With a formal declaration of candidacy still three months away, Ronald Reagan has raised more than $1.4 million in campaign funds, according to his latest finance reports.
Like others who have used heavy and costly direct mail solicitations, however, the Reagan campaign is in debt. While it has a $121,000 cash surplus, according to the latest campaign finance reports, the Reagan campaign committee has $141,741 in debts and obligations, much of it owed to a West Coast direct mail firm.
Reagan's full campaign finance report for the last three months was filed with the Federal Election Commission about two weeks late. Reagan's personal financial disclosure statement -- require of all active contenders under the new Ethics in Government Act -- is a month overdue.
Reagan's total take places him among the fund-raising heavyweights in the 1980 campaign John Connally ($2.2 million), George Bush ($1.5 million) and Jimmy Carter ($1.5 million). Philip Crane has taken in nearly $2.5 million but he remains $795,000 in debt, largely a result of direct-mail costs. John Anderson, Robert Dole and Howard Baker are far behind the others in fund-raising, through their campaigns are newer.
According to a campaign spokesman over half of the $894,000 Reagan's campaign committee has raised in the past three months came from his direct mail effort. It brought in over $400,000 in contributions of under $100, which do not have to be itemized on FEC reports.
The direct mailings cost the Reagan campaign more than $200,000 during the period, however, according to the finance report.