Why, Kerry? Why?
Well, this was the man so many convinced themselves to follow. So sad.
Democrats Question Kerry's Campaign Funds
Wed Nov 17, 6:01 PM ET Politics - AP
By RON FOURNIER, AP Political Writer
WASHINGTON - Democratic Party leaders said Wednesday they want to know why Sen. John Kerry (news - web sites) ended his presidential campaign with more than $15 million in the bank, money that could have helped Democratic candidates across the country.
Slideshow: John Kerry
Some said he will be pressured to give the money to Democratic campaign committees rather than save it for a potential White House bid in 2008.
"Democrats are questioning why he sat on so much money that could have helped him defeat George Bush (news - web sites) or helped down-ballot races, many of which could have gone our way with a few more million dollars," said Donna Brazile, campaign manager for Al Gore (news - web sites)'s 2000 presidential race.
Brazile is a member of the 400-plus member Democratic National Committee (news - web sites), which meets early next year to pick a new party chairman. One high-ranking member of the DNC, speaking on condition of anonymity, said word of Kerry's nest egg has stirred anger on the committee and could hurt his chances of putting an ally in the chairmanship.
Congressional Democrats and labor leaders also privately questioned Kerry's motives. One said he would personally ask the Massachusetts senator to donate some of the money to the Democratic House and Senate campaign committees.
Three former Kerry campaign aides, also demanding anonymity out of concerns about alienating their former boss, said they were surprised and disappointed to learn that he left so much money in the bank.
Kerry had roughly $45 million left in his primary campaign fund as of mid-October, according to his Federal Election Commission (news - web sites) report, and could use that as seed money for another presidential bid.
His final report is not due until next month, but officials close to Kerry said he has $15 million to $17 million in that account, with no outstanding debts, after giving the DNC about $23 million and state parties about $9 million since the mid-October report.
In addition, the report showed that Kerry had about $7 million on hand in a legal and accounting compliance fund that he could use for legal expenses in a 2008 campaign. Officials said he raised several million more for that account since the filing.
Last summer, Kerry donated $3 million each to the House and Senate campaign committees and $2 million to the Democratic Governors Association.
While Kerry has likely given more money to state committees than any other nominee, no other Democrat has raised as much as he did. And second-guessing Democrats said Wednesday they couldn't recall a candidate leaving so much money on the table after a campaign.
"He's going to have to give some of it up for 2005 and beyond," Brazile said. "The party will demand it."