For Immediate Release: October 12, 2004
BUSH AND KERRY COLLECTED ONLY 10% OF
CAMPAIGN FUNDS FROM NEIGHBORHOODS THAT ARE MAJORITY PEOPLE
White, Wealthy Neighborhoods Fill Their
Washington, DC…During the primary season, only 10% of
the large individual contributions (more than $200) flowing to
the Bush and Kerry campaigns, as well as most of the other major
Democratic candidates for the presidency, came from neighborhoods
where people of color are the majority, according to a new study,
Color of Money: The 2004 Presidential Race, released by Public
Campaign, the Fannie Lou Hamer Project, and the William C. Velasquez
Institute. Nearly one out of three adult Americans is a person
“Harlem can’t compete with the Upper East Side
of Manhattan when it comes to campaign contributions,” said
Carrie Bolton acting executive director of the Fannie Lou Hamer
Project, commenting on the study. “Is it any surprise that
critical issues affecting people of color and poor people are
placed on the back burner by candidates?"
“Cash shouldn’t buy democracy—people and their
votes are what should matter,” says Antonio Gonzalez, executive
director of the William C. Velasquez Institute. “We need
comprehensive campaign finance reform to empower Latinos and
other people of color, because we all deserve an equal helping
Major findings of the study include:
- Of all the major candidates, President
George W. Bush raised the lowest percentage of campaign money
where people of color are the majority, 8.3%, while Sen.
John Kerry (D-MA) raised 10.7%. Overall, Democratic candidates
11.4% of their $200+ individual contributions from these
- In sharp contrast, former Sen. Carol
Moseley Braun (D-IL) and Rev. Al Sharpton raised triple the
proportion of their
campaign contributions from majority people of color neighborhoods—37.5%
and 36.2%, respectively.
- The top contributing
zip code to all presidential campaigns—including
both the Bush and Kerry campaigns—was 10021,
exclusive Upper East Side, which was the source of
$4.2 million. President Bush and Sen. Kerry collected
of this amount,
$1.3 and $1.7 million respectively.
- 86.4% of the zip code’s 91,514
adult residents are non-Hispanic white, and nearly 40%
of the households
enjoy incomes of $100,000
- In contrast, the zip code 10035, just
a few miles away in Harlem, was the source of just $1,000
for Sen. John Edwards (D-NC) and Sen. Kerry.
- The zip code 10021 was
the source of more campaign cash for presidential campaigns
- 377 zip codes nationwide with the largest
percentage of African Americans, containing a total of 6.9
people ages 18 and over, 75 times more people than live in 10021;
- 365 zip codes
nationwide with the largest percentage of Latino Americans,
containing a total of 8.1 million
people ages 18 and over, 89 times more people than live in 10021.
Nick Nyhart, executive director of Public Campaign, said, “Our
presidential election system is based on a private funding system
rooted in inequality.
We need to make sure that candidates who don’t
have access to Beverly Hills mansions and Manhattan
have a equal
chance to compete
in political campaigns.”
The 24-page report, Color of Money: The 2004 Presidential Race
accompanies the interactive website, www.colorofmoney.org, where
users can conduct their own research on campaign money, race/ethnicity,
and income in their own communities, looking up information about
their state, city, and zip code for all of the 2004 major presidential
candidates, as well as viewing color maps of presidential fundraising
by President Bush and Senator Kerry in selected metropolitan
areas. The study examines contributions of more than $200 collected
by the major 2004 presidential candidates as reported to the
Federal Election Commission through July 31. These data are compared
with U.S. 2000 Census information by zip code on race, ethnicity,
and income of people ages 18 and over.
Clean Money, Clean Elections campaign systems are the law for
statewide elections in Arizona and Maine, and are partly in place
in New Jersey, North Carolina, New Mexico, and Vermont. Under
Clean Money campaign reform, candidates who collect a large number
qualifying contributions (typically $5), voluntarily agree to
limit their spending and to reject campaign contributions from
private sources can qualify for full public financing for their
campaigns. Primaries are covered as well as general elections,
opening up the possibility for real competition within the parties.
Additional funds are also made available, up to a limit, if a
Clean Money candidate is outspent by a privately financed opponent.
# # #
Campaign finance data analyzed in this report were provided
by the Center for Responsive Politics (www.opensecrets.org),
a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to analyzing
campaign finance data from the Federal Election Commission (FEC).
Data for the 2004 election cycle were downloaded in August 2004,
and reflect July 31 reports by candidates to the FEC.
The methodology used in this report for determining the racial
and ethnic makeup of the U.S. population was developed by Dr.
John R. Logan at the Lewis Mumford Center at the University of
Albany. Dr. Brian Stultz, of the Department of Sociology at the
University of Florida-Gainesville, provided much valuable help.
The Lewis Mumford Center has published dozens of reports on segregation
and racial and ethnic patterns throughout America (http://mumfordl.dyndns.org/cen2000/report.html).
Public Campaign (www.publicampaign.org) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan
organization dedicated to sweeping reform that aims to dramatically
reduce the role of big special interest money in American politics.
The Fannie Lou Hamer Project (www.flhp.org) is a national education
and advocacy organization dedicated to strengthening our democracy
through bringing justice and equity to the campaign finance system.
The William C Velasquez Institute (www.wcvi.org) is a tax-exempt,
nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that conducts research aimed
at improving the level of political and economic participation
in Latino and other underrepresented communities.
The Color of Money Project was made possible by funding from
the Ford Foundation and the Joyce Foundation.
Past Press Releases
December 11, 2003: THE
REAL COLOR OF MONEY: White, Wealthy Neighborhoods Source
of Most Campaign Contributions People of Color Largely
Left Out of the Money Game
Statements on Unveiling of the Web Site, December
Executive Director, Public Campaign
Moore, Executive Director, Fannie Lou Hamer Project
Gonzalez, President, William C. Velasquez Institute