-By Nicholas Confessore and Jim Rutenberg
August 11, 2011- Gov. Rick Perry of Texas won’t officially announce his presidential campaign until Saturday. But his fund-raising team isn’t wasting any time.
An e-mail to his top donors sent on Thursday afternoon lays out an aggressive schedule of late-summer fund-raisers and urges Mr. Perry’s top bundlers — those who collect checks from friends and family members on his behalf — to send in their own contributions as soon as possible, with the goal of providing Mr. Perry seed money that he can use to jump-start his campaign.
“Thank you for being willing to contribute to Governor Perry’s Presidential Campaign and raise money, both,” reads the e-mail, which was sent by George Seay, the governor’s Texas finance chairman. “On behalf of our team, we are very, very grateful. We are trying to get in the first million dollars of contributions very rapidly, to give the campaign its initial capital so important to get off the ground well. If you can send your own check in to us now, it will further that goal.”
Each of Mr. Perry’s bundlers will be assigned a tracking number, according to Mr. Seay, to help chart how much they have raised on the governor’s behalf, a practice also used by another Texas governor, George W. Bush, in his own presidential campaigns.
The message, which was obtained by The New York Times, also contains detailed explanations of federal campaign donation limits — limits that do not exist in Texas, where individuals and political action committees can make unlimited contributions — as well as advice for bundling checks from spouses and children.
“Maximum individual checks are $2,500/person, $5,000/couple. Children who are (1) aware of what they are doing (2) make their own decision to contribute and (3) write a check on their own account may also contribute. If a couple sends in a $5,000 check, both spouses should sign the check. It is preferable to have an individual check for each individual contribution.”