Monday, October 22, 2007

Are Republican Donors Getting the Blues?

Sylvia Smith recently penned her thoughts on the ever-changing make-up of the world of campaign contributions here in Hoosier Land:

You'll need your wits about you for this column, so get a cup of caffeine. I'll wait.

Ready? Grab a pencil. Which of these statements are true?

• Of President Bush's most generous Hoosier donors in 2004, more than half have lined up behind one of the contenders for the 2008 Republican nomination.

• The Bush backers (who contributed $1.7 million to his '04 campaign) have ponied up more than $1 million for the presidential candidates they support this time around.

• You couldn't pay the Hoosier Bushies to write a check for Hillary Clinton.

Answers: False, false, false.

It turns out that many financiers of Bush and company have been demoralized by a number of factors such as Iraq, Katrina, sex scandals, etc. Sylvia provides a well-known local businessman for an example:

Take Dick Waterfield, for instance. The Fort Wayne Republican gave $500 to Barack Obama's campaign this year in part because one of his best friends hosted a fundraiser for Obama in Indianapolis. But Waterfield was also curious.

His curiosity has been fertilized over the past four years by the Bush administration - and that brings us back to the point about the halfhearted interest so many Republicans have these days in their party's contenders.

Waterfield described a litany of disappointments - the Bush administration's arrogance toward other countries, particularly U.S. allies; the effort by some in the party to “push us into some kind of religious war”; and the war in Iraq.

And this is from a guy who has contributed $4,000 to Bush's election campaigns.

So now, Waterfield said, “Do I consider myself less of a Republican than I used to? Yes.”

The Bush legacy is in the numbers: Hoosiers have given more money to the Democratic presidential candidates this year than to Republicans. The group of well-heeled Hoosier Republicans who supported Bush-Cheney in the past is by and large taking a pass this year, at least when it comes to the presidential race. Nationally, the Democratic contenders have twice as much money as the GOP candidates.

And then there's Waterfield's sentiment: “I used to just think which Republican candidate I would support. Now I look at the Democrats more closely.”

That's Bush's biggest donation to the Democratic Party.

1 comment:

Stan Matuska said...

Yes, it's a sad time to be a Republican! I would rather voters vote Democratic because they believe in what the Dem's stand for though, instead of because the Repub's keep screwing up; but hey, we'll take 'em any way we can get 'em :)

Thank you Bush, Souder, Waterfield, Shine etc...