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Schieffer’s Haul

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Tom Schieffer — the former U.S. ambassador and at this point the only declared Democratic candidate for governor (except for maybe this guy) — announced his fundraising total earlier today.

“It gives me the greatest pleasure to announce that my campaign has raised almost $800,000 in contributions and loans for this reporting period,” Schieffer said in a statement.

At first glance, $800,000 is a piddly sum compared to the many millions raised in the first six months of the year by Rick Perry and Kay Bailey Hutchison.

But Schieffer is a Democrat, so we have to grade on a curve.

Compared to some previous Democratic statewide candidates — Chris Bell and Rick Noriega come to mind — the $800,000 raised about 18 months before election day looks pretty good. I mean, $800,000 can buy a lot of stuff (by the way, Mr. Schieffer, if you decide to bag this whole running-for-governor thing and just want to give me the cash, I’d be OK with that.)

But when you examine the donor list released by the campaign, it turns out that more than half ($450,000) of Schieffer’s total came from just three individuals, including $255,000 from his own campaign treasurer (Lyndon Olson).

Schieffer also received $200,000 from Edward and Evelyn Rose of Dallas. Edward Rose runs an investment firm and was a major donor to George W. Bush.

This isn’t the kind of fund-raising total that will scare off other potential Democratic candidates. Kirk Watson, for instance, says he has $1.4 million in the bank.

Dave Mann has been with the Observer since 2003. Before that, he worked as a reporter in Fort Worth and Washington, D.C. He was born and raised in Philadelphia. He thinks border collies are the world’s greatest dogs, and believes in the nourishing powers of pickup basketball.