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Robertson Funds Total $11.7 Million, 2nd Only to Bush's

October 16, 1987|ROBERT L. JACKSON | Times Staff Writer

WASHINGTON — Former television evangelist Pat Robertson, who formally announced his intention to seek the Republican presidential nomination only 15 days ago, has raised more than $11 million in campaign funds through Sept. 30, among the most of any presidential hopeful of either major political party.

Officials of Americans for Robertson, in filing their first financial report with the Federal Election Commission on Thursday, said they had received contributions from 120,000 people in all 50 states since they began "testing the waters" for a Robertson candidacy last year.

Campaign manager R. Marc Nuttle said loans to the organization, interest on its deposits and sale of some assets have brought total receipts to $11.7 million. Among other presidential contenders, only Vice President George Bush, with $12.6 million in receipts, has raised more money than Robertson.

The six Republicans and five of the six Democrats in the 1988 race filed quarterly financial reports with the FEC on Thursday. Jesse Jackson's campaign did not file with the FEC but did release a general financial statement. On the Democratic side, Massachusetts Gov. Michael S. Dukakis outdistanced his rivals with $8.1 million.

Nuttle said most of Robertson's funds have been spent on a yearlong effort to gather names of 3.3 million Americans who said they would support a Robertson candidacy. The organization's goal is to expand this list to 7 million names, which would make it "the largest list of Americans to coalesce under one theme," Nuttle said.

"We are proud of the large number of our donors and the fact that our contributions have averaged less than $100 per person, with most ranging from $25 to $30," he said.

Nuttle sought to rebut speculation that Robertson may have taken advantage of donors to his television ministry to promote his political ambitions. He said campaign officials tried, but were rebuffed, in early efforts to obtain mailing lists from the Christian Broadcasting Network, the hub of a $230-million-a-year communications, education and charity empire founded by Robertson more than 25 years ago.

CBN's board of directors rejected the request, Nuttle said, out of a desire to keep its operations separate from any political campaign.

Some campaigns showed signs of money troubles.

GOP Rep. Jack Kemp of New York reported substantial debts left over from large mail solicitation expenses. Kemp has raised $6.3 million but borrowed $600,000 in the third quarter, ending the period with $407,165 in cash on hand and debts of $881,624. But Kemp advisers said the mailings have built a solid donor list.

Former Arizona Gov. Bruce Babbitt's Democratic campaign showed a deteriorating financial condition, with $35,973 in the bank to cover $339,113 in debts. He has raised just under $2 million so far.

In the Republican field, Sen. Bob Dole of Kansas outpaced Bush in fund raising for the quarter, bringing in just under $4 million, which boosted his total receipts so far to nearly $8 million. Former Delaware Gov. Pierre S. (Pete) du Pont IV has raised $3.3 million. Former Secretary of State Alexander M. Haig Jr. reported total receipts of $955,000.

On the Democratic side, Sen. Albert Gore Jr. of Tennessee reported total receipts of $2.7 million and Sen. Paul Simon of Illinois reported $2.3 million.

Jackson said he would file a report later in the month. Spokeswoman Pam Smith said he had raised about $1.2 million so far.

Missouri Rep. Richard A. Gephardt's figures were not available.

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