Jeb Bush Asks Donors to Limit Contributions to $1 Million Each…For Now
It’s not easy being the nominal front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination, what with money flowing in such amounts that Jeb Bush has had to say: “Stop! Please, a million at a time will do just fine.”
Bush did not make the aforementioned remark. But his campaign has asked rich donors to cap their checks at $1 million for now.
There are two theories circulating as to why Bush would want to slow down the volume of money headed his way for the 2016 race. One says his advisers don’t want Bush to collect too much money too soon and risk being perceived as being in the pocket of the uber wealthy.
Another theory says Bush may be playing mind games with his GOP rivals.
Lara Brown, professor of political management at George Washington University, told OpenSecrets.org that she read the request “a little bit the other way.”
“I don’t want to say it’s a bluff, but he may be trying to kind of bolster up his support, and make it appear as though he’s going to be far and away the frontrunner and the leader,” Brown said.
“It’s basically saying, ‘I got pockets deeper than you can imagine,’” lobbyist Ben Miller told OpenSecrets.
The self-imposed donation limit, which applies to individual donors during the current quarter, is also a way for Bush to come out looking good no matter what his mid-April PAC disclosure reports reveal. “At the end of the day only he and his fundraisers know who are willing to write million dollar checks, and if he doesn’t get any, it’s going to be very difficult to prove he should have,” added Brown. “I think he’s kind of setting up a situation where whatever he raises he’s going to be able to say, ‘Oh no, that’s what we asked for.’”
Bush’s request is aimed at a very, very small segment of the U.S. population, pointed out to OpenSecrets’ Russ Choma. Since 1989, when the Center for Responsive Politics began collecting campaign finance data, the number of reliable GOP donors who have donated $1 million or more is 214 people.
“Numerous” individuals have already forked out that amount to the Right to Rise Bush campaign super PACs, according to The Washington Post. Though he has not announced his candidacy, Bush is two months into an intensive fundraising tour which—including the support of those who backed his father and brother in their presidential bids—is on track to build a war chest of tens of millions of dollars within the coming two months.
-Noel Brinkerhoff, Danny Biederman
To Learn More:
Jeb Bush Caps Donations at $1 Million. Umm… (by Russ Choma, OpenSecrets.org)
Awash In Cash, Bush Asks Donors Not To Give More Than $1 Million – For Now (by Matea Gold, Washington Post)
Bush Blows away GOP Rivals with 2016 War Chest (by Matea Gold, Washington Post)
What Does Jeb Bush do for a Living? (by Steve Straehley, AllGov)
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