Kucinich’s Web-Driven Campaign Bags $180,000 in First Quarter

Posted April 15, 2003 at 1:29pm

Rep. Dennis Kucinich’s (D-Ohio) anti-war presidential campaign hauled in $180,000 in contributions in the first quarter of 2003, fueled primarily by an Internet-based drive to link up with other peace activists.

Kucinich has long admitted that his campaign would be an up-start effort dwarfed by the better-known and better-funded candidates, such as Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and John Edwards (D-N.C.), both of whom raised roughly $7 million more than the fourth-term Cleveland lawmaker over the same time span.

Just how much smaller a campaign Kucinich is leading became clear Tuesday in a very detailed breakdown of contributions and expenditures done by PoliticalMoneyLine.com, the fundraising watchdog that accessed Kucinich’s electronically filed Federal Election Commission report.

While raising $180,000, Kucinich spent nearly $121,000, leaving him with just $50,398 in his campaign account as of March 31.

His biggest expenditures, by far, were on technology and Internet-related expenses. About $47,000 — more than 39 percent of all spending — went to the Web site, computers and computer consulting, according to PoliticalMoneyLine’s breakdown.

Just $8,649, by contrast, went to wages for staff.

Kucinich, a known comedian among his colleagues, almost made a parody of his own fundraising efforts at the late-February Democratic National Committee meeting on Capitol Hill, beginning his talk by repeating, several times, his campaign’s Web site address.

Of the $173,000 Kucinich raised from individual donors, $76,637 — more than 44 percent of all individual donations — came from contributors giving less than $200, many of whom likely gave over the Internet.

Kucinich donated $2,000 of his own money to the campaign.

Interestingly, Kucinich’s home state did not come close to leading the way in terms of total dollars given as contributions of $200 and above. (Donations under $200 do not have to be itemized in FEC reports and therefore cannot be included in such breakdowns of giving.)

Californians provided Kucinich with $67,900, followed by Kentuckians at $25,394 and Buckeye State natives at $25,300.

Breakdowns of other presidential candidates’ campaigns will be available if they file electronically with the FEC.