September 13 2007, 12:21 PM
I wrote yesterday about public financing for political campaigns, and lo and behold, today we find out that Rep. Tom Tancredo has received matching funds for his Presidential run. As The Denver Post reports:
"It's essential, totally essential to accomplish what we're trying to accomplish," said Tancredo campaign chair Bay Buchanan. "We'll have all the money we'll need to run in those early primaries, which has been our goal since Day One." Tancredo, a Littleton Republican known for his criticism of U.S. immigration policies, now will get a dollar-for-dollar match up to the first $250 of every contribution he's received this year. In paperwork filed June 30 with the Federal Election Commission, Tancredo had raised $2.8 million and had about $556,000 on hand. Qualifying for matching funds means Tancredo's campaign can get a bank loan for about $2.5 million, Buchanan said. That loan is paid back with the matching funds, which will come beginning next year. Tancredo needs to finish second or a strong third in the Iowa caucuses to stay in the race past New Hampshire, Buchanan said. Though the primary schedule is in flux, Iowa still is likely to hold its caucuses first and New Hampshire its primary second, she said. "At least there's an opening here to be able to drive your agenda and possibly break through," Buchanan said. "You keep going as long as you can." To qualify for matching funds, candidates must raise at least $100,000 by collecting $5,000 in 20 different states, in amounts no greater than $250 from any individual. Tancredo raised about $176,000 through 3,082 contributions from 25 states. So far, only Tancredo and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., have qualified for and decided to take the matching funds, the FEC said. Most of the top-tier candidates have opted out of the system because it requires them to spend less than about $50 million.