“None of [the candidates] are serious unless they can raise $100k by June.”
I recently saw this on an online discussion about the challenges to run a campaign for the US House in 2018. Not only do I disagree with this sentiment, but I believe it underscores one of the biggest problems in politics today: you must be able to sway big dollar donors to support you in a time when there’s extreme economic inequality.
After Citizens United declared money as ‘free speech’, SuperPACs have more sway in politics than the candidates themselves. Even the news reporting on campaigns follow the money more than they do the platforms and proposals of the candidates.
In fact, we’ve seen non-serious candidates hit the news before; one wore a boot on his head, another said the rent was too damn high, and Stephen Colbert only ran for President in one state. We’ve even had non-serious fundraisers like Zack Brown’s Potato Salad Kickstarter, which raised over $55,000 and had almost five thousand backers.
Should I put on a spoof fundraiser, or sell out my integrity to the highest bidder in order to prove I’m ‘serious’ in my campaign? If 2016 taught us anything, it’s that money doesn’t buy elections. Jeb Bush should have won the GOP primary if it were simply a matter of money.
According to Scientific American, The Week, Praxis, and Freakanomics!, more money raised (and spent on advertising) does not guarantee an electoral victory. What matters is a resounding message, and a ground game to get voters energized and to not only vote, but to spread the message.
I’ve faced ‘the impossible’ before, and succeeded. Not only am I looking to be funded by small donor donations, I pledge to get SuperPACs out of politics entirely. As an ex-conservative who still believes in fiscal responsibility, I like the idea of making politicians stick to a budget, to prove that they have what it takes to run our government.
No getting massive sweetheart loans from Goldman Sachs. No massive out of state millionaire backer pulling the strings in exchange for repealing fracking regulations in your backyard.
I’m Danielle Pellett, and I’m Not For Sale. Tell your friends to get ready. Midterms Are Coming.