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Moneybomb (money bomb, money-bomb, fundraising bomb) is a neologism coined in 2007 to describe a grassroots fundraising effort over a brief fixed time period,[1] usually to support a candidate for election by dramatically increasing, concentrating, and publicizing fundraising activity during a specific hour or day. The term was first applied to a supporter-led fundraiser on behalf of presidential candidate Ron Paul, in which context the Mercury News described a moneybomb as being "a one-day fundraising frenzy".[2] The effort combines traditional and Internetbased fundraising appeals focusing especially on viral advertising through online vehicles such as YouTube, Myspace, Meetup, and online forums. In the case of lesser-known candidates it is also intended to generate significant free mass media coverage the candidate would otherwise not receive. Moneybombs have been used for grassroots fundraising and viral activism over the Internet by several 2008 presidential candidates in the United States.[3][4][5] during the campaign of American presidential candidate Ron Paul.[7] His supporters initiated multiple grassroots fundraising drives; New York City musician Jesse Elder[8][9][10] is said to have coined the usage of "moneybomb" for such an event.[8][11][12] Elder registered the new YouTube identity "RonPaulMoneyBomb" at YouTube on October 14, 2007,[13] and active-duty service member Eric Nordstrom[14] registered the dotcom domain on October 16,[15] which claims to be the first moneybomb site.[8] A large moneybomb involving over 35,000 donors[16] and organized by Trevor Lyman[17] took place on November 5, 2007, Guy Fawkes Day. The fundraising drive raised over $4.2 million in one day, making it at that time the largest one-day Internet political fundraiser ever,[16][18] and was backed largely by new or disaffected voters.[19] After this, news media such as CNN began widely reporting the term "money bomb" to refer to the event.[20] The term has also been used as a verb[21] and apparently arose from analogy with the neologism "googlebomb".[22]


Multiple other similar events were scheduled for several of the 2008 presidential candidates, generally in coordination with a historical date. Imagery in the November 5 fundraiser drew on the history of the revolutionary Guy Fawkes, the film V for Vendetta, and the traditional rhyme celebrating Fawkes’s plot being foiled.[23] Unofficial drives in support of Fred Thompson,[24][25] Barack Obama,[5] Mike Huckabee,[26] John McCain,[27] and Dennis Kucinich[28] were referred to by the media as moneybombs and seen as attempts to replicate the November 5 event.[8] Thompson’s campaign disavowed his supporters’ effort, which was speculated to have failed because it had been scheduled for the day before Thanksgiving and due to lack of realtime donation tracking feedback.[29] Neither the campaign nor the site released contemporaneous fundraising results after

CNN screenshot displaying the term "Money Bomb". The phrase "money bomb" has had other usages in the past, but the coinage of "moneybomb" or "money bomb" to describe a coordinated mass donation drive for a political candidate[6] came to prominence in 2007,


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the fundraiser.[30] Kucinich’s supporters organized a drive on December 15, in honor of the Bill of Rights adoption.[28] Murray Sabrin, New Jersey candidate for U.S. Senate, also repeatedly brought the moneybomb concept to his own race,[31][32][33] as well as John Forsythe, candidate for New Hampshire’s 1st congressional district.[34] No fundraising drives for any campaign matched the success of the Fawkes bomb until December 16, when the moneybomb on the Boston Tea Party’s anniversary,[35] organized entirely by online volunteers,[36] raised an amount estimated as $6.0–$6.6 million[7][37][38][39] ($6 million in approved credit card receipts),[40][41][42] from 58,407 individual contributors to Paul’s campaign.[43][44] This broke the November 5 record, as well as the 2004 one-day political fundraising record of John Kerry,[40] indicating it was the largest single-day fundraiser of any kind in U.S. presidential campaign history.[45] Professor Anthony J. Corrado, a campaign finance expert, found the event "extraordinary ... What [Paul] has done is establish himself as a major candidate, and he’s no longer a fringe voice."[36]


Political consultant Ed Rollins said of the moneybomb concept, "I’ll tell you, I’ve been in politics for 40 years, and these days everything I’ve learned about politics is totally irrelevant because there’s this uncontrollable thing like the Internet. Washington insiders don’t know what to make of it."[46] A 2006 Federal Election Commission ruling, exempting most Internet activity from campaign finance rules, created the loophole for moneybombs, according to Paul Ryan, a lawyer at the nonprofit Campaign Legal Center: "It’s difficult to imagine any threat of corruption posed by an activist sitting at home trying to talk people into making small donations directly to a candidate’s campaign .... These small donors are a good thing for the system .... This is the classic example of the modern soapbox."[47] Sonia Arrison of TechNewsWorld considered the transparency in pledge and donation amounts to be an important open-source element of moneybomb success: "Those revelations stand in direct contrast to traditional campaigns, which tend to be silent and proprietary about who is donating."[48]

Moneybomb advertising often makes use of inverted political messages,[22] as in the case of ads for Ron Paul (pictured) and Mitt Romney. Campaign finance analyst Leslie Wayne regarded the YouTube and viral campaigning associated with moneybombs as an unexpected new trend in campaign finance. Wayne found the November 5 event a remarkable success because "the Paul campaign never even asked donors for the money. A grassroots group of Paul supporters, via the Internet, all decided to have a one-day online fund-raiser for Dr. Paul."[49] RealClearPolitics considered Paul’s two largest moneybombs to be one of the five moments that changed the 2007 GOP race,[50] and the "incredibly successful" November 5 moneybomb was awarded a Golden Dot as "Technology Impact Moment of the Year" at the 2008 Politics Online Conference.[51][52] The link[53][54][55] between moneybombs and polling results[56][57] is unclear.[58]

Single-day fundraising comparisons
In 2000, after beating George W. Bush in the New Hampshire Republican primary, John


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McCain raised $1 million online in 24 hours.[3] When John Kerry accepted the Democratic nomination in 2004, he raised $5.7 million in one day, partly over the Internet.[40][59] On January 8, 2007, a one-day call center organized by Mitt Romney raised $3,143,404 in donations[18][60] ($6.5 million including both donations and pledges).[61] An anonymous Republican fundraising strategist found a close comparison between moneybombs and smaller Daily Kos fundraising pushes, and looked forward the possibility of "efforts to replicate this performance".[47] In November 2007, the New York Times and the Associated Press stated that the oneday fundraising record among 2008 presidential candidates was held by Hillary Clinton for raising $6.2 million on June 30, 2007.[18][62] Other sources awarded Paul the one-day record for the December 16 event,[63][64][65] while the Times and AP did not mention Clinton’s total in their December coverage.[40][41] On December 15, 2007, Dennis Kucinich raised $131,400 from approximately 1,600 donors.[66] On February 5-6, 2008, in the aftermath of the Super Tuesday primaries, Barack Obama raised at least $3 million from 7 p.m. to 7 p.m. EST.[67]


[1] Friedman, Jon (2008-04-04). "Ron Paul, Gone But Not Forgotten, Could Teach The Media a Lesson". MarketWatch (Fox Business). markets/industries/media/article/ronpaul-gone-forgotten-teach-medialesson_548653_15.html. Retrieved on 2008-04-08. [2] Davies, Frank (2008-01-20). "Primary preview: Ron Paul’s anti-war bid powered by Net activists". Mercury News. elections/ci_8025814. Retrieved on 2008-03-07. [3] ^ Wolf, Z. Byron (2007-11-06). "Who are Ron Paul’s Donors? Republican raises stunning $4.3 million online in 24 hours". ABC News. Politics/Vote2008/ Story?id=3822989&page=1. Retrieved on 2007-11-27.

[4] Geraghty, Jim (2007-11-21). "Fred Bloggers Aim For Big Wednesday Before Black Friday". National Review. post/ ?q=Mzg2MTc0YmQzNzc5YTBhZGJiZjg3NTE0ODFkM Retrieved on 2007-12-08. [5] ^ Stirland, Sarah Lai (2007-11-12). "Barack Obama’s Supporters Emulate Ron Paul’s". Wired. 11/in-role-reversa.html. Retrieved on 2007-12-06. [6] Vogel, Kenneth P (2007-11-27). "Paul supporter hopes lightning will strike twice". The Politico. 1107/7055.html. Retrieved on 2007-11-27. [7] ^ Vogel, Kenneth P (2007-12-17). "’Money bomb’: Ron Paul raises $6 million in 24-hour period". USA Today. election2008/2007-12-17-ronpaulfundraising_N.htm. Retrieved on 2007-12-19. [8] ^ Wolf, Z. Byron (2007-11-28). "Ron Paul ’Moneybombs’ Fizz For Other Candidates". Political Radar (ABC News). 2007/11/ron-paul-inspir.html. Retrieved on 2008-03-06. [9] "Jazz Listings: Jesse Elder Quintet". New York Times. 2007-09-28. arts/music/28wjazz.html. Retrieved on 2007-11-27. [10] Orthmann, David A. (2005-03-30). "Jesse Elder Quintet". All About Jazz. article.php?id=16959. Retrieved on 2007-11-27. [11] Staff Selections (2007-11-27). "Ron Paul ’Money Bomb’ History Staked". FreeMarket News Network. WorldNews.asp?nid=51889. Retrieved on 2007-11-27. [12] Staff Selections (2007-11-13). "Ron Paul USA Today Ad Run Today - UPDATE 4". Free-Market News Network. WorldNews.asp?nid=51343. Retrieved on 2007-11-27. "Jesse Elder is said to have coined the phrase ’Money Bomb’ for the Ron Paul donation days."


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[13] "RonPaulMoneyBomb (identity)". [22] ^ Levy, Jacob T (2007-11-06). "Ron Paul YouTube. 2007-10-14. and the Real Meaning of Guy Fawkes Day". New Republic. RonPaulMoneyBomb. Retrieved on 2007-11-27. open_university/archive/2007/11/06/ron[14] Wolf, Z. Byron (2007-12-07). "Supporters paul-and-the-real-meaning-of-guyPump Ron Paul Full of Hot Air: A ’Ron fawkes-day.aspx. Retrieved on Paul Blimp’ Readies for Take Off". 2007-03-06. Politics (ABC News). [23] Kuhnhenn, Jim (2007-11-05). "Paul Raises More Than $3.5M in One Day". Story?id=3965657&page=3. Retrieved Washington Post. on 2008-03-06. [15] "WHOIS Search Results: content/article/2007/11/05/". Network AR2007110501643.html. Retrieved on Solutions. 2007-10-16. 2007-12-06. [24] Geraghty, Jim (2007-11-12). "What’s The results.jsp? Worst Possible Day For a Fundraiser?". Retrieved on 2007-11-27. National Review. [16] ^ Dinan, Stephen (2007-11-06). "Paul breaks single-day online fundraising post/ record". Washington Times. ?q=NzdlMWQ1ZjQ3MTk5MDRkZGIwZTY2ZDkwMDR Retrieved on 2007-11-27. 20071106/NATION/111060023/1002. [25] Brooks, Jennifer (2007-11-26). "Fred Retrieved on 2007-11-12. Thompson’s money man steps it up: [17] "The Ron Paul Phenomenon". NOW Chief fundraiser exudes confidence". The (PBS). 2007-12-10. Tennessean. apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071126/ watch?v=L3NtysJ5WI0. Retrieved on NEWS0206/711260368/1001/NEWS. 2008-01-01. Retrieved on 2007-12-11. [18] ^ Kirkpatrick, David D (2007-11-06). [26] Levy, Joshua (2007-11-26). "Daily Digest: "Candidate’s Pleased to Remember This Get Ready for the CNN/YouTube Fifth of November". New York Times. Debate". Tech President (Personal Democracy Forum). politics/ 06paul.html?_r=2&oref=slogin&oref=slogin. entry/13913/ Retrieved on 2007-12-02. daily_digest_get_ready_for_the_cnn_youtube_debate. [19] Kuhnhenn, Jim (2007-11-07). "Paul’s Retrieved on 2007-11-27. Money Draws Attention". Guardian [27] Stirland, Sarah Lai (2008-02-06). Unlimited. "Republican Web Consultant Rips worldlatest/story/0,,-7055741,00.html. Chapter From Ron Paul Supporters’ Retrieved on 2007-12-19. Playbook". Wired News. [20] Blitzer, Wolf, and Costello, Carol (2007-11-06). "Money Bomb" (video). 02/republican-web.html. Retrieved on CNN. 2008-03-07. watch?v=cVZSuzk5Tv0. Retrieved on [28] ^ Riehl, Richard, and Wheeler, Denise, 2007-12-06. eds. (2007-12-17). "Roadkill: OffTheBus’s [21] George, Jason (2007-12-16). "Ron Paul’s Ongoing RoundUp of the Awkward, the High-Tech, Low-Experience Political Ugly, and the Just Plain Weird: Many Machine". Chicago Tribune (McClatchyHappy Returns". Huffington Post. Tribune Information Services). bus-reporter/roadkill-offthebussRon-Pauls-High-Tech-Low-Experienceong_b_77097.html. Retrieved on Political2007-12-20. Machine-60715.html?welcome=1200497910. [29] Geraghty, Jim (2007-11-25). "If Retrieved on 2007-01-16. ’Fredsgiving Day’ Went Well, We’d Have a Number By Now". National Review.


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Moneybomb [38] Rutherford, Tony (2007-12-17). "Ron post/ Paul Surpasses Fund Raising Record ?q=M2NhNzc4ODI1NzVhNWIzOWY5YmI0ZDYyMjMyMjhmYTI=. Held by John Kerry". Huntington News Retrieved on 2007-12-11. Network. [30] "’Fredsgiving’ turns out to be a turkey". United Press International. 2007-11-27. 071217-rutherford-localronpaul.html. Retrieved on 2007-12-21. Top_News/2007/11/27/ [39] Kruh, Nancy (2007-12-21). "Huckabee’s fredsgiving_turns_out_to_be_a_turkey/ rise has set the GOP rankings into 7868/. Retrieved on 2007-11-27. motion". Dallas Morning News. [31] Weigel, David (2008-02-28). "You Got Yr. Moneybomb". Reason magazine. sharedcontent/dws/dn/opinion/ viewpoints/stories/DN125231.html. Retrieved on 2008-04-08. balance_21edi.ART.State.Edition1.369a661.html. [32] "Frontrunner Sabrin Picks Kentucky Retrieved on 2007-12-21. Derby Winner and Bets His Campaign on [40] ^ Bosman, Julie (2007-12-18). "More It". News Blaze. 2008-05-03. Hiring and Advertising Ahead for Paul Campaign as the Donations Pour In". 20080503094740tsop.nb/newsblaze/ New York Times. TOPSTORY/Top-Stories.html. Retrieved on 2008-05-09. politics/18paul.html?ref=politics. [33] DeAngelis, Martin (2008-05-03). "U.S. Retrieved on 2007-12-19. Senate candidate Sabrin wagers [41] ^ Associated Press (2007-12-17). "Paul campaign cash on Derby". Press of Raises $6 Million in 24-Hour Effort". Atlantic City. Associated Press. article/ story/148851.html. Retrieved on ALeqM5hyQLduiFMFTNmeUdgpf5cMvLi6awD8TJ04 2008-05-09. Retrieved on 2007-12-13. [34] DiStaso, John (2008-04-18). "John [42] Associated Press (2007-12-17). "Ron Paul DiStaso’s Granite Status: Sununu’s collects more than $6 million in a single pockets are twice as deep as Shaheen’s". day". Los Angeles Times. New Hampshire Union Leader. naarticle.aspx?headline=John+DiStaso’s+Granite+Status%3A+An+unusual+recruitment+tactic+by+th paul17dec17,1,7570032.story?coll=laRetrieved on 2008-05-09. politics-campaign. Retrieved on [35] Bennett, George (2007-11-17). "Ron 2007-12-23. Paul’s grass-roots groundswell: Next [43] Worthen, Ben (2007-12-17). "Ron Paul’s blitz: Boston Tea Party anniversary". Internet Savvy". Wall Street Journal. Palm Beach Post: pp. 1A, 26A. ron-pauls-internet-savvy/. Retrieved on Archives?s_dispstring=headline(Ron%20Paul’s%20grass2007-12-20. roots%20groundswell). Retrieved on [44] Ryan, Josiah (2007-12-18). "Ron Paul’s 2007-12-17. Base Could Give Him Post-Primary [36] ^ Stirland, Sarah Lai (2007-12-17). "Ron Influence, Experts Say". Cybercast News Paul Supporters Make History with $6 Service. Million Online Haul -- Updated". Wired ViewPolitics.asp?Page=/Politics/archive/ News. 200712/POL20071218b.html. Retrieved 2007/12/ron-paul-suppor.html. Retrieved on 2007-12-20. on 2008-03-07. [45] Associated Press (2007-12-18). "Ron [37] Ambinder, Marc (2007-12-17). "Paul’s Paul, a Republican outsider, sets fund$16M Haul... Impressive. No Buts.". The raising record". International Herald Atlantic. Tribune. 2007/12/18/america/camp.php. Retrieved archives/2007/12/ on 2007-12-18. pauls_16m_haul_impressive_no_b.php. [46] Vargas, Jose Antonio (2007-11-06). Retrieved on 2007-12-21. "Paul’s Money-Bomb Throwers". The


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Trail (Washington Post). 2007/11/06/post_184.html. Retrieved on 2007-11-30. [47] ^ Vogel, Kenneth P (2007-12-06). "The man, the technique behind Paul’s haul". Politico. stories/1107/6746.html. Retrieved on 2008-02-04. [48] Arrison, Sonia (2007-11-16). "Considering an Open Future". TechNewsWorld. Considering-an-Open-Future-60322.html. Retrieved on 2007-12-12. [49] Wayne, Leslie (2007-12-19). "Uncovering New Trends in Campaign Finance". Business Journalism (Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism). pages/biz/2007/12/ uncovering_new_trends_in_campa/. Retrieved on 2007-12-19. [50] Wilson, Reid (2007-12-28). "5 Moments That Changed The GOP Race". Politics Nation Blog (RealClearPolitics). politics_nation/2007/12/ 5_moments_that_changed_the_gop_1.html. Retrieved on 2008-01-16. [51] Kellner, Alex (2008-03-10). "2008 Golden Dot Award Winners". Institute for Politics, Democracy and the Internet. 03/10/2008-golden-dot-award-winners. Retrieved on 2008-03-19. [52] Kellner, Alex (2008-02-11). "Golden Dot Awards voting open to public". Institute for Politics, Democracy and the Internet. 02/11/golden-dot-awards-voting-open-topublic. Retrieved on 2008-03-19. [53] Malcolm, Andrew (2007-12-15). "The mystery man behind Ron Paul’s millions". Top of the Ticket (L.A. Times). washington/2007/12/ ronpaulphenom.html. Retrieved on 2007-12-20. [54] "GOP Poll: Romney Opens N.H. Lead". NBC. 2007-11-19. politics/14642094/detail.html. Retrieved on 2007-12-07. [55] HNN Staff (2007-11-30). "Ron Paul’s Fundraising Surpasses Former GOP

Frontrunner Fred Thompson". Huntington News Network. 071130-staff-politicalronpaul.html. Retrieved on 2007-12-20. [56] Nichols, John (2007-11-20). "N.H. Gop: Romney Leads, Rudy Slips, Ron Paul Rises". The Nation. campaignmatters?bid=45&pid=253046. Retrieved on 2007-12-20. [57] Babington, Charles (2007-11-15). "Ron Paul Collecting Fans, Big Money". Associated Press. 20071115/D8SU2GF00.html. Retrieved on 2007-12-20. [58] Cafferty, Jack (2007-12-17). "Ron Paul’s "money bomb"?". CNN. 17/ronpaul%e2%80%99s-%e2%80%9cmoneybomb%e2%80%9d/. Retrieved on 2007-12-20. [59] Justice, Glen (2004-11-06). "Kerry Kept Money Coming With the Internet as His ATM". New York Times. politics/campaign/ 06internet.html?pagewanted=all. Retrieved on 2007-12-19. [60] "Contributions by Date: Romney for President Inc.". Federal Election Commission. 2007-10-19. C00431171/A_DATE_C00431171.html. Retrieved on 2007-11-30. [61] Cillizza, Chris (2007-01-09). "Romney Raises $6.5 Million in One-Day Blitz". Washington Post: p. A06. content/article/2007/01/08/ AR2007010801710.html. Retrieved on 2007-12-19. [62] Walensky, Robyn, and the Associated Press (2007-11-06). "Ron Paul Sets Online Fundraising Record with $4.2 Million in One Day". Fox News. 0,2933,308404,00.html. Retrieved on 2007-12-06. [63] Vargas, Jose Antonio (2007-12-17). "Ron Paul Beats Own Fundraising Record". The Trail (Washington Post). 2007/12/17/


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ron_paul_beats_own_fundraising.html. Retrieved on 2008-01-16. [64] Levings, Darryl (2007-12-17). "The Buzz: John McCain". Kansas City Star. story/408008.html. Retrieved on 2008-01-16. [65] "Ron Paul raises over $6 million in one day". Shakopee Valley News. 2007-12-17. 4389. Retrieved on 2008-01-16.


[66] "Congratulations!". December 2007. Retrieved on 2007-12-20. [67] Babington, Charles (2008-02-07). "Obama Raises $3M Post Super Tuesday". Associated Press. ALeqM5isOFwdbq0tsqatW6vJpkDRTI1gMgD8ULHM Retrieved on 2008-02-07.

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