Thursday, August 24, 2006

Complete Incompetence

Who is in charge of releasing fundraising numbers for the Liberal Party? I've read several different articles today that show different totals for the various candidates:

The National Post has the headline "Ignatieff, Rae camps pull in the most cash: Front-runners raise twice as much as closest rival":
Bob Rae and Michael Ignatieff have raised more than twice as much as their closest rival in the Liberal leadership race, Gerard Kennedy, new details of financial donations revealed yesterday.

The information confirms the status of the two former university roommates as the apparent front-runners in the race for the leadership...

The success of the Rae camp, however, confirms the former Ontario NDP leader's success in winning over supporters in his bid to lead a party he joined only recently, and the organizational ability of his campaign.

The Globe and Mail, "Rae, Ignatieff have big financial edge":
Bob Rae and Michael Ignatieff have the best-financed Liberal leadership campaigns, but several others had yet to raise enough by the end of July to pay the deposit to enter the race, according to figures released by the Liberal Party yesterday...
But even candidates such as Montreal MP St├ęphane Dion, now considered by many to be in a top tier of four, had barely covered the $50,000 deposit he paid to enter the race, raising only $66,370 by the end of July.

The CBC has completely different numbers that put an entirely different spin on things:
Many candidates released their own, more up-to-date tallies of their donations later Wednesday. According to their figures:

Bob Rae had donations of $478,750 by the end of July and loans of $275,000.
Michael Ignatieff had raised $373,922 to July 31, with loans of $125,000.
Gerard Kennedy had raised $361,503 up to Aug. 12, with loans of $200,000.
Joe Volpe had raised $340,000 up to July 31, with no loans.
Scott Brison had raised $230,000 up to Aug. 22, with loans of $200,000.
Stephane Dion had raised $155,000 up to Aug. 22, with loans of $530,000.
Carolyn Bennett had raised $77,350 up to Aug. 22, with a loan of $35,000.

Take the CBC numbers and the headline should read, "Rae, Ignatieff and Kennedy Lead Fundraising". All candidates should have a gripe about the way these numbers were released. You can't take back headlines, or commentary, that influence momentum. Someone reading their morning paper would be under the impression that Dion can barely pay off his deposit- is he really a top-tier choice? Kennedy's numbers are extremely impressive, yet the stories make it out to be a "two-way" race.

This disaster doesn't really matter to the attentive, but the casual observer has been given the wrong impression and we all know appearance is king. This confusion is unacceptable, especially given the criticism the last time numbers were released. What the hell are the true numbers anyways? Embarrassing incompetence.

update
A Bcer In Toronto plays with the numbers to show an entirely different spin in terms of who really has momentum.

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