ICYMI: Tim Pawlenty¹s money men (and women)

Tim Pawlenty’s money men (and women)

By Chris Cillizza and Aaron Blake, Washington Post,  3/28/2011 07:20 AM ET


Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty will unveil a 16-person fundraising team today, as he prepares for the gargantuan task of raising the tens of millions of dollars he’ll likely need to win the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.

The finance operation will be overseen by Brian Haley, who is currently serving as national finance director for Pawlenty’s Freedom First PAC and previously held that same title for Sen. John McCain’s leadership political action committee.

Katie McBreen will be Haley’s deputy, coming off a successful stint as finance director for Kansas Sen. Jerry Moran’s 2010 campaign. McBreen previously worked for former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s 2008 presidential bid. (A full list of Pawlenty’s fundraising team is after the jump.)

The scope of the finance team — there are individuals tasked to specific states like Arizona, Colorado, California, Florida and Texas, as well as regions like the mid-Atlantic and Midwest — suggests Pawlenty is well aware of the need to grow beyond the relatively small sums he raised during his two campaigns for governor of Minnesota.

Even while touting the quality of Pawlenty’s team, his advisers sought to downplay expectations in the cash chase — noting that former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney would almost certainly raise and spend the most in the fight for the nomination.

In 2008, Romney raised $65 million and loaned himself another $47 million in his unsuccessful bid. And last week Romney met with top donors to set fundraising goals of between $25,000 and $50,000 for the first quarter of the campaign — a pace that, if met, would almost certainly put him clearly at the top of the financial heap in the race’s early days.

But while Pawlenty raised less than $3 million in his gubernatorial campaigns — Minnesota has strict (and low) donation limits and public financing for elections — he spent much of the last election building the pillars of a national finance operation via his national PAC and its state-based affiliates in (you guessed it) Iowa and New Hampshire. Pawlenty raised roughly $4 million through those committees in the last election.

The second fundraising quarter — spanning from April 1 to June 30 — will be critical for Pawlenty as he seeks to prove that he can compete with the top-tier money candidates who are, presumably, Romney and Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour.

Pawlenty has built considerable buzz around his candidacy in the first few months of the year thanks to a series of solid early-state hires and his steady performance on the campaign trail. The question before him now is whether he can translate that momentum into money.

Here’s the full list — with titles and geographic focuses — for Pawlenty’s finance team:

Brian Haley, national finance director

Kate McBreen, deputy national finance director

Trisha Hamm, Minnesota finance director

Chrissy Scherer, associate finance director

Andrea Evans, finance consultant (Arizona)

Paige Lance Hahn, senior finance consultant (Mid-Atlantic)

Ann Herberger, senior finance consultant

Pam Kinsey, senior finance consultant (Midwest)

Paige Marriott, senior finance consultant

Alison McIntosh, senior finance consultant (Texas)

Rick Nelson, finance consultant (Minnesota and national)

Gretchen Picotte, senior finance consultant (Florida)

Katie Behnke/Kristin Strohm, finance consultants (Colorado)

Cassandra Vandenberg, senior finance consultant (California)

Shanna Woodbury, finance consultant (Minnesota and national)

Sue Walden, finance consultant (Texas)