There has been much speculation over the past 36 hours with regard to a possible Presidential bid by former Senator Fred Thompson.
OK. Here is what I know.
Yesterday I posted about the Politico.com article regarding a Fred Thompson Presidential run. That article is here.
“No July 4 Announcement For Fred Thompson
Just talked to a Thompson source I’ll call “TA3″ (Thompson Associate 3). Much more coming shortly, but the first word was, there will not be a presidential announcement from Fred Thompson on July 4.
(The Politico got it wrong, it appears.)
TA3: “There will be no July 4 announcement… There was some discussion of a June 4 beginning of fundraising; that’s the date checks will be collected. I suspect that’s where there was some confusion.”
Read his entire post at NRO here.
Now that seems a little conflicted when juxtaposed with the Politico piece. So, I contacted my own source. I can tell you only that my source is a known national political figure with close ties to Senator Thompson. We’ll call him/her “Billy”.
Lets break it down piece by piece, shall we?
Fred Dalton Thompson is planning to enter the presidential race over the Fourth of July holiday, announcing this week that he has already raised several million dollars and is being backed by insiders from the past three Republican administrations, Thompson advisers told The Politico.
From Billy: No particular date has been discussed.
Chin: It is already well known that various folks from the Reagan and G.H.W. Bush Administrations have expressed support for and a willingness to serve in a Thompson administration. So, this is not news, In my opinion.
But the advisers said Thompson dropped all pretenses on Tuesday afternoon during a conference call with more than 100 potential donors, each of whom was urged to raise about $50,000.
From Billy: This is true. He was privy to said conference call. Senator Thompson headed the call. The crux was to inspire 100 national fundraisers and/or supporters to enlist 10 couples to contribute $4600 ( the legal limit) a piece. These fundraisers and supporters would be designated as ‘founders’. That would equal $46,000. Due to time constraints on my part, Billy was unable to confirm or deny if this was a singular event, or one a several such conference calls.
A testing-the-waters committee is to be formed June 4 so Thompson can start raising money, and staffers will go on the payroll in early June, the organizers said. A policy team has been formed, but remains under wraps…
Thompson urged the supporters to muster a major show of financial force in early July, just after the June 30 deadline for second-quarter financial reports to the Federal Election Commission.
From Billy: Billy confirms this to be the case. A testing the waters committee will indeed be announced on June 4, the date that we here at HouseofChin have been keying in on. He also confirms that the reason stated by Politico’s speculation is accurate. A June 4th announcement keeps Thompson out of the second quarter filing. In addition, per Billy, the timeline for a testing the waters committee is 60 days.
Chin: Smart play by Senator Thompson. Forming the commitee on June 4th means his window to declare would be from July 1st to the first few days of August to declare. Yet, he won’t have t file his first financial until the end of September, fully three months into fundraising and only one reporting cycle prior to the primaries. It helps when you know campaign finance reform inside and out.
Also of interest from Politico is this:
Organizers were encouraged by a donor meeting in New York City on Thursday afternoon that was attended by some of the best-known names in state and national politics. Without disclosing his specific plans, Thompson plans to keep the momentum going with an appearance in Richmond on Saturday at the Commonwealth Gala, headed by Republican Party of Virginia Chairman Ed Gillespie.
In a preview of the campaign to come, Thompson plans to show he is a candidate acceptable to all elements of the conservative coalition. He will make it plain to the attendees and a large press corps that, as one adviser put it, “the Fred has landed.”
Thompson lives in McLean, Va. Tickets for the dinner, to be held at the Greater Richmond Convention Center, start at $125. Sponsors who pay $1,000 to $10,000 will be able to get their photo taken with Thompson at a reception an hour before the dinner.
Chin: It appears that one of the worst kept secrets in Washington is that Ed Gillespie will play a pivotal role in the Thompson campaign. Numerous citings of the two together during Senator Thompson’s ‘rumination’ period litter the blogosphere. Several messages from HouseofChin to Mr. Gillespie’s firm in Washington were not returned.
A great debt of gratitude to Billy for being a true American patriot, a true Thompson supporter and a true friend to myself and conservatives. Thanks Billy!!