Will Specter rake in pro-Israel cash?


Politico’s Jeanne Cummings reports that Sen. Arlen Specter (D-Pa.) has hired Democratic fundraiser Fran Katz Watson, who helped Joe Lieberrman raise dollars after he left the Democratic Party and ran for re-election as an independent. And Cummings speculates that, like Lieberman, the party switch won’t prevent Specter from raising lots of money in the Jewish community :

Donors passionate about an issue are different and more loyal. In [former Sen. Ben Nighthorse] Campbell’s case, they were people motivated by his work on Western issues, such as mining and water rights.

In Specter’s case, they’ll most likely include Jewish voters passionate about Israel. Those givers came to Lieberman’s rescue in 2006, donating millions of dollars to his independent bid, even as the Democratic Party establishment put its weight behind its nominee, Ned Lamont.

The pro-Israel community alone could generate as much as $2 million for Specter’s campaign, representing just a portion of the money that could be tapped from the Democratic Party’s liberal, Jewish base, experts estimated.

“On balance, there will be more Jewish-American money that goes to him if he’s a Democrat and if he has any kind of decent relationship with the caucus and the party,” said Ira Forman, executive director of the National Jewish Democratic Council.

“The strictly pro-Israel money is going to be with him whether he’s a Democrat or a Republican,” Forman added. “Those fundraising events have probably already begun, and that will go on uninterrupted.”

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