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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Elaine Marshall Lacks Campaign Cash, Richard Burr Has $10M War Chest

Elaine Marshall Needs More Campaign Cash To Keep Up With Richard Burr's $10M War Chest

Newly N.C. Democratic Senate nominee Elaine Marshall didn't waste any time sending out her first online fundraising missive.

Fresh from her primary victory Tuesday night, her campaign this morning put out a fundraising letter asking for money for her campaign against Republican Sen. Richard Burr, Rob Christensen reports.

“There is no time to waste,” she writes. “ Burr has a six-year head start and a $10 million war chest. Help us raise $75,000 online by July 1 by giving $5 or more today.”

Marshall is scheduled to attend a unity event at state Democratic headquarters this afternoon.

Richard Burr Prepares For Tough Senate Bid, Has Raised $10 Million

Republican Sen. Richard Burr, armed with a plump campaign treasury but with many voters still uncertain about him, launched his re-election bid Saturday, offering himself as a conservative counterbalance to the Democratic policies of President Obama and Congress.

Speaking to the N.C. State GOP convention, Burr pledged to work for smaller government, promising to defund the new health care insurance law and vowing to work to oppose the policies of President Obama.

"I will make this promise to you today," Burr told a convention breakfast. "If you help me in every way you can get re-elected Nov. 2, I will do everything in my power to see that no president ever apologizes for America."

The Winston-Salem conservative sharply criticized a raft of new laws passed by the Democratic majority in Washington. The stimulus package has made the economic recovery worse rather than better, he said. Calling deficit spending alarming, he compared the growing U.S. deficit with the economic crisis inGreece.

Although he said he would work to repeal the health care law he claims is increasingly unpopular, Burr said Obama would not sign any repeal.

"But I will do everything along with [Oklahoma Sen.] Tom Coburn and my colleagues to defund any effort to implement this health care bill," Burr said.

Burr was the central figure at the convention, giving two major speeches to the 800 delegates. For much of the year, the center stage of the U.S. Senate race has been held by the Democrats who will not choose their nominee until their runoff June 22.

But while Burr has been off stage, his campaign has been busy raising money and organizing.

Burr announced Saturday that his campaign had raised $10 million.

On Thursday night, Burr raised $450,000 at a fundraiser at the Duke Mansion in Charlotte, according to the Burr campaign. The event was co-chaired by Frank Dowd IV of the Charlotte Pipe & Foundry Co., Henry Faison of Faison Enterprises, former Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory, Tom Nelson, president of National Gypsum, Walter Price, a US Bancorp executive, and former state Rep. Ed McMahan.

Burr raised a like amount in April at the Greensboro home of Louis DeJoy and former U.S. Ambassador Aldona Wos, an event that featured U.S. Sen. John McCain.

In the 'danger zone'

For Burr this has been a challenging political season.

Polls have consistently shown him with a job approval rating under 50 percent - regarded as a danger zone for an Incumbent. At a time when the Democrats are on the defensive across the country, Burr and David Vitter of Louisiana are usually lumped together as the nation's most vulnerable Republican senators.

During the GOP primary, Burr was criticized from the right, especially for his vote for a bank bail-out last year, although he easily dispatched his three little known opponents to win 80 percent of the vote last month.

Although Burr spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on TV advertising in the spring, there is little evidence from the polls that it has improved his standing.

Burr says he doesn't believe the public opinion poll that shows his Democratic opponents close upon his heels. "I am pleased where we are," Burr said. "We are probably better off than where we designed."

Burr's modest standing in the polls is in part a reflection that after five years since he defeated Democrat Erskine Bowles, he is still not very well known. While he has worked on a few issues such as veterans issues and biomedical research, he has never gained the visibility of former Tar Heel senators such as Jesse Helms, Elizabeth Dole, Sam Ervin and John Edwards.

The seat has also been among the most difficult to hang on to in the country. Ervin in 1968 was the last senator to win re-election to the seat that Burr now holds.

Tom Fetzer, the state GOP chairman, told the convention Saturday that Burr was just the man to end the seat's historic jinx.

Quiet manner

Despite the conservative red meat delivered to the GOP on Saturday, Burr's self-deprecating style almost seems designed to draw little attention to himself. In an age of red-hot rhetoric and sound-bites, Burr's style is cool, almost professorial. He prefers detailed discussions of the national debt, and on Saturday a history of the Capitol, to subtly make his political points.

When the Senate is not in session, Burr frequently moves around the state, visiting businesses, schools, Veterans Administrations facilities and other places. It is all done in the typical Burr fashion - driving himself with no aides.

There is a fine line between open campaigning and being a senator. On Tuesday, Burr was carefully non-partisan, making no mention of his re-election or his potential opponents or the Democrats in Congress, as he visited a trade group in Durham, a charter school in Wilson and a Veterans Affairs clinic in Greenville.

"Everything that has been put together on my schedule has been a Senate request for the purpose of something I am working on right now," Burr said. He will not officially begin his campaign schedule until September, he said.

At the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants offices in a Durham office park, Burr warned about 150 employees gathered in a cafeteria that the federal government is "broke" and that the United States needs to get back in control of its finances.

During a question-and-answer session, Burr said if he were in charge he would reduce the size of government by 10 percent and look at ways to make entitlement programs more sustainable.

A the Sally Howard School, a charter school for the arts in Wilson, Burr became a civics teacher, dividing the 800 students into a House and Senate and showing them how a bill becomes a law - in this case legislation to provide free ice cream to schoolchildren on Thursdays.

"I Love My Job"

He submitted to dozens of questions from the students.

"For the most part,'' Burr said, "I love my job."

During his visits, Burr was followed by a Democratic Party tracker, who videotaped his comments. When Burr visited manufacturing plants in Edenton, Wadesboro and Pineville, the N.C. State Democratic Party attacked him for voting for trade agreements that have cost the state jobs.

Though Burr said he is not yet in campaign mode, his campaign office in Winston-Salem is. Burr notes that there are 10,000 people affiliated with his Facebook page. There are coordinators in every county. College organizations have recently been set up. In his trunk are Burr bumper stickers in various college colors.

"At some point," Burr said, "when you actually turn on the campaign, all of these pieces come together."

Cal Cunningham Bypasses Rival Elaine Marshall In Fundraising

Both N.C. Democratic Senate candidates Cal Cunningham and Elaine Marshall have had to scrap to find enough money to finance their campaigns.

They've appealed to family, friends, law partners and even entertainers such as Barbra Streisand and Clay Aiken.

Although Elaine Marshall had a two-month head start, Cunningham has significantly passed her in the money contest.

He has pulled in $737,499, compared with her $514,541, as of April 14, according to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission.

This is a modest sum compared with the $8.4 million raised by Republican Sen. Richard Burr, the man they would like to replace.

Here's a look at how Cunningham and Elaine Marshall have raised their campaign kitties as they prepare for the June 22 runoff, according to an analysis of campaign records by The News & Observer.

There's no place like home

Senate candidates often raise money nationally, but Cunningham and Marshall raised most of theirs in North Carolina. Here are their five top states:


North Carolina - $489,018 (77 percent)

Washington, D.C. - $34,603 (5 percent)

California - $22,116 (3 percent)

New Jersey - $14,600 (2 percent)

Hawaii - $10,250 (2 percent)


North Carolina - $309,256 (96 percent)

Ohio - $5,000 (1 percent)

Washington, D.C. - $4,250 (1 percent)

California - $2,900 (1 percent)

South Carolina - $1,000 (less than 1 percent)

Regional split

Cunningham, who lives in Lexington and practices law in Winston-Salem, is strongest in the west, while Marshall, the secretary of state who has homes in Raleigh and Lillington, does better in the east. Here are their five top cities for donations:


Lexington - $70,707

Winston-Salem - $66,014

Raleigh - $65,100

Chapel Hill - $54,472

Durham - $39,300


Raleigh - $72,370

Charlotte - $27,700

Chapel Hill - $16,600

Cary - $16,550

Asheville - $13,110

All in the family

Elaine Marshall has lent her campaign $71,500. Cunningham has not lent any money to his campaign, but family members have donated at least $23,000 to his political committee.

Legal eagles

Both candidates are lawyers and receive considerable backing from lawyers. Marshall has strong backing from trial lawyers, receiving at least $38,325 from dozens of them.

Cunningham has received $19,650 from 38 lawyers at Kilpatrick Stockton, the firm where he is a partner. The 500-member law firm has represented such high-profile clients as Adidas, Blue Cross Blue Shield, British Petroleum, Google, Pepsi, Fox, Krispy Kreme andWachovia.


Cunningham has a somewhat star-studded donor list. He has received donations from singers Barbra Streisand and Clay Aiken; Alan Warner, president of Warner Brothers; and Dayna Bochco, a TV producer whose husband produced such series as "Hill Street Blues" and "L.A. Law."

Donors big and little

Marshall has received more of her money in small donations. Forty-three percent of her campaign donations came from people who gave less than $1,000, compared with 26 percent for Cunningham. Cunningham has tended to raise more from larger donations. Eighteen percent of Cunningham's donations came from individuals who gave $4,000 or more, compared with 4 percent for Marshall.

(These figures only apply to individual contributions, not political action committees.)


A handful of Raleigh lobbyists whom Marshall regulates as secretary of state gave a total of $2,000 to her campaign. They are Coleen Kochanek, Frank Gray, Ed Turlington and Charles Wilkins.

Washington weighs in

Cunningham, who has the backing of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, has received $36,000 in contributions from political committees connected to Sens. Mark Begich of Alaska, Thomas Carper of Delaware, Carl Levin of Michigan, Jeff Bingaman of New Mexico, Robert Menendez of New Jersey, Kent Conrad of North Dakota, Mark Warner of Virginia and Dick Durbin of Illinois.

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Sources: McClatchy Newspapers, WRAL, Google Maps

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