His latest political fundraising scheme
On April 24, financial supporters of Governor Ron DeSantis received 'exclusive' invites by email, offering them the chance to join the 'DeSantis Freedom Team' by signing up for a gold card membership.
The invite directs recipients to a sign-up page on the Governor's political fundraising page, where they can join a supposedly exclusive group with just 100 members. The chief benefit of this membership appears to be that they'll receive a gold 'Freedom First' membership card to carry in their wallets in return for regular, significant financial donations to his reelection campaign.
It's unclear how many of the 100 exclusive places in this club remain unfilled, but given the amount of money already raised by his organization, it may well be beyond the reach of all but the most wealthy of donors.
According to Ballotpedia.org, the DeSantis organization raised over $100 million in 2021, dwarfing the war chests of Democratic challengers Charlie Crist and Nikki Fried who had both raised under $10 million.
Beating Trump at his own game?
Supporters of former president Donald Trump may recognize the gold card campaign - earlier in April, the Trump Political Action Committee launched its own gold card scheme for his most enthusiastic donors.
While Trump is famed for seeking as much media coverage and public attention as possible, it seems that Governor DeSantis and those in his team are seeking to emulate and build upon the same model. It seems that in the mind of DeSantis, any publicity is good publicity!
That DeSantis is once again following the lead of Trump in regard to his methods is another suggestion that he may have ambitions beyond reelection as Governor. There has been repeated speculation that he has intentions to run as president in 2024, something that seems to annoy former president Trump deeply.
The DeSantis fundraising machine
Governor DeSantis is well-practiced at raising money by selling branded merchandise on his website - in the run up to Christmas 2021 he was offering branded products for sale on his website, featuring an image of him as 'DeSanta', the governor who saved Christmas.
He's since started offering other merchandise linked to the song 'Sweet Florida' written and performed by the Van Zant brothers in tribute to the Governor.
Money from the sale of beer coolers and t-shirts is just one small part of his fundraising machine though. Many of those who are eligible for the gold card scheme will likely have donated hundreds and thousands of dollars. Indeed, DeSantis' top individual donor is Ken Griffin, the CEO of Citadel Investment Group who donated $5 million to the DeSantis organization in 2021 alone.
Would you sign up for the 'exclusive' gold card offered by Ron DeSantis? Are you surprised by how much money the Governor has made as a result of political fundraising? Let me know in the comments section below.