From DailyKos’s invaluable Elections Morning Digest (if you’re a political junkie, this report will feed your craving at least until tea time) comes what collaterally happens to be an excellent definition of politics.
DailyKos’s Elections Morning Digest gives us news–in an affable narrative form–from every political race throughout the country. Any district that has news, that is: who’s running, who may be running, polls numbers, political ads, political ad buys and, least attractive, how much money each campaigner has in his or her war chest.
The money thing can leave an unpleasant taste in an avid reader’s mouth, and can lead to the dark impression that running for office is inevitably linked to money. Which, in the minds of conspiracy theorists, means corruption.
It’s not DailyKos’s fault. It isn’t even the fault of our current political fundraising system, as horrifying as it seems to be. Running for office always required money.
What’s so scary now is the amount of that money, and the sense that massively rich oligarchs are buying our elections. Ergo, people who “self-finance” like Donald Trump sound incorruptible (although Trump isn’t self-financing, as it turns out: he “loaned” himself his campaign money and now he’s graciously accepting donations to pay himself back–donations from the same sort of massively rich oligarchs [Sheldon Adelson, for example] we all deplore. Indeed, now that Scott Walker has dropped out of the presidential race, I’ve been wondering where the Kochs will be spending their projected $900 million–aside from trying to buy further governorships [they already own Wisconsin, see above] and defeat terrific public servants like Russ Feingold).
Ooh, I didn’t mean to get into the Kochs but geez that’s what talking about elections will do to a rational person.
Anyway, back to what’s below. The DailyKos narrative about a “self-financed” Rich Dude in a Florida congressional race is an excellent description of politics and politicians and political campaigns, today or any day, and why the “self-financed” political hopeful is not a good deal at all.
Then, following the Daily Kos excerpt is a link to a National Memo article about what’s going to happen to all the huge and now unneeded campaign war chests compiled by all the Republicans who dropped out of the presidential race.
Let the National Memo article serve as further instructions about politics and money.
First, from DailyKos Elections Morning Digest. I’ve bolded some outstanding sentences.
•FL-18: Rich guy Randy Perkins, the DCCC’s choice to hold this competitive open seat, just declared in an interview with Politico that he’s no longer going to fundraise for his campaign. Perkins called the practice “disgusting and appalling,” and said he’ll refund contributions to any donors who ask for them back. Instead, he plans to switch exclusively to self-funding, which he’s done to the tune of $2 million so far. But this approach is both unwise and, given who it’s coming from, kind of obnoxious.
For starters, fundraising isn’t just about raising money. It’s about getting people to buy in to your candidacy and feel invested in it. Donors are the sort of people who will tell their friends and family about you, and they give you a motivated base to draw on for volunteers. What’s more, when you’re forced to reach out to people, you make political connections of all kinds, which come in handy in all sorts of ways.
If you self-fund, sure, you can pay for all the ads and consultants you want. But you wind up with a hollow operation that has few stakeholders. In a rather stark lack of self-awareness, Perkins complained, “In order for me to keep raising money, I now have to go to people I don’t know. They don’t know who the hell I am.” But that’s exactly the point! Politics is all about “going to people you don’t know” and getting them to learn who you are.
Perkins’ griping is also unbecoming because, frankly, it comes from a place of extraordinary privilege. Perkins, who is worth $200 million, acknowledged that he’s in “a unique position” because he doesn’t “have to do what sucks,” but except for one-percenters like him, everyone else does. So what is his plan to put everyone on a level playing field? Does he support public campaign financing? If he does, he apparently didn’t tell that to Politico. Rich people seldom “have to do what sucks.” But if Perkins is really a Democrat, he’ll make an effort to ensure others can enjoy the kind of advantages he has. Otherwise, he’s just whining.
And if you’re not buried under all these $$$$, read about even more major money and what’s going to happen to it:
Source, The National Memo: What Happens To All That Anti-Trump Money Now?
The real money is in the anti-Trump super PACs that have lost their mission.