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Money Problems for Anti-Hillary Group

A few days ago, Hillary’s FEC report showed that she had raised over $21 million in campaign contributions in 2005. Obviously, anyone who wants to defeat Sen. Clinton will have to put together a hefty war chest, but putative GOP Senate candidate John Spencer raised just over $570,000 last year in comparison (with just $243,000 cash on hand), and now the latest news is that the anti-Hillary group "Stop Her Now" has collected just $23,637 since starting up in March 2005.

The non-profit committee, founded by GOP strategist Arthur Finkelstein, is apparently taking the "non-profit" part of its description a bit too seriously. In fact, Stop Her Now has even spent $68,975 in operating and promotional expenses. In the understatement of the young year so far, Marist College pollster Lee Miringoff noted that "There’s no doubt that Republican efforts to soften up Hillary Clinton in 2006 for 2008 haven’t gone well. Anti-Clinton sentiment isn’t raising the money that some had hoped for."

Stop Her Now’s spokesman, William Black, blamed the lack of cash flow to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita: "I’m not blaming the weather, but when you’re in an environment where nobody’s paying attention to politics, don’t get in the water," claimed Black. "Your message gets crowded out." So not only did the hurricanes give Hillary a chance to continually blame the administration and repeatedly play the race card, but the bad weather also prevented her opponents from raking in the bucks. And, at the same time, the natural disasters evidently only affected Republican contributors, as Hillary somehow managed to collect $6 million in the final three months of 2005, or right after Katrina and Rita hit, which is actually a higher rate than what she managed the previous nine months.

Meanwhile, on Thursday New York Republican Chairman Stephen Minarik sent out a fundraising letter to potential donors using Hillary and N.Y. gubernatorial hopeful Eliot Spitzer as boogeymen to get people to open their wallets. In the letter, Minarik called Hillary a "bleeding heart liberal whose only priority is running for president," and promised that "We’re going to elect a new senator and end Hillary’s dreams of becoming president in the process." It remains to be seen whether this latest pitch will help the GOP break the million-dollar mark, but the party has eleven more months to do it!

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