A few days ago, I received an email soliciting my interest in running for City Council myself. Apparently Jim was reaching out to kindred souls who might be more successful than he was in getting elected and carrying forward his, or a similar agenda.
What caught my attention was his comment that it would probably take about $50,000 to get elected. To a City Council!
About this same time, I noted that President Obama is in California again, raising money for the interim election. Comment was made that this makes almost 365 days of fund raising in less than six years in office. Where is the ROI for this investment and, more importantly who gains from it?
I have been active in politics since before I was able to vote. Both my mother and father were staunch Republicans, divided only by lesser levels of conservatism than what we see today. I once asked my mother what was the difference between a liberal and conservative Republican. She answered, “A conservative Republican, like your father thinks nothing should be done for the first time. Myself, on the other hand think it is perfectly all right to do something for the first time. Just don’t do it now.”
She also taught me that I should always vote for a straight ticket because that Democrat who seems so appealing at a minor state office will soon be running against a Republican on the national stage. She also reminded me that I had an obligation to financially support the party: a practice I followed for sixty years until soured by the failure of our Congress to put aside partisanship for practicality.
To the question of Return on Investment. My observation is that we don’t have a direct correlation to money spent on elections and money directly into someone’s pocket. Instead we see changes in entitlement, changes in business enticements, changes in gerrymandering, changes in healthcare delivery, and on the national scene, changes in location of where government contracts are written.
Of course the is the likelihood that a politician from my earlier state f residence, Rhode Island, may run for Mayor of Providence for the third time now that he is out of jail.
This is nothing new. As someone with 25 years in the military and one who watched the military presence in California literally disappear as the state moved from Red to Blue, I am painfully aware of the consequences of not supporting the winning party.
I know two people who have tried for election to offices of greater consequence than City Council and I polled them both for this Post. One, who ran for the House of Representatives I think has chosen to forget his experience. The other, who ran successfully for State Representative in another state and unsuccessfully for the same state’s Senate, felt the $50,000wasa valid number. Most goes for name recognition, and that explains his successful history. Primary money was difficult to raise and almost entirely came from friends and family. After winning the primary, funding came from other sources. “Funds follow winners”, he said. And that explains why incumbents are so successful. He verified that the $50,000ws probably a good number, considering the size and influence of the city.
Some time ago I wrote a Post called The Fifth Estate, which talked about the development of the Fourth Estate (my definition being The Press), as a means for the public to learn what Parliament was doing, thereby lessening the difference between the two groups. What we see with politics in the United States is an increase in the separation between the two groups: to a point where the ACA does not apply to any of the three branches of the Federal government.
And a President’s wife claims they were “broke” when they left the White House.
|Harry S. Truman|
The WSJ had an interesting article about our last modest president, Harry S. Truman, who literally was broke when he left office: without Secret Service, by rail, with borrowed money to reenter law practice.
It make for interesting reading!
Today Mary and I went to a lecture on the Early Days of Frank Sinatra. I learned a few things that I will share in my next Post. I hope to see you there.