Mike, Rupert, and John
By Rick Yencer
MUNCIE, IN - Republican Mike Pence and his big money machine for Indiana governor has emassed a $5 fortune even before Indiana's primary filing deadline next month.
But Libertarian Rupert Boneham is sure having more fun with his Happy Birthday Money Bomb campaign while Democrat John Gregg is moving along with raising $1.7 million, only a third of Pence's fundraising.
If money were votes, the election for governor would be over with Pence, Indiana's 6th district congressman, the clear winner, along side with likely Republican nominee Mitt Romney, who already has the signatures and those growing Mormon billboards to get on Indiana's ballot.
Actually, Pence has spent nearly the same amount of money that Gregg has raised, a testiment to Pence's organization and fundraising ability.
"The overwhelming support from Hoosiers who are committed to Mike's vision for building an even better Indiana is very exciting," said Kyle Robertson, Pence campaign manager.
It's an understatement for Pence's campaign to say their money and organization make them extremely competitive in the election.
More than 4,000 contributors in Indiana, and of the 5,337 contributors, more than half gave $100 or less.
Gregg's campaign spent only about $500,000 of the $1.7 million raised and had only 1,385 contributors under $100. But 98 percent of Gregg's contributors are from Indiana.
Pence has unlimited money making ability being a congressman for a decade and in leadership where large political action action committees representing big oil, banks and other special interests pay for laws in their favor. Gregg, a former Indiana House speaker, is no stranger to special interests or political money. He has been a lobbyist for big coal and others, besides a lawyer by profession like Pence.
Actually, Bonham, that Survivor guy, has the most unique and fun campaign, Jan. 27 is Rupert's 48th birthday and supporters want to raise $48,000 for his campaign. That Money Bomb campaign is online at rally.org and there are even prizes. Boneham's charity, Rupert's Kids, and his other business interests give him plenty of qualifications for governor.
And his grassroots following after the Survivor television series, found in his logo with the flame, can compete with Pence and his conservative charge. That leaves Gregg to get a Democrtaic base that has not been seen in Indiana since it went blue in 2008 for President Barack Obama. The 2010 election caused the whole state to go red with the Republicans controlling both chambers of the Indiana General Assembly. That red trend in Middletown and the state is looming just behind those Mormon billboards signaling Romney's campaign.