Monday, September 17, 2007

Funding the "Opposition"

It's no secret that mainstream candidates encourage their supporters to fund "fringe" candidates in hopes of siphoning off support from the competition. This act occurs in a number of different incarnations. There's the "party crasher" variety wherein a third party candidate receives money from donors who have already given the maximum to a traditional party's nominee (Think of all the Bush Rangers and Pioneers that ponied up for Ralph Nader in 2004). There's the "ex post facto" version, where a candidate with a great deal of campaign debt suddenly finds financial support from folks the minute he or she drops out of the race and supports a previous opponent (See Hillary Clinton's generous offer to help find funding to pay down Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack's expenses after he dropped out of the presidential race this year).

Then there's today's example:

A friend who was a highly trusted Bush donor back in 2000 once told me that he got regular phone calls from the Bush campaign in 1999 and 2000 asking to pay the speaking fees for Alan Keyes events. Keyes never had the firepower to actually raise enough money to campaign. The strategy was that Keyes could keep attacking people like Forbes from the right and keep the conservatives shattered so that Bush could keep on trucking.

So who is going to pay for Alan Keyes this time?

There are numerous other verities, too. I'm sure we'll see many of them in the near future.

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