If you missed the great scoop by the Colorado Statesman's Jody Strogoff on Rick Perry's gargantuan fundraising haul in Aspen, it's a must read for this weekend. The detailed and lengthy look into Perry's fundraiser in the liberal sanctuary provides some key insight into Perry’s budding Colorado campaign.
We asked Strogoff how she got in, but she declined to answer. Fair enough — we wouldn't divulge our trade secrets either.
Perry is currently racing around the country, trying to play catch up on fundraising. Where he's digging for dollars in Colorado shines some light on the early stages of Perry’s effort to build a campaign infrastructure in the Centennial State.
The fundraiser was hosted by two former Gubernatorial candidates, Marc Holtzman and Scott McInnis, though he's surely hoping for better luck in the election than his two hosts have had.
The story strongly hints at the fact that McInnis and Holtzman, and ostensibly their supporters and teams, will play a central role in Perry’s Colorado operation. In the case of Perry and McInnis, their friendship goes back almost three decades. The article provides some colorful detail on their friendship:
Before Perry addressed his supporters, former Congressman Scott McInnis, a Republican from Grand Junction, provided a couple personal anecdotes about his longtime friend. He and Gov. Perry have known each other for the last 25 or 30 years.
It was one of those good news/bad news stories, McInnis said as he began his tale by mentioning his wife Lori, a fifth generation cattle rancher from Meeker on whose family ranch the story played out. McInnis recalled his frequent invites to Perry to elk hunt on the ranch, an activity the two enjoyed doing together over the years.
The most eye-popping part of the story is the size of the fundraising haul. Perry's Aspen fundraiser pulled in a whopping $175,000 in less than two hours. As Strogoff notes, that is the largest in GOP Aspen fundraising history. Not bad for a candidate in the race barely two weeks.
The size of the haul hints at a significant split in the Colorado GOP establishment. While many of the big names and former elected officals have lined up behind Mitt Romney, it appears a sizeable cavalry of big-dollar donors are looking elsewhere.
For more on the fundraiser, and the full detail of the Perry/McInnis relationship, you can read about in the Colorado Statesman here.