Massachusetts Gov. Michael S. Dukakis broke Democratic presidential fund-raising records Monday in Boston, raising $2 million that night for his campaign. Guests paid $1,000 each to "send Massachusetts' favorite son to the White House."
Dukakis' total for his first three-month filing period, which ends June 30, could be around $3 million, although his campaign refuses to give figures. "It is very important that this first quarter be very respectable for the governor," campaign finance director Kristin Demong said. "We want to be very competitive with other Democratic candidates."
Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D-Del.) raised $1.7 million during his first quarter. Other first-quarter totals filed in April were $1 million by Rep. Richard A. Gephardt (D-Mo.) and $824,777 by former Arizona governor Bruce Babbitt.
In 1983, Walter F. Mondale, the Democratic front-runner, reported receipts of $2.4 million in his first-quarter filing.
Demong said the Dukakis campaign's "strategy this quarter has been to do significant fund-raising in Massachusetts and start to build a national fund-raising strategy." Dukakis is picking up the pace of his national drive, traveling to New York this week and then stopping in Washington, Detroit and Chicago later this month.
Unlike the home states of some of his rivals, Massachusetts is a major fund-raising state; Dukakis raised $3 million in the state for his 1986 gubernatorial campaign. Robert Farmer, campaign treasurer, originally predicted that 75 percent to 80 percent of Dukakis' money this quarter will come from Massachusetts. Now, he says it may be more.
The Dukakis campaign clearly has its eye on the bottom line. Monday night's event was was not even a sit-down dinner; guests stood as they dined on finger food. Paul Tully, the campaign's political director, explained, "We're into the net."