No, he explained

A canned response to my note to the Kerry organization suggests that they’re not in the mood to fork over any more dough. That being the case, why give through their website rather than direct to a candidate or to the DSCC or DCCC?

My note to the Kerry folks proposing that the Senator fork over some of the money he kept back in 2004 to help with the final push this year got the following response. Since it was unsigned and rapid, I assume it was a canned response to a number of such emails.

Thank you for your message.

All of us here at applaud what Chris Bowers and other leaders in the blogosphere are doing to drive every possible dime into Democratic campaigns in this final push.

What Chris is doing is the polar opposite of what an anonymous website has been doing in spreading lies and totally misleading statements about John Kerry’s efforts.

We are spending and contributing and raising money to Democrats every single day before this election. It’s our mission.

We also wanted to make sure you had complete, accurate information about John Kerry’s efforts over the last 2 years to support Democratic candidates up and down the ticket all across the country. Here are the facts:

“Give me five more John Kerry’s,” says Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.). “He’s a fighter, and he puts his money where his mouth is.” — Roll Call, 5.1.06

No one has done more than John Kerry to support Democratic candidates. 11 million dollars. Over 200 candidates in more than 40 states. That’s how much, together, the community and John Kerry have given to or raised for Democratic candidates and committees since November 2004. John Kerry is aggressively fundraising for Democratic candidates in 2006 — making direct contributions to campaigns, attending and hosting events in the states, emailing his 3 million person list of supporters on behalf of candidates, and raising money for state parties, the DNC, DSCC and DCCC.

“He also won plaudits for working on behalf of House candidates. `The question is was somebody willing to stand up back in the dark days when I needed help, and he was,’ said US Representative Rahm Emanuel, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. — Boston Globe, Brian Mooney, 10/9/06

Kerry has personally traveled to 24 states to appear with candidates and rally support at the grassroots. Kerry has made over 85 trips across the country to support Democratic candidates this cycle.

Kerry gave $1 million to the Democratic National Committee and raised an additional $250,000 for the DNC online. Kerry also gave $1 million to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and $500,000 to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Kerry contributed $50,000 to the Louisiana State Party and gave $250,000 to the Washington State Democratic Party which helped finance a recount when the Republican party challenged the win of Gov. Christine Gregoire in 2005.

With the help of the community, together we have raised over 100K each for 11 candidates, including Cantwell, Bill Nelson, Byrd, Sherrod Brown, Ford, McCaskill, Klobuchar, Webb, Duckworth, Patrick Murphy and Joe Sestak.

“Kerry has a big electronic address book and he hasn’t been shy about using it…it’s also bringing in quite a bit of money for Democrats nationwide…he has given or raised nearly $10 million for Democratic candidates and committees since November 2004.” — Washington Post, “Kerry Treasury Department,” 7.2.06

Getting veteran candidates elected to key seats is a top priority for John Kerry in 2006. He has actively supported over a dozen veteran candidates, including Jim Webb, Tammy Duckworth, and Chris Carney. “The Winners: John Kerry: Kerry not only endorsed Webb but appeared with him Monday for a last-minute campaign rally. Kerry also used his national e-mail list to raise cash and turn out the vote.”—, The Fix, “VA Senate Winners and Losers,” 6.14.06

Additionally, in 2005-06, John Kerry contributed or raised over $200,000 on behalf of the Massachusetts Democratic party, He has used his email list to recruit over 500 volunteers to support the state’s efforts to elect Democrats in November. In the last two months before the election, he will attend 5 events in support of Deval Patrick, the Democratic nominee for Governor, and the Democratic ticket.

Note how the response conflates (1) money Kerry actually gave; (2) money given in response to his solicitations to the list of 3 million contributors he has left over from the 2004 campaign; and (3) the proceeds of fundraisers at which he spoke.

I wrote back:

Should I take this as a “no” to my request that you consider putting a substantial chunk of your cash hoard into this year’s contest? Having donated about 20% of the $14 million carried over from the 2004 Presidential race to this year’s race, does Sen. Kerry intend to sit on the rest, letting the greatest Democratic opportunity since 1974 go by? Sorry, but if that’s the case, no amount of eating rubber chicken at fundraisers or putting out appeals like the current one will make up for it.

Why should I or anyone else donate through Friends of John Kerry if the Senator plans to use those contributions as a substitute for putting out some real cash from his own bankroll?

Once again, I’m happy to publish any response.

The rest (so far) is silence.

Update Kerry and Kennedy have decided to pony up half a million each. Not what I’d hoped for, but not chickenfeed either.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact:

5 thoughts on “No, he explained”

  1. Bowers now reports that Kerry is going to give another half a million to the DSCC. Sooooooo, that's something.

  2. Kerry is my Senator – I volunteered for him, contributed, and voted for him. And sent a nice email pleading with him to contribute. The canned letter I got back (not quite the one you got, but 80% the same), was deceitful and obfuscatory. Kerry has given only $15,000 this year to Dems. Atrios is reporting, meanwhile, that Republican Congresscritters in safe districts are coughing up $2.3 million for the cause. Kerry is a disgrace. An arrogant disgrace.

  3. What Chris 0 said.
    Kerry just forked over $ 500,000. Time for an update no ? Also, you might imagine that the pressure that you personally (along with many many others acting with, what do they call it, solidarity) put on Kerry had something to do with his decision and do a little victory dance in the privacy of your office.
    Congratulations on a job well done (along with many many others whose blogs I don't read).

  4. ob. quote: "Shut up he explained." — Ring Lardner
    Man, no one observes the niceties any more ….

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