Governor Rell is going to skip the fundraising part of the Republican Governors' Association regional meeting next Monday in Boston:
Rell, who has given no hints about her plans for 2006, is attending the association's regional meeting next Monday in Boston. But she is leaving before the group's major piece of business: a big-ticket fundraiser. (Pazniokas)
Governors' associations have become serious fundraising machines, and can donate millions to state parties. If Gov. Rell is running next year, this is a can't-miss event, filled with rich executives and lobbyists. So why is she skipping it? There are two possibilities:
1. She isn't running. Why should she go to an event that has no significance for her? While this is certainly a possibility (she hasn't said a word one way or the other) I rather doubt it. My feeling is that she'll decide there's too much business left unfinished to walk away.
2. She doesn't like the company. Here's a description of what the fundraiser would entail:
The Boston Globe reported Monday that donations of up to $50,000 would buy lobbyists, business executives and others a day of "close, casual access" to Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and five other Republican governors, culminating in an outing at Fenway Park for a Red Sox game. (Pazniokas)
Governor Rell, according to the Courant, hasn't met with lobbyists since becoming governor (a question: did she meet with them before becoming governor?). It could be that she wants to steer clear of these sorts of people to preserve her image as the prim, ethical, untainted reformer.
Then again, the idea of "close, casual access" time with business executives, lobbyists and other assorted scum may not be her cup of tea. Can't blame her. A schmoozer she ain't, unlike her predecessor, who thrived at events like these.
This, of course, leads to the question of how on earth she's planning to raise significant money if she's running next year. It's hard to imagine that she'll take in much money from traditional sources like, say, lobbyists and contractors--even if they contributed to her she would probably return the money.
This could be one of the unusual races in which a Democratic candidate actually outraises and outspends the Republican, since Democratic candidates (so far) seem to have no compunctions about where their money is coming from. A monetary advantage could either level the playing field and nullify the incumbent advantage--or sink the Democratic candidate entirely, depending on the public's mood. Either way, it isn't going to be a normal race.
Pazniokas, Mark. "Rell Skips GOP Governors' Fundraiser." Hartford Courant 21 June, 2005.