Wednesday, July 16, 2008

DeMint Embraces Online Fundraising Tool

By Nathan L. Gonzales

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) has agreed to use the Republican Web site Slatecard exclusively for his fundraising.

DeMint, one of the most tech-savvy Members of the Senate, is the first Senator to utilize the popular Web site. And it’s just an extension of his efforts to reach constituents, voters and donors through the Web.

“Sen. DeMint is excited about new technologies that allow direct and dynamic communication with people in South Carolina and throughout the country,” DeMint Communications Director Wesley Denton said.

DeMint, the chairman of the Republican Steering Committee, has a sleek Senate Web site, where he and his staff blog. The site also has six separate regional blogs maintained by staff and accessed by inputting a county or ZIP code. He used YouTube to respond to President Bush’s most recent State of the Union address. And he has a Twitter account, but it’s just a feed from the blog on his campaign Web site, not a minute-by-minute breakdown of his daily activities.

The former owner of a marketing company, DeMint has engaged the blogging community and embraced the Internet has a strategic and marketing tool.

He committed just a few days ago to Slatecard and has taken in $3,581 from 12 contributors. But his race for a second term isn’t until 2010.

The move could give the Web site a boost. DeMint is a star within conservatives in the caucus. He raised $9 million in 2004 and will raise more next cycle. DeMint is also using the site to raise money for his political action committee, Senate Conservatives Fund.

Slatecard, considered the Republican equivalent of ActBlue on the Democratic side, has taken in about $411,000 since its inception nine months ago. The goal of the site’s founders is to raise $1 million for the cycle.

ActBlue was founded in 2004 and has taken in $56.8 million since. According to the Wall Street Journal, the site took in nearly $792,000 in its first cycle.

The top Republican fundraiser on Slatecard thus far was Kevin O’Neill, who raised $64,744 from 126 contributors by using Slatecard exclusively for all his fundraising for the special election last fall in Virginia’s 1st district. He lost the GOP nominating contest to Rep. Rob Wittman (R).

The site was co-founded by David All, a former communications director to Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.), and San Diego software developer Sendhil Panchadsaram. All is also the founder of

This item first appeared on on July 11, 2008. 2008 © Roll Call Inc. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission.