There’s a very interesting post at Daily Kos today titled “Call Time.” It debunks the myth of grassroots donors having much of an effect on campaigns; the real money comes from donors who give $1,000 or more per cycle. And candidates spend a hefty amount of time courting those donors. The problem with that:
Within those four walls of the call time room is a reality that doesn’t necessarily reflect the reality endured by ordinary Americans. Elite donors often will obsess about the obscure and suddenly, a niche issue becomes all-consuming for a campaign. Not too many of these potential max-out donors spend their time with the candidate bemoaning declining wages or sky-high unemployment. For those who can afford to fork over a $2400 or $4800 check, the economy is doing pretty well. Candidates cast away in call time for most of their political careers are exposed to a one-sided view of the world: the view of the wealthiest among us. For even the most good-hearted, man-of-the-people politician, the pressure to conform to that view can be overwhelming.
It would be nice if people running for office had an equal amount of public funding to draw from so they wouldn’t have to spend so much time fundraising and then be beholden to elite donors. I think I’d rather my money go to aid conservative candidates than have those candidates be in the pocket of rich anti-environmentalists or pro-big business supporters.