What’s the one thing people hate about politicians? It’s that you can’t trust them. They tell you one thing, and do another. It’s not only frustrating, but it’s become all too common in American politics. Still, I don’t know if I’ve ever seen an outright lie the size and scope of Ron Corbett’s lie this past July when he told the world his gubernatorial campaign had raised $1 million dollars a month in to his campaign.
In typical Corbett fashion, he used the announcement of his impressive fundraising haul to attack his opponent, Republican Governor Kim Reynolds, who had only been governor at the time for less than two months. Corbett used the occasion to sign a pledge he created himself that said he wouldn’t take any special interest money from Washington D.C. He also claimed that his early fundraising total was a sign that he would be able to run a strong primary campaign.
Here is a little tip to all you aspiring politicians. If you are going to pull a little media stunt and lie about something, don’t lie about something like fundraising totals that will be easy to debunk once the campaign disclosures are filed. Sure those lazy reporters might not care, but the political nerds like yours truly can’t wait to prove what a hypocrite you are.
Here is just a sampling of what you will find in Corbett’s report.
Since Corbett announced that he had raised $1 million and was a legitimate candidate, his campaign has only raised an additional $80,194.01 and $20,000 of that was from his buddy Steve Gray who is desperate to land a Cedar Rapids casino.
Corbett received only five donations in the month of August. That’s only five more than what I got in the mail! For comparison purposes, perennial candidate Ross Wilburn had 28 contributions in August. No seriously, Ross Wilburn is running for Governor.
September was much better for Ron, his campaign brought in a whooping seven contributions that month.
It’s also nice to see that John Frew, Chet Culver’s former Chief of Staff, is doing well. Frew gave Corbett a $5,000 check. Rick Stickle, a Cedar Rapids businessman who spent two years in prison for dumping 442 tons of diesel-contaminated grain in the South China Sea, is also back on his feet again. Stickle gave Corbett $10,000 in June. In October the City of Cedar Rapids gave Stickle a $2.3 million tax break.
What Corbett’s fundraising report shows is that his campaign did get off to a tremendous start in regards to fundraising. He raised over $800k pretty quick, thanks in large part to a small group of wealthy individuals. The problem is there isn’t much else to go with it. Usually politicians have the opposite problem, where they can get small donations but the big checks elude them.
And while the big checks are nice, the only way to get someone like that to double up is to show some progress on the campaign, i.e. poll numbers that show you have a legitimate shot at winning, and Corbett has not been able to do that.