Feb 03, 2012

Roemer qualifies for federal matching funds

By Catalina Camia, USA TODAY Updated 19m ago

Buddy Roemer has scored a "first" in his long-shot bid for the Republican presidential nomination.

The former Louisiana governor and congressman has become the first candidate to qualify for federal matching funds, the Federal Election Commission announced today.

Roemer has targeted special interests in his campaign and has vowed to take no donation larger than $100. He has not been asked to participate in any of the major televised GOP debates and doesn't register in any of the national public opinion polls.

Public money is available to presidential candidates who can demonstrate "broad-based public support." Taxpayers can designate a $3 contribution to the public-financing system by checking a box on their federal income tax form.

To qualify for matching funds, the FEC says a presidential candidate must raise more than $100,000 -- by collecting more than $5,000 in each of 20 states.

Roemer raised more than $341,000 for his campaign -- a tiny fraction of $56 million raised by GOP front-runner Mitt Romney last year. The disparity in campaign funding doesn't faze Roemer, who tweeted the FEC news and added the hashtag #GameOn.

Roemer qualifies for federal matching funds