Bush fund raising hits record $68.7 million

By Jonathan D. Salant, Associated Press, 01/31/00

WASHINGTON -- Texas Gov. George W. Bush reported today that he raised $11 million during the last three months of 1999, bringing his total to a record $68.7 million and continuing to swamp the rest of the presidential field.

Bush had $31.4 million in the bank as of Dec. 31, according to documents filed today with the Federal Election Commission. That's four times the estimated $7.7 million that Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., has to spend. McCain had around $1.5 million and expected an additional $6.2 million in federal matching funds.

Bush reported spending $17.3 million during the last quarter of 1999, bringing his total to $37.2 million. McCain and others who are receiving federal matching funds are limited to spending around $40 million for the entire campaign.

The federal government matches the first $250 of each individual contribution for candidates who agree to limit their spending for the presidential nomination. Bush and publisher Steve Forbes are not accepting federal matching funds.

The Texas governor also took in $1.3 million for a separate account to pay legal and accounting costs for the general election. Bush has not been raising money for the account but rather has been transferring funds from contributors who have given more than the federal maximum of $1,000.

Overall, McCain has reported raising $13.6 million, plus an additional $2 million transferred from his Senate campaign funds. The senator took in $6.1 million during the fourth quarter of 1999, mirroring his rise in opinion polls.

Among other Republicans, Gary Bauer reported raising around $7 million for the year, while Alan Keyes raised around $2.7 million.

On the Democratic side, Vice President Al Gore reported raising $28.2 million, plus $2.9 million to pay legal and accounting costs in the general election. Former Sen. Bill Bradley reported raising more than $27 million. Bradley raised twice as much money as Gore during the last three months of 1999, taking in more than $8 million to $4 million for the vice president.

Bradley had $8.3 million in the bank at the end of the year, and expected $11.4 million in federal funds. Gore's bank account balance stood at $5.7 million, plus an expected $12.4 million in federal funds.