You Cannot Be Asking To Be Taken Seriously
As a campaign manager, I watched in awe as George W. Bush came to my home town of Indianapolis for a fundraiser. The man raised as much with one dinner plate- $2,000- as Brad might in the average two-week span. Of course, Bush is President, and Brad is running for City-County Council. I have no protest. I can appreciate supply and demand on this one. The President raised about $1.5 million with the event.
Roughly 200 people showed up outside the dinner venue to protest. The most common objections were to the dinner's price tag, with assertions made about the immorality of making politics a money game, and how $2,000 could feed so many people. Here's a link to protest video from Rtv6.
Here is my challenge to the Bush protestors: have your candidate walk your walk. Contact the person you want for the next President of the United States. Ask that person to refuse to raise any money. If that person has raised any money, ask that it be given away ASAP.
Then, see which happens first- your candidate agrees, or Bush reads the works of Karl Marx to Alan Greenspan's bedside at sleepytime.
I did a google search and discovered a site called whitehouseforsale.org. I figured that this would be a clearing house for information on campaign dollars raised by Presidential candidates. It is. Sort of. A search of their site turns up the following number of responses to the following names:
Bush = 67
Dean = 3
Kucinich = 1
Gore = 0
Lieberman = 2
Kerry = 2
They have chronicled every stop by the Bush campaign, and every dollar reported thus far. It's impressive work. It's also impressive that Bush has already raised over $54 million.
To search the site, and to read their posts, one might conclude that Democratic Presidential hopefuls do not raise any money.
Alas. In 2000, more than $132 million was raised by a huckster politician, devoid of principles, and certainly not feeding the hungry. That was Al Gore.
What about this year?
John Kerry = $16,028,266
John Edwards = $11,936,277
Howard Dean = $10,547,980
Dick Gephardt = $9,750,802
Joe Lieberman = $8,151,575
I couldn't find this info on whitehouseforsale.org. While they work hard to expose every dollar Bush raises and condemn it as evil, they don't even bother researching those on their side who do the same, though not quite as well. The info on the Democrats was found on a site called opensecrets.org. It's obviously a far less biased site than whitehouseforsale, and a much better clearing house for such information.
whitehouseforsale.org is an arm of Public Citizen. Public Citizen is the tool of Ralph Nader.
Oh, in 2000, Ralph Nader raised $8,433,778 and accepted $723,308 in Federal funds. If the White House is for sale, can we assume from this that Nader was merely one of the low bidders? If he was abiding by his stated principles, should he have even been in the bidding? Couldn't Nader have left that Federal money alone for the hungry to be fed instead? So much for his principles.
Libertarian Harry Browne refused to accept any Federal dollars- on principle. Some day, maybe Ralph can live up to Harry.
I have no problem with raising money from willing contributors to support a candidate. Money is a tool, and is not the end-all, be-all. Democrats in Indiana should know this. After all, the 2002 Democratic Secretary of State candidate Fernandez outspent his Republican rival, spending over $1 million in all, and still lost, mainly due to negative campaigning.
Maybe there lies some insight for leftists: try to be positive rather than endlessly on the attack. Promote yourself and your vision. To be negative all the time is to confirm the absence of a vision.
So, I say bully for George W. Bush. Congratulations on collecting such a fat bag o' swag.