Ritter campaign to focus on students’ ballots, not students’ pockets
As election day nears, gubernatorial candidates continue to compete in fundraising for their campaigns.
Last week, after the announcement that President Bush was to hold a fundraising event for Republican candidate Bob Beauprez on Wednesday, Democratic candidate Bill Ritter sent an e-mail out to thousands of his supporters across Colorado. His ‘Lets Beat Beauprez and Bush’ fundraising project encourages those who have not already donated the individual limit of $1,000 dollars to continue to support him in his campaign for Colorado Governor.
College students are not a target for Ritter’s campaign when it comes to money.
“We realize that students’ pockets aren’t lined with money,” Ritter’s spokesman Evan Dreyer said.
Ritter’s campaign has been more focused on getting college students excited about being a part of the democratic process rather than emptying their wallets.
“Our primary interest with Colorado college students is not fundraising,” Dreyer said. “For a lot of college students, it’s the first time for them to vote, and it is still exciting.”
Ritter will focus his campaign more on the people who have money who want to donate.
“We have at least one (fundraising event) per day anywhere up and down the Front Range, and during the weekends, anywhere in Colorado,” Dreyer said.
So far the democratic campaign has raised over $3 million through various meet-and-greet events, as well as the newly launched House Party Project.
House Parties have been the newest way for the campaign to reach out to voters seeking to donate money towards the cause as well as have their questions answered. Ritter generally does not attend these events, but neighborhoods now are able to host House Parties that come with a video summarizing the issues and values of the campaign, giving people in the neighborhood an opportunity to discuss issues and donate money if they are so inclined.
Meet-and-greet fundraisers have been frequently used as well. Ritter comes to these events and answers any questions that voters and donors might have concerning campaigns.
On top of that, a large amount of donations come from online contributions, and the e-mail request list on Ritter’s Web site (ritterforgovernor.com) gives the campaign a good idea of who to call to ask for donations.
Ritter has made over 10,000 phone calls to people in Colorado to raise money for his campaign.
However, financial donations and contributions are not the most realistic expectation for college students who often live on a tight budget.
“Young people have more time and energy than they will in their lives, they are also the poorest that they will be, so they would be more helpful in donating their time and energy,” said junior spanish and communication majo, Amy Hogue, the president of the College Democrats.
The College Democrats focus on getting students to vote. Financial aspects of the campaign are not a big issue when it comes to college groups on campus.
“Actually, (the College Democrats) don’t focus much on the financial aspect of campaigns,” Hogue said.
With growing costs of student fees, tuitions, books and other necessities, donating may be hard, but some who are able to donate to the candidates say the decision ends up being a hassle.
“I don’t financially support any of the candidates right now,” said Neil Robertson, a junior political science major who is politically independent. He financially supported Bill Owens’ campaign and still receives phone calls and e-mails from the campaign.
Along with the financial strife, the campaigns spend millions of dollars in every election to buy time on television or radio, making the necessity of donating to a campaign somewhat less pressing.
Students donating to campaigns is not necessary, said Robertson. “They need to cap their (campaign’s) spending anyway.”
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