The House DFL caucus raised $635,937 in 2009, a slight decline from the mark set in the last previous off-year, 2007, when House DFLers took in $656,705.
But Rep. Steve Simon, DFL-St. Louis Park, said it was an accomplishment to reach 97 percent of the money raised in 2007.
Simon said the current fundraising environment is challenging for three reasons: the weak economy, Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s unallotment of the political contribution refund program [PCR], and the intense interest among DFL donors in the governor’s race.
“We’re very, very pleased with the numbers. I’m amazed we came within striking distance of what we received in 2007,” said Simon, who is the treasurer of the DFL House Caucus fundraising committee.
House Republicans raised more money than DFLers. Simon noted, though, that Republicans’ fundraising dropped more dramatically from the House GOP’s 2007 tally.
House Republicans received $828,504 last year and $1.2 million in 2007.
Rep. Matt Dean, R-Dellwood, who is the treasurer of the House Republican campaign committee [HRCC] attributed some of the decline to the elimination of PCR. He said that the decline in small donations hurt Republicans more than DFLers.
“Overall fundraising nationally, that’s pretty reflective of people who have to give it out of their checkbooks. Democrats tend to rely on large donors and organizations for their money,” Dean said.
But the HRCC also benefits from some deep pockets. Primera CEO Bob Cummins gave the HRCC $115,000.
Dean noted House Republicans have 47 members to DFLers 87.
“To be able to out fundraise the majority is a great achievement,” Dean said.
The House DFL caucus spent $193,284 in 2009 and ended the year with $305,619 in cash on hand.