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Collecting Campaign Cash


With just over nine weeks to go till the state Treasurer election, it’s been very quiet. What’s going on? Primarily fundraising.

“A lot of people decide they want to run for office and they don’t actually think about all the steps that it takes to do it. And fundraising is obviously a huge part of that,” says Alle Bautsch, who is handling fundraising duties for John Schroder’s Treasurer campaign. Recently, Jeremy Alford of LaPolitics.com sat  down with Bautsch and another of the state’s in-demand rainmakers, Sally Nungesser, to get a look inside what they do.

Bautsch says first thing, she tries to gauge whether a candidate is going to be able to ask the people he or she knows for money.

“A lot of it is about relationships, and the people that have the personal relationship tend to give the most,” Bautsch explains.

Then the type of fundraising events she sets up will depend on the candidate’s strengths. “Some people love getting up in front of a room of people and asking for money that way. And then some people would much rather go have an intimate conversation in someone’s office.”

Sally Nungesser is doing the fundraising for Neil Riser’s run for Treasurer.

“Probably the biggest asset of my business is the great list.”

Nungesser says the list is basically a database of likely givers.

“The people most likely to write a political check are people who’ve already written a political check to somebody.”

But before a candidate gets access to her list, he or she has to provide their own.

“I always ask for their Christmas card list, and a lot of times they come back to me with a list and I’ll go, ’You really don’t need to be running yet. You need to do some more work’.”

Both ladies say they make sure their clients understand one thing:

“You know, you can get enough votes, but you can’t ever get enough money in political campaigns,” says Bautsch.

And Nungesser adds, “Even with a ‘sure thing’ budget, they never have enough money to really guarantee the win.”