Kerry's Top Ten Contributors

Here is the money behind the new top dog in the Democratic dog pound, John Kerry's Top Ten Career Patrons calculated by the Center for Public Integrity, Washington.
1. Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo PC, Boston $223,046
2. Fleet Boston Financial Corp., Boston $172,387
3. AOL Time Warner Inc., New York $134,960
4. Hale and Dorr LLP, Boston $123,258
5. Hill, Holiday, Connors, Cosmopulos Inc., Boston $119,300
6. Harvard University $108,700
7. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, NY $105,150
8. Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi LLP, Minneapolis $103,450
9. Goldman Sachs Group Inc., NY $100,000
10. Piper Rudnick, Baltimore $92,300
*Sen. John Kerry also created a soft money committee (Citizen Soldier Fund), which raised approximately $1.35 million in unregulated donations and spent $147,000 in Iowa during the last two years. "The real powers that be in this country are not on any ballot. And they are accountable to no one. The bottom line is that the American people have a right to know who is underwriting their presidential candidates, and their democracy."
--From the first ever guest blog on by Charles Lewis, founder of the Center for Public Integrity. Lewis has just released "The Buying of the President 2004." In 2000 the guy with the least votes -- but the most money -- won, making the contest an auction, not an election. Lewis tells you who the winning bidders are in this race, beginning with the temporary resident at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. --Greg Palast
And now, from Charles Lewis:
Our electoral process is broken, with about half or more of America's eligible voters not voting in every federal election cycle. After the Florida recount debacle, in which the likes of Fidel Castro and Robert Mugabe lectured us on how to conduct democratic elections, we still do not have a single, standardized system of voting throughout the nation. The campaign process has become so expensive that it limits the talent pool available today to only millionaires or those willing and able to raise substantial sums of cash from wealthy and powerful interests with business before the government. Forty members of the current U.S. Senate are millionaires; less than one percent of the American people are millionaires. And big money mixed with irregular and high-tech redistricting help explain why the incumbent reelection rate in the House of Representatives the past three elections has been more than 98 percent. These are the kind of numbers we expect to see in countries like North Korea or China, not the United States.
Despite campaign finance reform, 2004 already is and will ultimately be the most expensive election in U.S. history. President George W. Bush has shattered his own astounding 1999 fundraising record and collected $130 million in 2003 - that's more than half a million dollars a day - and his campaign has $99 million in cash on hand with no major Republican primary challenger. Bush's official third quarter cash on hand number of $73 million was more than all of the major Democratic candidates and all of the Democratic national party committees combined ($54 million) through September!
There is an especially compelling reason for candidates to make this headlong rush for cash. As we mentioned in the 1996 and 2000 editions of The Buying of the President, the central, most salient, single fact about the White House selection process-a discovery first made by Republican political fundraising consultant Stan Huckaby-is that in every presidential election since 1976, the candidate who has raised the most money at the end of the year preceding the election, and been eligible for federal matching funds, has become his party's nominee for the general election. At midnight on December 31st, it was Carter and Ford who had amassed the most campaign cash in 1975, Carter and Reagan in 1979, Mondale and Reagan in 1983, Dukakis and G.H.W. Bush in 1987, Clinton and Bush in 1991, Clinton and Dole in 1995 and Gore and G.W. Bush in 1999.
For Lewis' complete web log, go to



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