefuls have raised $30.7 million for next year's election, and the first reports of the 2000 campaign filed yesterday show that Democratic Vice President Gore tapped a wide national financial network while GOP Gov. George W. Bush relied on a $4 million infusion from his home state of Texas.

    The official totals for the first three months of 1999 put Gore on top with $8.9 million raised, while Bush collected $7.6 million -- $2.3 million of that deposited on March 31, the final day of the reporting period.

    Both candidates relied heavily on wealthy donors -- more than two-thirds of Gore's and Bush's money came from $1,000 contributions, the maximum individual donation, according to an analysis of the data by The Washington Post.

    Measured in monetary terms, former senator Bill Bradley (D) and Sen. John McCain (R) appear to pose the most serious early threats to Gore and Bush, respectively. Both men reported about $4 million for the quarter and both have continued their aggressive fund-raising in the first two weeks of April.

    "I'm impressed at the Bradley and McCain numbers," said Michael Malbin, a campaign finance expert at State University of New York at Albany. "This is a very strong signal that they plan to be ready to put up a fight in [early] 2000 when the whole battle will occur."

    Gore and Bradley reject money from political action committees; Bush received $116,000 from PACs and McCain, who chairs the Senate Commerce Committee, got $113,000 from PACs.

    Several candidates do not appear to have the resources to simultaneously raise more money and mount ambitious, multi-state campaigns.

    Elizabeth Dole raised $685,000 but after expenditures and debts was left with less than $485,000. Gary Bauer, minus debts, has $109,000 available. After debts and expenditures, both Lamar Alexander and Dan Quayle are left with negative balances -- Alexander $96,000 in the red and Quayle $174,000 short.

    "A front-loaded race is not something you can run on a credit card," said Malbin. "Vendors expect . . . cash."

    Malcolm S. "Steve" Forbes, who invested $37 million of his own money on the 1996 race, spent $694,000 on his campaign and raised $18,000 from others.

    Gore's $8.9 million set a record for the first quarter of a calendar year. Gore has also squirreled away $1.1 million in a separate account for legal and accounting costs, including FEC fines, for the general election.

    Movie stars Kevin Costner and Michael Douglas gave, but neither President Clinton nor first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton wrote checks to the vice president.

    Gore is also the biggest spender so far. His $2 million in expenditures have allowed him to open a large headquarters, campaign in several states and hire professional fund-raisers in at least eight cities outside Washington.

    Bush raised his money without hosting a single fund-raising event. More than half came from Texans.

    Bush has enlisted a team of wealthy "Pioneers" around the country to collect $100,000 or more each from their friends and colleagues as a key part of his plan to raise as much as $50 million. But the first fund-raising report gives little hint of how successful that program will be. Outside of Texas, his biggest money states were California, which provided $460,000, and Michigan at $390,000, according to a Post analysis. Florida, governed by Bush brother Jeb, came in third, with more than $375,000 raised.

    The wealthy governor loaned his campaign $13,810 in start-up costs. According to the report, he has not spent any money in New Hampshire and spent $29.70 in Iowa, home to the first-in-the-nation caucuses.

    Bradley, a former star with the New York Knicks, tapped his sports connections. Among his donors: Michael Jordan and former teammates Dave DeBusschere and Phil Jackson.

    Staff researcher Ben White and database editor Sarah Cohen contributed to this report.

    Staff researcher Ben White and database editor Sarah Cohen contributed to this report.


    © Copyright 1999 The Washington Post Company

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