In 2008, Barack Obama broke all previous fundraising records for a presidential candidate when he raised roughly $743 million, blowing away John McCain in his 7-percent point national victory.
But going into 2012, nobody from Team Obama was predicting he'd raise more — not with a persistent recession, and all the shine off the man who promised to bring hope and change to Washington. Sure, with inflation, seemingly every two or four years the money gets larger in politics, but Team Obama always fought back when Republicans or political writers said that they would raise a billion dollars this time around.
Certainly Wall Street wasn't going to be contributing in the numbers they did in '08. And the lackluster fundraising that Bill Burton was generating with the Obama appointed SuperPAC Priorities USA only added to the notion that this was going to be a much harder road in competing against the GOP post-Citizens United, with their SuperPAC groups led by Karl Rove, the Koch Brothers and Sheldon Adelson.
But guess what? The Republicans were right. With both the Obama and Romney camps reporting their final fundraising totals for the campaign, Obama ended up raising $1.1 billion. Romney came in below the president at $1.01 billion.
In local news yesterday, the saga of what to do with the St. Petersburg Pier continues. The Council voted to authorize more funding for architect Michael Maltzan and construction firm Skanska USA, but knows they could very well be contending with a referendum coming up in the next year that could stop the construction of the Lens.
In Tampa, the City Council went though another discussion about those surveillance cameras they approved for the RNC, and again realized that once they approved the cameras last February, they gave up all their rights to get rid of them — until next year, at least.
And we hope you'll take a few minutes to read our cover story in the current CL regarding LED street lights and why Tampa and St. Petersburg don't have them. The national trend of switching to these more energy efficient lights is a story that ultimately goes to Tallahassee and a Public Service Commission that doesn't seem to be acting too much on the public's behalf.