Craig edges out
Blinken in first-quarter
Sen. Larry Craig picked up the fund-raising pace last winter, collecting
another $366,000 from January through March in his bid for a third
six-year term, new campaign finance disclosure reports showed.
Democratic challenger Alan Blinken, of Ketchum, left little doubt he
intends to make Craig use every dime. His disclosure report showed nearly
as much in contributions augmented with $245,000 from his own fortune.
Street investment banker and former ambassador to Belgium during the
Clinton administration attracted nearly as much from individuals as Craig.
In both cases the vast majority of those donors lived outside Idaho.
$269,000 from 396 contributors, and 256, or 64 percent, were not Idaho
residents. Blinken received $261,000 from 472 contributors, and 387, 82
percent, were not Idaho residents.
democracy, politics never stop," Craig wrote in his latest
fund-raising letter postmarked April 3. "With that reality fully in
mind, it is clear that if I ignore the probability of a strong and well
financed Democrat candidate—it will be at my own peril!"
to write off maximum $2,000 contributions from three contributors, Anthony
Burges of New York and D.H. and Marjorie Overmeyer of Linden, Ala.,
because their checks bounced. He also turned back a $2,000 contribution
from the Coeur d’Alene Tribe.
raised another $97,000 from special interest political action committees
to average $122,000 a month from January through March. Last year when he
began his re-election effort in earnest, Craig raised just over $1
million, an average of about $85,000 a month.
who faces Dave Sneddon of Boise in the May primary, got another $45,000
from political and special interest committees, making his total $306,000.
filed no information with the Federal Election Commission.
cushion built up last year by Craig with $845,000 in the bank on April 1.
Blinken had $145,000 and only because of his personal loan.
allies offered the financial report as evidence that his campaign has
broad support and was not a self-financed political bid by a wealthy
businessman, who lives near Sun Valley.
His list of
financial supporters is studded with political and other stars. Among them
are: Vernon Jordan, former president of the National Urban League and
adviser to former Presidents Clinton and Carter; Lloyd Cutler, former
White House counsel in the Clinton administration; former Seagram’s
chief executive Edgar Bronfman; Teresa Heinz, widow of the former
Republican senator from Pennsylvania who is now married to Democratic Sen.
John Kerry of Massachusetts and has a home in Sun Valley; former
Republican state Rep. M. Reed Hansen of Idaho Falls; RCA entertainment
director William Sarnoff, entertainer Barbra Striesand and actors Ben
Stiller, Edward Norton and Timothy Dalton.
already paid $123,000 to Democratic consultant Bob Beckel, who worked in
the Carter administration and was Walter Mondale’s campaign manager in
1984. He has also spent $85,000 on the television advertisement that has
been airing recently and another $21,000 on a poll.
spent over $145,000 on direct mail solicitations like the one sent out
earlier this month and another $18,000 on other fund-raising strategies.
He spent nearly $300,000 on direct mail last year.
Democratic business Walt Minnick in 1996, Craig went into debt spending
$2.8 million to win a second term with 57 percent of the vote. Minnick
spent over $2 million—half from his own pocket—to get just under 40