News Releases, Media Advisories

For Immediate Release:                                  Contact:  Ian Stirton
June 8, 1998                                                      Ron Harris
                                                                  Sharon Snyder
                                                                  Kelly Huff

FEC RELEASES 15-MONTH SUMMARY ON POLITICAL PARTY FINANCES

WASHINGTON-The Republican party continued its fundraising advantage by collecting nearly $64 million more than the Democrats during the first 15 months of the 1997-98 election cycle, according to the Federal Election Commission.

Financial activity from January 1, 1997, through March 31, 1998, shows that federal accounts of Republican party committees had receipts of $146.8 million, and disbursements of $132 million after all transfers were removed. Democratic federal accounts reported raising $83.8 million, and spending of $79.7 million after all transfers were removed. Republican receipts reflect a drop of just over 17% in receipts when compared to the same period in 1995-96, a presidential cycle, while Democratic receipts reflect a drop of over 11%. By contrast, Republican receipts decreased less than 1% between '92 and '94 (15-month periods), while Democratic receipts increased more than 34%.

Individuals accounted for 92% of Republican party receipts, contributing $135.8 million. Democratic party committees received 76% of their funds from individuals, or $63.3 million. Democrats relied more heavily on PAC contributions, receiving $10.3 million (12%) versus Republican PAC receipts of $6.3 million (4%).

Republicans reported cash on hand of $14.8 million and debts of $8 million, while Democrats reported cash on hand of $6.7 million and debts of $11.7 million.

Democratic party committees contributed $936,205 directly to federal candidates and spent $2.9 million in coordinated party expenditures on behalf of candidates for the first 15 months of the 1997-98 cycle. Republican party committees contributed $810,552 to federal candidates and spent $286,600 in coordinated expenditures during the same period.

Republicans also outraised the Democrats in nonfederal, or "soft money,"* activity. Republican nonfederal accounts collected $58.4 million, a 31% increase over the same period in the previous cycle. Democratic nonfederal accounts reported raising $42.1 million, a 6% increase over the same period in the 1995-96 cycle.

Charts attached to this release provide summary data for the financial activities of the Republican and Democratic party committees during the first 15 months of the 1997-98 election cycle compared to the same period in five previous election cycles. Comparable data on nonfederal party activity is available only back to the 1991-92 cycle. The FEC began requiring national party committees to disclose their nonfederal accounts in January 1991.

*"Soft money" describes funds raised outside the limitations and prohibitions of the Federal Election Campaign Act. Soft money must be deposited in separate nonfederal accounts and cannot be used in connection with federal elections. To enhance public disclosure, the FEC requires national political party committees to report the sources of receipts to all nonfederal accounts.