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|For Immediate Release
July 31, 2006
PARTY FINANCIAL ACTIVITY SUMMARIZED
WASHINGTON – – The two major parties have reported raising $695 million in federally allowable “hard money” at the national, state, and local levels in the first eighteen months of the 2006 election cycle. This total is 6% less than the total raised through a comparable period in 2004, and 8% less than was reported from all sources (including both hard and soft money) through June of 2002, the last campaign with no Presidential race on the ballot.
Democratic committees reported raising $289.3 million between January 1, 2005 and June 30, 2006. This is an increase of 4% over the same period in 2004. Their Republican counterparts raised $405.7 million through the end of June, 13% less than 2004. Federal fundraising by parties has often been stable or even declined slightly in cycles without a Presidential campaign.
Spending by Democratic party committees totaled $204.6 million, an increase of 18% over 2004 levels. Republican committees have spent $316.5 million thus far, 6% less than in 2004. Overall, Republican committees reported cash balances totaling $112.1 million as of June 30, 2006 with debts of $2 million, while Democratic committees held $89.9 million in cash-on-hand and $2 million in debt.
While Democrats closed the gap in fundraising with their Republican counterparts, Republican party committees still raised $116 million more than Democrats through June.
The greatest percentage increase in fundraising came from the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee (DSCC) whose $73 million total was 48% higher than the comparable period in 2004. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) boosted receipts by 37%. The National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) reported receipts of $62.6 million, a 24% increase from the last election cycle. The NRSC is the only one of the three national Republican committees to report increased fundraising through this period. Fundraising totals were lower for both the DNC and RNC when compared to this period in 2004 when the national committees were in the midst of a competitive Presidential campaign.
The 2006 election cycle is the second in which national parties have been prohibited from receiving “soft money” (funds from sources or in amounts not permitted in federal elections) as a result of implementation of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (BCRA).
The following table shows “hard money” fundraising by national party committees through June of 2006 and 2004 compared with both hard and soft money receipts from previous cycles.
Contributions from individuals continue to be the largest source of funds for all party committees, representing more than 77% of all Democratic party funds and 89% of Republican fundraising. One of the changes included in BCRA was an increase in contribution limits for individuals giving to national party committees. The limit changed from $20,000 per year prior to passage of BCRA to $25,000 in 2003-2004 and $26,700 in 2005-2006 (due to indexing for inflation).
Contributions from PACs, whose limits were not changed by BCRA, accounted for 10% of overall Democratic receipts and 8% for Republicans.
Transfers to party committees from the campaigns of individual members of Congress have played an increasing role in party finance during recent cycles. About 20% of funds raised by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee through June of 2006 came directly from Democratic House members’ campaigns. Republican members accounted for 8% of National Republican Congressional Committee funds. Tables in this release list Members of Congress who have transferred campaign funds to the national party campaign committees. Other tables include financial overviews for national and state/local committees of the two major parties for the 18 month period. Transfers from national to state parties are listed by state, as are national party proceeds from joint-fundraising committees.
BCRA also included a provision permitting state and local parties to receive some limited funds raised under federal and state law for purposes that would indirectly affect federal elections such as get-out-the-vote activities. Thus far, 31 party committees have reported raising $342,000 in these “Levin funds.” They have reported spending $197,000 in Levin funds.