- The Washington Times - Friday, December 31, 1999

Gov. George W. Bush of Texas capped a record-setting year for fund raising with the announcement Thursday that his presidential campaign raised more than $10 million in the fourth quarter, bringing his total in 1999 to more than $67 million.
Mr. Bush raised far more than his closest Republican rival, Sen. John McCain of Arizona, despite cutting back substantially on fund-raising events in the past three months to concentrate on campaigning.
The Bush campaign, which will not accept matching funds, said it has $31.4 million in cash on hand. Campaign officials said more than 171,000 persons have contributed, for an average donation of $337 per person.
Mr. Bush participated in 18 fund-raisers in the fourth quarter, down from 41 events in the third quarter.
Mr. McCain, who is leading Mr. Bush narrowly in most public-opinion polls in New Hampshire, site of the nation's first primary, reported raising $6.1 million in the last three months and $15.6 million for the year. Including federal matching funds, Mr. McCain's campaign has raised about $22 million. Though leading in New Hampshire, he trails far behind in the polls in most other states.
In a statement issued in Austin, the governor said: "I am humbled and honored that so many Americans are responding to my message of improving public schools, cutting taxes for every American family, strengthening our military, and ushering in an era of responsibility in America."
While the Bush campaign has received contributions at more than twice the previous record for a presidential primary, it also set a record for spending in 1999. The campaign spent an unprecedented $17 million in the fourth quarter alone, nearly equaling the $19 million it spent in the previous nine months.
Mr. Bush spent more in the fourth quarter than all but two presidential campaigns were able to raise for the entire year. Democrats Bill Bradley and Vice President Al Gore have raised about $27 million and $30 million, respectively. Republican Bob Dole set the previous record for spending in the year before a presidential election with $20 million in 1995.
McCain campaign spokesman Howard Opinsky said Mr. McCain's improvement in polls in New Hampshire and elsewhere is causing other campaigns to spend more on advertising.
"We've been able to increase our showing in the polls," said Mr. Opinsky. "Clearly our rise in the polls … has caused a reaction by other candidates."
Bush campaign spokesman Scott McClellan couldn't say whether Mr. McCain's rise in New Hampshire had caused Mr. Bush to spend more money there. He said the campaign in the fourth quarter spent about $5.6 million on production and placement of television ads in New Hampshire, South Carolina and Iowa. State campaign staff and mailings accounted for $3.4 million.
Mr. Opinsky said Mr. McCain has about $7.5 million in cash on hand, including $6.2 million in anticipated matching funds that will be available after Friday. The McCain campaign spent more than $6.5 million in the fourth quarter, he said.
Final year-end figures are due Jan. 31 at the Federal Election Commission.
Republican presidential candidate Gary Bauer reported raising around $7 million for the year and expects another $4.4 million in federal funds.
Mr. Bush also announced that his campaign will post all donors on its Web site after one week. Previously, contributors were posted after two weeks.
"Complete and rapid disclosure of all campaign contributions is a healthy campaign finance reform that can begin today, and I am proud that my campaign is taking the lead," Mr. Bush said. "It doesn't take a new law for a candidate to post campaign contributors on the Internet every day, it just takes a commitment to full public disclosure. One of the best campaign finance reforms is to let the sun shine so that people can see for themselves the amount and source of a candidate's campaign contributions."
Mr. McCain has made campaign finance regulations a primary issue in his race for the presidency.

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