One of the drawbacks of doing what I do is being on a lot of unsavory e-mail lists, including that of the Obama
For Against America campaign. Today I got one from Deputy Campaign Manager Julianna Smoot which made me smile, though:
According to our records associated with this email address — hopefully it’s yours if you’re reading this! — here’s your online giving history for this organization:
— Your supporter ID number is: (redacted)
— Your most recent online donation was: $0
— Total amount donated online in 2012: $0
It looks like you haven’t made an online donation to the campaign yet. If you were waiting for the last minute, you’re pretty much there.
It is and you are correct, I haven’t given you a dime. Nor do I plan to. Ever. There’s a better chance of seeing pigs making midair pirouettes.
Moreover, I feel slighted that it’s a DEPUTY campaign manager putting out this appeal. If I’m that important to solicit money from, I want it from the top and not some flunkie.
But something tells me that many thousands do drop in a few dollars, and given the President’s lax standards on who he accepts money from it’s no wonder he’s probably raised $1,000 from foreign countries in the time it took you to read this sentence. Honestly, do people really think they’re influencing an election with their $5 donation, particularly when it’s a steep 40 grand to attend a “grip and grin” with the man?
In the interest of disclosure, I have donated to political campaigns from time to time, but the public record should show that usually it’s in amounts less than $100. (My fee to attend our state convention has been treated as a political donation in the past, which explains several of my donations.) So I’m certainly not a high roller among SuperPACs; my giving pattern is probably replicated by millions across the country who feel they should help out a favored candidate from time to time.
Certainly I don’t favor onerous restrictions on political giving; in fact, it wouldn’t bother me to see artificial campaign finance limits repealed – with a key tradeoff. People could donate what they want when they wanted to, but the donations would have to be disclosed on as close to a real-time basis as possible. If Bill Maher decided to skip the SuperPAC and just drop his million into Obama’s campaign coffers, ideally we would know within hours. Same for the SEIU, Chamber of Commerce, NRA, and all the other advocacy groups.
But there has always been that chicken-and-egg question about politics: did the money come into play because of the power inherent in making law, or did the law make the money possible? You know where I stand regarding the role of government – if you don’t here’s a handy resource that’s well worth the $5-8 in my humble opinion.
There’s also another point worth making. Obviously if the Obama campaign has my e-mail address they probably could find the IP address I most access the internet from. If that’s the case, one would think they could reject donations made from foreign IP addresses (each country has a particular set, which holds true in most instances. It’s not perfect, but pretty close.)
We have a very important election coming up, and hopefully the winner can begin to set things right in this country of ours. Next time around maybe he won’t have a flunkie remind me I haven’t sent anything in yet; since only one can stand for re-election you might be able to determine who I’m referring to.