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January 15th, 2010

Culver’s Fundraising Numbers: Not as Impressive as they Seem

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Written by: Craig Robinson
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Culver CrisisGovernor Culver’s fundraising numbers might not be all that they seem to be after all. Yesterday, Culver said that his campaign had raised over $2.14 million in 2009. The number is impressive, but some of the other stats that Culver’s campaign released raised some suspicions, such as the fact that his $2 million haul was generated by only 1000 donors. Former Governor Terry Branstad, on the other hand, raised $1.5 million, but did so with 3000 donors.

Today, has learned that Culver’s $2.145 million raised includes a half-a-million dollars for the Democratic Governors Association. That means, that Culver only out raised Branstad’s $1.5 million by a mere $100,000 in traditional donations.

In 2006, the Republican Governors Association didn’t contribute a dime to Jim Nussle until August. The DGA’s early support of Culver is a clear sign that the first term governor is in serious trouble. The DGA made two $250,000 contributions to Culver’s campaign, both in December.

The following is the list of donors who made contributions to the DGA’s Iowa Account.

International Union of Painters and Allied Trades: $250,000
The NEA: $100,000
Drive Political Fund – Teamsters: $90,000
American Health Care Association: $45,950
Laborers’ Political League Education Fund: $45,000
UPS PAC: $35,000

This new information shows just how vulnerable Governor Culver is. For the DGA to donate $500,000 to an incumbent governor to bolster his off year fundraising totals is pathetic. Additionally, Culver stated that he only had 1000 donors and only 85% of them are from Iowa. That means that Culver isn’t raising much money from Iowans and is relying on special interests to fund his campaign.

Funding your campaign with special interest money works only so long as people think you are going to win. For the unions and DGA to continue to make large contributions to Culver’s campaign, he must now show that he has a good shot at being elected. Recent poll numbers show that that might be an impossible task for him.

If Culver’s labor and PAC money dry up, he is in serious trouble and will run out of money because he lacks any substantial financial support from individual Iowans. The DGA also made a $97,500.00 contribution to the Iowa Democratic Party in July.

About the Author

Craig Robinson
Craig Robinson is the founder and editor-in-chief of, a political news and commentary site he launched in March of 2009. Robinson’s political analysis is respected across party lines, which has allowed him to build a good rapport with journalist across the country. Robinson has also been featured on Iowa Public Television’s Iowa Press, ABC’s This Week, and other local television and radio programs. Campaign’s & Elections Magazine recognized Robinson as one of the top influencers of the 2012 Iowa Caucuses. A 2013 Politico article sited Robinson and as the “premier example” of Republican operatives across the country starting up their own political news sites. His website has been repeatedly praised as the best political blog in Iowa by the Washington Post, and in January of 2015, Politico included him on the list of local reporters that matter in the early presidential states. Robinson got his first taste of Iowa politics in 1999 while serving as Steve Forbes’ southeast Iowa field coordinator where he was responsible for organizing 27 Iowa counties. In 2007, Robinson served as the Political Director of the Republican Party of Iowa where he was responsible for organizing the 2007 Iowa Straw Poll and the 2008 First-in-the-Nation Iowa Caucuses. Following the caucuses, he created his own political news and commentary site, Robinson is also the President of Global Intermediate, a national mail and political communications firm with offices in West Des Moines, Iowa, and Washington, D.C. Robinson utilizes his fundraising and communications background to service Global’s growing client roster with digital and print marketing. Robinson is a native of Goose Lake, Iowa, and a 1999 graduate of St. Ambrose University in Davenport, where he earned degrees in history and political science. Robinson lives in Ankeny, Iowa, with his wife, Amanda, and son, Luke. He is an active member of the Lutheran Church of Hope.

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