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John Kerry Fighting Longer and Harder Than the Rest and It’s Still Not Enough?

by Pamela Leavey

Hotline on Call reports today that there’s an attempt in the blogosphere and with in the Democratic party to get certain Senators to pony up from their war chests for the mid-term elections and the bulk of the cries to pony up are directed towards John Kerry. AP News also has a piece along the same lines. Now let me be clear, working to get other’s to pony up out of their war chests is fine, but it’s interesting that this “grassroots” effort comes by way of an anonymous website that was registered through Domains by Proxy and has the owner’s information blocked and it’s sad that the claims on the website are misleading at best.

The truth is no one has done more for Democratic candidates in this election cycle than John Kerry (which Hotline alludes to but doesn’t give the full scoop) but evidently it’s still not enough as far as some are concerned. I find this curious because John Kerry was not sitting around dawdling months ago when success for Democrats appeared more like a fantasy than something attainable. No — he was out there working hard to raise money for Democratic candidates long before anyone else got the notion to get involved. He did not wait until this late stage in the campaign to pitch in and help like others have, because Kerry understands that “early money” counts the most and it is usually hardest to raise. Kerry’s team applied that rule of early support of Senate candidates on the top targeted Senate races.

Off the bat, in 2004, John Kerry gave 1 million dollars to the DSCC at the beginning of this election cycle when the DSCC’s coffers needed a boost to show a positive balance at year-end — he wiped their debt clean.

Since 2004 the bottom line all combined: the Friends of John Kerry, Keeping America’s Promise PAC and JohnKerry.com grassroots contributors have provided $3,540,553 in direct contributions, directed donations and online contributions to the DSCC and 22 Senate incumbents and candidates. Here’s a breakdown (via Kerry’s PAC) of what Kerry has done for Senate candidates:

  • A contribution of $1,000,000 to the DSCC in December of 2004 and $14,253 in June of 2006.
  • $1,654,100 raised online from the JohnKerry.com community for Senate colleagues and challengers:
    • Senator Byrd $105,900
    • Senator Cantwell $180,927
    • Senator Conrad $13,400
    • Senator Feinstein $51,460
    • Senator Bill Nelson $207,528
    • Senator Stabenow $46,672
    • Bob Casey (PA) $64,000
    • Claire McCaskill (MO) $107,786
    • Jim Pederson (AZ) $58,055
    • Sherrod Brown (OH) $167,373
    • Cong Harold Ford (TN) $98,212
    • Amy Klobuchar $114,919
    • Jim Webb (VA) $141,543
    • Ned Lamont (CT) $28,569
    • Senator Akaka $20,205
    • Senator Menendez $36,668
    • Jon Tester (MT) $74,204
    • Ben Cardin (MD) $74,813
    • Sheldon Whitehouse (RI) $61,866
  • Direct contributions to Senate colleagues and candidates of $37,200.
  • $835,000 raised at a series of fundraisers for colleagues and candidates, including:
    • $520,000 for Bob Casey in Washington on September 20th, New York on September 21st, Pittsburgh on September 24th and Boston on September 28th.
    • $150,000 for Hillary Clinton in Boston on May 6th.
    • $50,000 for Bill Nelson in Palm Beach on March 13th, Boston on December 1st and Pittsburgh on December 2nd.
    • $40,000 for Maria Cantwell in Boston on June 26th and in Ketchum on July 24th.
    • Sherrod Brown fundraiser on September 9th for $30,000.
    • Pederson fundraiser on September 17th for $45,000.

    Now mind you, the above list of contributions is the contributions to Senate candidates only. We’re just getting started with the work Kerry has done to support and raise money for Democrats all across this country since 2004

    John Kerry has given or raised over 10 million dollars for Democratic candidates and committees since November 2004. Give me a holler if you can show me another Democrat who can match those $$$. To my knowledge Kerry has completely outpaced the pack. John Kerry has been aggressively fundraising for Democratic candidates throughout all of 2006. Really?? That’s right, Kerry has been:

  • Making direct contributions to various campaigns.
  • Attending and hosting events 24 states across the country including IA, NH, CA, WA, PA, MD, FL… the list goes on.
  • Emailing his 3 million strong list of supporters from JohnKerry.com on behalf of candidates and raising money for state parties, the DNC, DSCC and DCCC.
  • Need more information on what John Kerry has been doing to help Democrats raise money for the critical mid-terms? Here’s more information (via Kerry’s PAC):

    Kerry has raised over 215K individual direct and online contributions that have come through JohnKerry.com. He’s raised over $13.5 million through his leadership committees since November 2004 and of that $13.5 million, John Kerry has given away over $10 million to Democratic candidates and committees across the country.

    All told, Kerry has financially supported 179 candidates for House, Senate and state and local offices and committees in 42 states. 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. He’s given $500,000 to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee; contributed $50,000 to the Louisiana State Party and he 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.

    Through the JohnKerry.com community, Kerry has raised over 100K each for 11 candidates: Maria Cantwell, Bill Nelson, Byrd, Sherrod Brown, Ford, Claire McCaskill, Klobuchar, James Webb, Tammy Duckworth, Patrick Murphy and Joe Sestak.

    When I read the crap like I read today on HeyJohn.org, I see red. Because instead of acknowledging that a good man is out there fighting longer and harder for us than most, people who don’t even have the courage to say who they are resort to attacks and misleading information. How is that helping the Democratic party? It’s not.

    Here’s another rundown of Kerry’s support of Democratic candidates as of August 30, 2006 (via Kerry’s PAC):

    • $2,389,449 for 18 candidates for US Senate – 11 incumbents, 7 challengers.
    • $1,048,333 for 78 candidates for US House – 40 incumbents, 38 challengers.
    • $311,691 for 11 candidates for Governor – 6 incumbents, 5 challengers.
    • $124,250 for 31 candidates for state and local races.
    • $6,041,161 for 41 committees – includes state parties and state legislatures the DNC, DCCC and DSCC and the MA AFL-CIO.

    Kerry’s Keeping America’s Promise helped to raise $4,965,217 for candidates, committees and causes:

    • $3,302,400 through 67 events for 10 federal candidates, 6 non-federal, 9 committees and causes
    • $1,662,817 direct marketing fundraising for ­­29 federal candidates & 1 non-federal candidate

    Keeping America’s Promise also contributed $275,803 to candidates, committees and causes:

    • $154,550 to 118 candidates
    • $101,400 to 82 federal candidates
    • $53,150 to 36 non-federal candidates
    • 121,253 to 22 committees and causes

    Friends of John Kerry helped to raise $1,853,565 for candidates, committees and causes:

    • $440,357 in direct marketing fundraising to 19 federal candidates, 6 non
    • $313,208 in direct marketing fundraising to 8 committees
    • $1,100,000 in direct marketing fundraising to causes (Red Cross & USO)

    Again, the bottom line here is this – no one and I do mean no one has done more the party this year, in the past 2 years actually, than John Kerry. So let me quote John Kerry here from yesterday, when he pitched for people to donate to The Patriot Project, another worthy cause within our ranks, the call for Kerry to do more from HeyJohn.org is simply a “chickenshit attack” in my opinion from members of the grassroots who don’t have the courage to put their names behind their claims.

    It’s times like this when I sit back and shake my head bewildered by the lack of support for the for the one leader in the Democratic party that has fought harder on all the issues that count. He’s not stopped since November 2004. No in fact where others might have drifted off by the wayside, John Kerry went back to work right after the election and he’s a better man, a better fighter and we all owe him our gratitude for leading the fight against Alito, for leading the fight to save the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, for leading the calls to bring our troops home from Iraq… the list goes on.

    Let me make it clear, I’ve watched and noted here on The Democratic Daily everything that John Kerry has done in the past 15 months. You won’t find a more complete archive of John Kerry news anywhere on the blogosphere. Why have I done this? Because I believe in John Kerry. I believe in what he stands for. I believe in what’s he’s done for Democrats in the past and I believe that our future and the future of this country is tantamount on the work he continues to do every damn day of the year.

    So let the chickenshits at HeyJohn.org come forward and tell us all who they are — because “No one has done more than John Kerry to support Democratic candidates”:

    “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

    “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 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

    “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.”- Washingtonpost.com, The Fix, “VA Senate Winners and Losers,” 6.14.06


    It appears that John Marshall needs to get his numbers straight and Markos might want to check his sources too because he’s omitted some facts as well. Taylor Marsh gets it and she’s got it straight.

    UPDATE 2: RELATED POSTWho’s Behind HeyJohn.org?

    20 Responses to “John Kerry Fighting Longer and Harder Than the Rest and It’s Still Not Enough?”

    1. Curious if attention is directed to Hillary, also.

      Other than never before hounding a candidate about post campaign chests as they do about JK, Gore comes to mind, is this a maneuvering of opinion pre-2008? Leftover hostilities from bloggers not in the know?

      Why can’t someone explain about the strange general season rules about spending, spend thrift campaign decisions, of leaving for litigating post-election and there wasn’t anything to actually go to court about, not being able to buy advertising, lots of reasons to be left with a plus. But not nearly as big as some think.

      What is it about AP lately running with everything negative without checking.

      How do we spell ungrateful…

    2. Typical of me to shoot my mouth off before reading the site.

      Anonymous is suspicious. Really wonder if GOP.

    3. All other niceties (such as the many complicated legal entanglements that are involved in repurposing campaign contributions after the fact) aside…

      I gave money to John Kerry because I wanted to give my money to *John Kerry*, not to some random 2nd- and 3rd-tier schmoes who have no money in their campaign war chests because not even their own constituents are willing to donate money for them to put in their campaign war chests.

      So to all the whiners out there gritching about how John Kerry should cough up even more of his funds to support their pet candidates:

      Please stop all the shilling and shrilling about what *you* think *he* should be doing with *my* money, thankyouverymuch. That’s between him and me, and it’s none of your damn business.

    4. Otter

      I see HeyJohn.org is moderating their comments – perhaps wishing to brook no dissent:

      Pamela | October 19th, 2006 at 8:24 pm

      Your comment is awaiting moderation.

      “So, let me quote John Kerry here from yesterday, when he pitched for people to donate to The Patriot Project, another worthy cause within our ranks, the call for Kerry to do more from HeyJohn.org is simply a “chickenshit attack” in my opinion from members of the grassroots who don’t have the courage to put their names behind their claims.” – http://blog.thedemocraticdaily.com/?p=4507#more-4507

      Come clean HeyJohn.org because if you don’t you’re nothing but “chickenshits”.

    5. Why don’t they go after hillary? She has been amassing a fortune and sitting on it without any real opponent all for 08. Smell’s like something Carville and the clintons would cook up so JK gives up the dough and Hill is even farther in the money trail than she is now.

      Why can’t some people get their blame facts straight about this money? Like an earlier post said people gave the money to John Kerry not to ungrateful backstabbing senate and house candidates. I hope JK doesn’t give them a dime. The man has logged more frequent flier miles than probably anyone else in the party to raise money and support candidates and this is the thanks that he gets.

      I already made it clear to the dem house committee they are not getting a dime of money after their continued backstabbing of Kerry and neither is Schumer and Reid crew.

      Why be anonymous, come out and say who your site really works for HeyJohn.org you coward.

      Kerry supporters have to hit these jokers just like we would the GOP. As far as I’m concerned, If Kerry is your candidate then we have to be prepared to smackdown backstabbing democrats as well as the rethugs and the msm. We can’t give no quarter to anyone anymore. Rather they are in the party or not.

    6. After all JK has done, they want to play this charade? Now don’t that beat all. They have beat him down time and time again, turned their backs on him when we needed their support, and now they dare to pressure him for more!! As far as Markos goes, there is no big suprise there. He still feels he has an axe to grind for some reason.

    7. I was burning up when I read that mess over at Talking Points. Had to vent:

      …I must say I was particularly bothered about the comments on John Kerry and his contributions. At a time like this, we should be more supportive and constructive. Laying the blame, whether intended or not, on one (very dedicated) senator is truly unfair. It still puzzles me how so many liberals continue to slam, dismiss, discredit, and disrespect this man. Where were so many when he needed them most in 2004. Remember the lackluster response and often more criticism than support from his own party? He is working so hard and it continues to be unnoticed by the mass media and even some liberal blogs. We need to focus on what’s important now…winning on Nov 7. Yes, we need money and we always will need money, but is it really fair to continue to highlight some real or supposed flaws when this man is doing far more than many.

      All the days, months and years of work he does gets no play – then whenever there is a story with a controversial or negative angle it gets slammed at him.

      Please follow through with the facts before trashing him. Coming back later to update doesn’t do much to fan the already overwhelming flames. This negativity influences so many people and even depresses votes. People seem to begin to stereotype and label all politicians as greedy when this is not necessarily the case. This is like a hit ad by the GOP. This is too irresponsible right now and we have too much at stake. Just my opinion as a concerned citizen and a Democrat who is ready to be unified.

      Hearing the President and some liberal blogs slamming Kerry on the same day brings back memories of 2004. I’m dreaming of solidarity and SOLUTIONS. It’s as if we are worried about losing and trying to find someone to blame. Oh, just blame that ole’ Senator who lost it for us in 2004. He’s easier to trash than Hillary or Biden. He’s old news so it really doesn’t matter. Well, I say it does matter. We can’t keep dogging the good ones.


    8. Amazing.

      Apparently, it is really the DSCC and Reid, according to Josh Marshall (I would imagine he checked before printing this).

      I am beginning to wonder if they want to win or if they are trying to find an excuse if they lose the Senate.

      Anyway, talk of a way to demotivate people. During the last few days, I was starting to think that it would be a good thing if all senators sitting on a warchest, including Kerry, gave a little bit (and that would include Schumer, who is sitting on $10 M).

      Well, now, I certainly do not want him to do that. If Democrats cannot be a little more forthcoming, where are we going?

    9. Mass

      Marshall’s latest post on this here – http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/010463.php

      I don’t see that he says they are connected to the website if that is what you are saying.

      I have a suspicion that is netroots blog action.

    10. http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/010455.php

      Here is the post you are talking about. It does not say explicitely that they are linked to the website, but says they are the ones pressuring him to give. So, it is not too far to imagine that somebody in their staff is at the origin of the anonymous sources of the hotline stories.

      I may be wrong, of course, but …

    11. I am glad to see everyone here express their full thoughts on this matter; it neeeds and deserves attention.
      But although we definitely need to set the record straight, the bottom line IMHO is still this: There are literally hundreds of ways to donate your hard earned cash to good dem/lib/prog causes…..I get probably 2-3 requests per day via email. I have on occasion given to some of these, but the bulk of my money (even though it’s not much) goes to the “John Kerry war chest”. When I do this, I am not always thinking of giving directly to whichever candidate he feels needs help at the time, I am giving to John Kerry with 100% trust that he knows what candidates/causes will help this country out the most. Once I and others give that $ to him it would be a disservice for him to give that money to any cause without being 100% behind it. He’s been the most active fundraiser, speechgiver, motivator, and hope-bearer since 2004. THAT is why people donate, and that is why people will continue to donate, and if anyone has a legitimate need for it I am quite sure he will deliver as he has done over and over and over again. THAT is why I donated to this cause. If I wanted my donation to go elsewhere I would have sent it there myself.

    12. Thanks so much for laying this out so clearly, Pamela. I can’t for the life of me understand how anyone could possibly focus on JK, of all people, for not doing “enough” (!!!), considering his astonishing campaign efforts for Democratic candidates and causes, all over the country. In fund-raising for others, direct contributions, and just plain time and pounding-the-pavement effort, he just soars over all other members of congress. Why not spend the same energy challenging other members of congress to rise to his level of effort?? It just befuddles me.

    13. Thanks so much for this post, Pamela. My frustration level with certain wings of the democratic party and their attacks on John Kerry continues to grow. It’s bad enough that the media has always chosen to put anyone else’s face and words up when referring to dem ideas about Iraq which Kerry first put forth himself, but even the other democrats themselves don’t source him. He’s had plans and ideas to move this nation forward in just about every area. Yet we keep hearing that the dems have no ideas, they’re just against the repubs, when he’s laid out his ideas thoroughly and consistently. Finally, Keith Olbermann did summarize Kerry’s recent excellent points in the NH speech which you had here, Pamela, but we did not hear Kerry’s voice along with his picture which would have been so much more powerful for those who hadn’t heard it on the web. I’m tired of every face and voice but the man who won more dem votes than any other pres. hopeful being shown when there’s any news from the left. All I can surmise is that there are a lot of people who are very afraid of the new level of ethics which would reform congress and clean up both sides of the aisle if our man were to assume the helm. Like the others, I will always give my donations to Kerry, and let him determine where to send the funds, and I’ve said as much in answer to phone pleas for funds for dems. Thanks again for keeping us posted.

    14. Who’s Behind HeyJohn.org?

      There’s been a dust up in the blogosphere over the news reported yesterday on Hotline On Call that “yesterday, “a Democratic official not affiliated with the DSCC sent around a website, http://www.heyjohn.org which takes Kerry to task&#8221…

    15. I hope everyone has left their 2 cents over at HeyJohn and let’s keep the pressure up to get the truth out!

    16. Pamela

      Thank you for your precise record of John Kerry’s achievements, donations, campaigning history for other Dems, etc. He has totally displayed and continues to display leadership above and beyond all the rest.

      I first read your posts before going to work this morning and have been “pissed” ever since. It is definitely not acceptable to attack John Kerry’s record in any manner, shape or form. Like the others here who have posted before me, I choose to and prefer to donate my money to John Kerry exclusively. I trust him — period.

      Believe me I have sent this message loud and clear to the DCCC, DSCC, Reid, and Schumer, and all the rest who send me e-mail requests for donations. I am a proud member of the johnkerry.com coummunity and that is where my allegiance will remain.

      I still retain a bitter memory of a DCCC survey e-mailed Dems, with results posted February of this year, asking us to vote for the “Leader of the Dem Party.” Where was John Kerry’s name on their list? Nowhere to be found. We all wrote in his name and he polled 11.23%, which was fantastic. He is the leader; they are all choosing to wear blindfolds in order to avoid dealing with his total dedication to fighting for a stronger America, and on every single issue facing this country, he has been on top of the challenge bar none.

      “Let’s roll up our sleeves and get back to work for our country.” John Kerry’s call to action November 19, 2004. He has been tirelessly leading the way ever since. We see his efforts, we are grateful, and we continue to stand beside him as he speaks truth to power and gets the job done.

      Whoever this Hey.John.org “official” may be: *put up or shut up.* Anonymity = Chickenshit.

    17. Dotti J

      I’m still steamed myself – and honestly no words describe the cowardice behind that website better than “Chickenshit!”

    18. Pamela

      You are so right. It felt perfectly okay to use the word “chickenshit” for me too.

      Just finally finished reading all posts everywhere – and my stomach is churning again. Also saw the AP/Yahoo News release. Thankfully David Wade had some input, yet not enough IMO.

      Thanks again for your great reporting.

    19. Phenomenal post, Pamela. You are right, there is not a better archive of JK news anywhere in the blogosphere, and I for one am very glad for this site!

      Your rundown here is excellent. I just want to suggest adding to the arsenal, the points made by someone who admits he doesn’t support JK in another presidential run, but raises important points in defense of JK on the money issue anyway. As I posted over at the JK blog:

      There’s an excellent rebuttal also by RonK Seattle at dailykos. Assuming he has his facts straight, these points should be conveyed to people more strongly, imo:

      Now, what are excess campaign funds? If you are running for reelection in 2008 (as Kerry is), you need over $10M to deter challengers (and run a contested campaign if necessary). If you are running for President, you need $20M, $30M, $50M or more (George W raised what? $200M?).

      If Kerry transfers money out, he cna [cannot] go back to his max contributors to replenish it. They’re already maxxed (for the 6 year Senate cycle – not for the year as some naively assume).

      No way – legally, ethically, tactically or logically – does it make sense for Kerry to do anything other than what he’s doing.

      In a follow-up post RonK notes he does not support another presidential run by JK, and as I remember, that sentiment has been reflected in other posts by him at dailykos. Which makes his defense here even more credible.

    20. Isn’t it strange how many people get nervous
      when someone speaks the truth? I can understand the Republicans being afraid of John Kerry because they look so bad in comparison to him, but why can’t more of our Democrats recognize all the good that Mr. Kerry has done for the party? In my opinion, Hillary looks downright nasty compared to John!