Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Politico once again omits facts about Newt's fundraising

Once again, a Politico reporter writes a story in which they make it appear that Newt's entire fundraising success is due to millionaires writing checks to his groups. While he has received such contributions, those are the exception, not the norm.

This time, it is Ken Vogel who alleges that because Newt will not be able to accept contributions above $2500 that he will struggle to raise enough money. What Vogel -- and his colleagues Andy Barr and Zachary Abrahamson -- either does not know or is willfully omitting (and for alleged hard-news journalists, either is a damning statement) is that Newt's 527, American Solutions, received 300,000 contributions of $200 or less.

The source of that? The Washington Post, which talked of Newt's "fundraising prowess." CNN recently said that Newt would likely be the only possible GOP candidate who could match up with President Obama in fundraising.

The reason for those two mainstream outlets talking up Newt's ability to raise cash is obvious: the aforementioned 300,000 contributors, the roughly two million names and e-mail addresses of members of American Solutions, and the names and contact information from the numerous fundraising letters that different groups that have asked Newt to help them raise money over the years. (The groups, as part of the agreement with Gingrich, allow him to use the list of names that respond to his fundraising pitch.) A question for Politico: If Newt is such a terrible fundraiser, why do so many groups ask him to help them raise money? Is it because they wish to have as little money as possible?

Vogel also raises the question of why Newt's American Solutions PAC raised a comparatively little amount in the first quarter of 2011 -- then proceeds to give the answer: that the PAC started to wind down its fundraising push as Newt inches closer to becoming a Presidential candidate. So, by giving the reason that the PAC raised the amount it did, Vogel clearly shows that he understands the reason. However, the headline alleges that Newt is "struggl[ing]" raising money. If Vogel was being honest, he would have stopped writing the article once he realized that the PAC started to wind down. And he would never have started the article if he either did his homework or stopped misleading readers.

Barr did not reply to my question two months ago about his omission, and I asked Vogel tonight on Twitter. I have yet to hear from him. If I do, I will post his reply.

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