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Pawlenty's kick off fundraiser haul: More than $800K

WASHINGTON — Tim Pawlenty's kickoff fundraiser netted him a week's worth of donations in one day, officials with the Pawlenty camp said.

"We raised more last night than we did last week, when we raised at least $800,000," said a senior Pawlenty official, speaking on background. About 400 people came to Pawlenty's biggest fundraiser to date, held Wednesday in the Twin Cities. Tickets were $1,000 for dinner, or $2,500 including a VIP reception.

Pawlenty told reporters before the fundraiser last night that his camp isn't aiming to keep up with Mitt Romney — who recently pulled in $10.25 million in a one-day fundraising blitz. "Our goal is not to keep up with Mitt. Our goal is to raise enough money to have at least a Buick, if not a Cadillac-level, campaign," he said.

However, Pawlenty has (next to Romney) probably the most extensive campaign infrastructure and paid staff in several states, as well as their Minneapolis headquarters.

To put the numbers in context, I asked what the campaign's daily burn rate was — the amount of money spent on staff, campaign office rents and the like — but Pawlenty's campaign declined to release it. Yet another thing on the checklist to look for in the second quarter fundraising reports, I guess.

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