Giuliani rakes in $12 million

The New York mayor gears up for what may be the most expensive Senate race in U.S. history.

Published January 19, 2000 10:37AM (EST)

Campaign officials for Mayor Rudy Giuliani
announced Wednesday that the mayor raised more than $12 million in 1999,
breaking New York Senate fund-raising records for an off year and topping the
amount raised by several presidential candidates. The campaign said between $7 million and $8 million of that money is still in the bank.

A subdued but proud Bruce Teitelbaum, campaign manager for Friends of
Giuliani (FOG), noted that his team had not only beaten the previous record
for off-year New York fund-raising -- $6.2 million held by Sen. Al
D'Amato in 1997 -- but that FOG had raised $1 million more than the combined
off-year fund-raising totals of D'Amato and his challenger, Rep. Chuck Schumer,
who amassed $4.2 million in his successful bid to unseat D'Amato.

But, while Teitelbaum said that FOG had exceeded its own fund-raising goal of
$8.2 million by 46 percent, and skyrocketed past the paltry $524,000 it had raised
as of last March, he sounded a note of caution. Giuliani's campaign fully
expects to be outraised by Hillary Rodham Clinton's campaign. "The
Clinton fund-raising machine will raise and report considerably more than we
have been able to raise," he predicted. Clinton and her spokespeople were
in Buffalo and unavailable for comment. Her fund-raising figures are
expected to be released Jan. 31, when the final 1999 filings are released by the Federal Election Commission. The Clinton campaign has said that it hoped to raise $25 million
or more for the entire race.

Apparently, she is well on her way. Some published estimates have Clinton's war chest at $8 million
already. Clinton has been making use of soft-money campaign
loopholes to boost her effort. She has already helped raise more than $350,000 in a
special Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee fund established
specifically for her race. Such a fund will allow contributors to give
unlimited and unregulated money to the Clinton campaign effort. In November,
the New York Democratic Party spent $340,000 on television ads that were apparently
OK'd by the Clinton campaign, asking voters to "Call Hillary."

In the face of "pressure ... to remain competitive" posed by the "Clinton fund-raising
machine," the Giuliani machine seems to be chugging along quite
well. Ten U.S. Postal Service bins overflowing with an estimated
6,000 letters to the campaign were wheeled out as props at Wednesday's press conference. Many of the
letters' postmarks were from outside New York, though FOG campaign workers
whisked off the bins as soon as reporters started pointing out Utah and
Georgia and Ohio return addresses. Teitelbaum said that FOG was running a
"very aggressive direct mail operation in state and out of state."

Teitelbaum brushed aside questions about whether sizable chunks of change
had been donated by a growing national network of Clinton-haters. "People are giving us money because they see the difference [Giuliani
has made] in New York," he said. The fund-raising letters, however, reveal a brazenly
anti-Hillary approach. "Hillary Clinton as a U.S. Senator?" one fund-raising
envelope asks. "Here's your chance to vote ..."

Asked if the campaign would have raised as much if Giuliani's likely opponent
were matronly Westchester County Rep. Nita Lowey, who had been
planning to run before being bigfooted by the first lady, Teitelbaum said
that he couldn't respond to any hypothetical. "In all probability we will
be running against Mrs. Clinton, and that's the yardstick we'll be measuring
against," he said.

Teitelbaum was happy about the 90,000 individuals who had given FOG money.
Each of the Empire State's 62 counties is represented, he said. Further, 63
percent of the donors had given $100 or less, meaning that FOG could raise
all of its money from the donors it already has if they keep giving. "One
of the most important things a campaign can have is an expansive donor
base," he said. "Ninety-one percent of the people have not maxed out or have not
given the maximum allowable contribution ... therefore, even if we don't
receive a single additional contributor ... we could fund the campaign for the
rest of the year."

Online donations weren't really a factor as only about $100,000 had been
raised through the Internet. At the end of 1999, FOG sent out an e-mail
urging contributions before the Dec. 31 FEC deadline. Teitelbaum said
$15,000 came as a result.

Up in Buffalo, it didn't sound as if Clinton was having as good a day as
the mayor, at least in terms of headlines. Local morning radio host Tom
Bauerle asked Clinton if she had "ever been sexually
unfaithful to [President Clinton] and specifically ... with you and Vince

Clinton said that those questions were "out of bounds," but Bauerle
persisted. "Of course it's no," she finally said.

Bauerle then asked if she had "ever used pot or cocaine."

Again, Clinton said no. "Tom, what did you have for breakfast this

By Jake Tapper

Jake Tapper is the senior White House correspondent for ABC News.

MORE FROM Jake Tapper

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Hillary Rodham Clinton Rudy Giuliani