Penny for your thoughts – Political Fund Raising

Oct 8 22:55 2007 Scott Perreault Print This Article

After years of complaining about the cost of political elections, the onus of blame is now centered on fundraising. As a political consultant with over twenty years of experience, I am a believer in the fund raising process, as much as I believe in the election process. It is a necessary elimination step.


The first thing I ask about when assisting a campaign is the fund raising plan. After twenty years of working with candidates at the Local,Guest Posting State and National level, one fact remains consistent: It takes money to win.

The issue of fairness is often discussed. I believe it is more fair than many realize. In 2006 I worked on the U.S. Senatorial race in Texas. My candidate was a virtual unknown. Raising money was difficult due to the entrenched incumbent. No one thought we could win. On election night we garnered over 1,550,000 votes. A Houston newspaper later stated that if we had a million more dollars and another month, we would have won.

I believe that the dash for cash is a fair test for a politician. According to Websters Dictionary, Politics is a “Competition between competing interest groups or individuals for power and leadership.” The competition for dollars is the first test. How a person mobilizes grass roots fund raising is indicative of the type of organization the candidate will construct. How a person persuades the large donors is indicative of how they will work with powerful people once elected. How a person budgets the funds and succeeds with the available resources is the best indication of how the candidate will manage the electorate's money.

To cry “I lost because I did not have enough money” is the easy way out. True, the candidate with the most money usually wins. But quality candidates, through smart money management, astute strategy, and cost effective use of the media can overcome this gap. We live in a world where enormous amounts of money are available from both sides of any issue. A quality candidate should be able to gather these resources and further close the gap.

Take time to develop your fund raising program and connections – even before you rent an office. Seek insight and counsel from any source who will speak with you. Be humble, yet determined. Essentially, be a sales person. Rule number one in sales: It takes seven interactions with a person before they consider buying. Do you have the tenacity to be in sales? To be a politician?

If it sounds like I am giving you advice on starting a business, that is because I am. There is no difference between the two endeavors, nor should there be.

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Scott Perreault
Scott Perreault

Scott Perreault is CEO of ( a Political Advertising Agency and Voice Works specializing in Television, Online Video and Radio. We represent National, State and local candidates or issue campaigns. Over twenty years experience. 2006-2008 Agency of record for U.S. Senate Campaign in Texas. We assist Independents, Republicans and Democrats. services include: Voice Work, Affordable media production in English ($199) and Spanish ($298) Advertising Agency, Polling, DVD Videos for events and Political Consulting. Learn more at:

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