WASHINGTON (AP) — They may be running even in Michigan
polls, but President Bush is far ahead of Democratic challenger
John Kerry in terms of money raised from big donors in the state,
according to federal campaign finance records.

As of Oct. 13, Bush had raised more than $4.8 million from
Michigan companies and individuals who gave more than $200. Kerry
had raised more than $2.5 million from the same sources, according
to federal election data compiled by the nonpartisan Political
MoneyLine.

The candidates have raised more in donations under $200, but
those aren’t tracked by state. Both campaigns said totals by
state weren’t immediately available yesterday.

Donors in every Michigan metropolitan area except Ann Arbor gave
more to Bush than to Kerry as of Oct. 4, according to the
nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics. The margin was closest
in the Lansing area, where Bush raised $138,990 and edged out Kerry
by just $2,941. In the Detroit area, corporate donations helped
Bush out-raise Kerry by $2 million.

Bush’s fund-raising team includes five
“Rangers” who have raised more than $200,000 for the
campaign. Among those are Dearborn-based architect Yousif Ghafari,
Grand Rapids businessman Peter Secchia and C. Michael Kojaian, a
businessman who hosted a $2.5 million fund-raiser for Bush at his
Bloomfield Hills home on July 7.

Bush also has relied on 13 “Pioneers,” who have each
raised more than $100,000. They include Michigan Republican Party
Chairwoman Betsy DeVos and Northwest Airlines Inc. executive Andrea
Fischer Newman, University regent and republican from Ann
Arbor.

Catherine Govan, a political consultant from White Lake, felt so
strongly about raising money for Bush that she made fund-raising
phone calls while receiving chemotherapy treatments for breast
cancer.

“I really feel that this is a man who’s very
grounded in his beliefs,” Govan said. “It might not be
popular, but at least you know when he says something he’s
going to do it.”

By contrast, Kerry had only one Michigan donor who had raised
more than $100,000 as of July, when his campaign last posted its
list of “Vice-Chairs.” Two “Co-Chairs” had
raised $50,000 to $100,000.

Ann Arbor-based attorney Thomas Wieder, who is the
“Vice-Chair,” also has personally given the maximum of
$4,000 to Kerry’s campaign, $2,000 to Kerry’s legal
fund and $25,000 to the Democratic National Committee.

Wieder said he has spent nearly all his free time this year
raising money for Kerry. In May, he co-hosted an Ann Arbor
fund-raiser that collected $200,000.

“I think that four more years of a Bush administration
will just be a disaster,” Wieder said. “This is a real
crossroads election on both the domestic and international
front.”

Wieder believes Democrats are at a fund-raising disadvantage
because many corporate executives give to Republicans. He also said
the Democratic Party traditionally has relied on small
donations.

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