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Thursday, March 30, 2006

Put Burner Over the Top

Posted by on March 30 at 13:35 PM

Wouldn’t it be nice if we had publicly financed campaigns? Wouldn’t it be great if a candidate’s perceived chances weren’t so wrapped up in her ability to raise money? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the national Dems didn’t use fundraising as their only yardstick when measuring a candidate’s local support?

Yeah, that would all be great. Swell. And let’s work toward making publicly financed campaigns a reality. In the meantime, though, let’s be realistic. The national Dems are paying attention to Darcy Burner’s race and they’ve got a bunch of money to dump on her—provided she raises $320,000. By tomorrow. Burner has already raised $281,000, and if she can pull in the remaining 39K by tomorrow she’ll likely get $250,000 in new funds from the national Dems.

Burner is running in Washington’s 8th District against first-term Republican Dave Reichert. Her race is one of only a handful of truly competitive U.S. House races in the country. If Dems, progressives, and liberals are serious about grabbing some real power in D.C. and finally holding the Bush administration accountable, then we have to get serious about opening our checkbooks and supporting candidates like Darcy Burner. (You can learn more about her by reading Eli Sander’s recent profile of Burner.)

You can make a contribution by visiting Burner’s website, or you can phone in a donation by calling 425.454.0402. We can do this—yesterday Burner raised $20K. We can put her over the top today.

If you’ve been thinking about making a donation, do it right now. I already contributed $250 and I’m going to call right now and contribute another $100. You don’t have to give that much—small donations don’t just represent money in the bank, they’re also a measure of a candidate’s grass-roots support. Give what you can and help end the GOP’s stranglehold on our national government.

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The last link in your post is broken (I think). Take a look.

Dan, thank you for posting this. I hope everyone who's even thinking about the 8th District - or the makeup of the House at all - will consider making a donation. I recently ran for office myself, and I'm here to tell you the fundraising is the ugliest, dirtiest part of the job. And Darcy was one of my supporters during my campaign - she gave me a donation at HER OWN KICKOFF - so you better believe my donation is going to her today!

Apparently there's house party for her in Seattle tonight. It's on her website.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if George Soros (Just Another Billionaire for Bush) rode to the rescue & put Darcy on the front Burner? Soros burned & crashed in his attempt to buy 1600 for Very Hairy Kerry (Just Another Billionaire ...) in 2004, but he surely can buy the east side, & have chump change left over. Thank *** for McCain/Feingold. Wouldn't it be wonderful to buy even more "reform."

That's really neat. Why is she a good candidate for Washington's 8th District? Neither you nor Eli have much of an answer to this question besides, "She's a Democrat and she's not Dave Reichert."

If you'd have listened to her on Dave Ross yesterday, you'd know she is a kick-ass candidate.

I gave. It seems rare to donate for a Dem who's in state. I've made several donations to out-of-state Dems in the last few years but none to locals.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we had publicly financed campaigns?

It would be just as nice as having government employees working on campaigns instead of citizen volunteers and having government journalists endorsing candidates instead of blogs and newspaper editorial boards.

D Huygens, give some examples, even if they are vague paraphrases of what she said. I'm genuinely curious.

Although I'm all for more Democrats in the House, I just spend a plane ride reading Freakonomics. This section is relevant to the fundraising issue:

. . . the amount of money spent by the candidates hardy matters at all. A winning candidate can cut his spending in half and lose only 1 percent of the vote. Meanwhile, a losing candidate who doubles his spending can expect to shift the vote in his favor only by that same 1 percent. What really matters for a political candidate is not how much you spend; what matters is who you are.

To Gomez: Just a dem, and not Dave R are good reasons to me.

And to Dan, I would be curious to see more campaign financing talk from you. I can never decide how I feel, yes, the sums of today's campaigns are out of control, and yes, elections can maybe be bought, but there are other angles that support campaign finance similar to today's model--ie doantion based. I've worked on campaigns that out-spent their oponents 10 fold merely because the rich ass running (sorry--I worked for a consultancy) could write the check, but still lost because they never attended an event or rang a doorbell.

Also--there is something to be said for the $$$= popularity/public support concept. Lots of contribution money given often means a candidate is wanted, supported, believed in by a certain (possibly majority of the) public.

So is the solution serious caps on donations, and maybe serious watchdog on where the money really comes from??? For example 100k from a 'washington' government association out of idaho, should ring bells for a Seattle tax issue, right? (anyone else know which campaign I am speaking of?) but 5000 donations of 10 dollars each should be a completely legit show of support.


truly curious as to what people think....

I just went in for a second $25. Hey, I have other responsibilities too.

My personal ideal of campaign reform is extremely simple: raise as much as you want; $500 per person maximum; and NO TELEVISION ADS PERMITTED. Not by you, not by PACs, not by whatever the hell Swift Boat Douchebags, not by Ken Schramm editorializing on the news. TV coverage is UNIFORMLY BULLSHIT. Only exception: C-SPAN, in as-boring-as-possible head-shot hour-format interviews. MANDATORY interviews, for national candidates.

Britster, they may be good reasons to you and others, but how does Darcy Burner convince a suburban moderate or conservative voter on the Eastside, who BTW is not nearly as easily swayed by such a vague liberal slant, that Burner is a better option than Reichert? What sets this rookie ex-exec apart and makes her a superior candidate over a 33 year political vet and former police chief?

It's important that Burner cross that bridge, and she's gonna need more than (D-Bellevue) and the fact that she's not Dave Reichert to do it, or Reichert's going to easily win the 8th District this fall. Voters in the 8th don't think like you and me.

I'm not saying this to slam her. I'm saying this because it's legitimately important. She's still hiding behind press releases, fundraisers, her campaign's talking heads and preaching to the choir.

Two problems with the way campaigns are financed now:

1. More than half of the personal wealth in America is held by less than 10% of the population.

2. Media companies that fail to hold political figures accountable get rich selling campaign advertising.

What if campaigns were cheap?

What if the public ran the government?

O, wait . . .

In the meantime. In the meantime, while Democrats keep waiting for the Democratic Party to mysteriously change their position on the war with NO pressure coming from constituents, the war will continue and more people will be killed.

Wake up democrats. Voting for someone who is taking money from the national Democratic Party means that you are supporting the entire machine. The machine that refuses to stop bush, the machine that allows more and more money to be used for killing people. How does that make sense?

Someday, people will wake up. "In the meantime" thousands and thousands will die.

The Democratic Party supports the war. They have not stopped the funding, they have not stopped Bush. They applaud and give standing ovations at the State of the Union. That is no oppostition. That is collusion.

You want to know why the money matters? It's far less what the money can buy - a paid campaign staff, a professional office, professional advertising - than it is credibility. I'm here to tell you, having just finished a campaign of my own, that it does NOT MATTER to most of the media or the powers that be what your message is. If you haven't raised a certain amount of money, you're a joke. Period. They won't even mention you in news articles, they won't call you for an endorsement interview - they do not consider you a serious candidate unless you spend 90% of your time grubbing for money from wealthy donors and PACs. To me, that is the crux of our problem in this country right now. It's the one problem with the campaign books being totally open to the public - the pundits and the wonks and the political junkies all handicap your race based totally on the bottom line in your campaign account.

The only thing that will change that is to get the big private money out of campaigns. A candidate should have to raise a certain number of private donations in a small amount - $5 to $25 - to show viability, then after the required number of grassroots donations are made, public financing should kick in. Without a system like that, well, folks, you gotta dance with them whut brung ya - if corporations or PACs are your primary source of campaign funds, are you really going to be likely to pass legislation they don't like?

As of Noon Friday, Darcy's campaign is only $2,000 short of meeting the goal.

Erin - What total bullshit. More Democrats voted against the war than voted for it - based on the administrations lies and manipulations. Most - not all, but most - would choose differently today, based on what we know now.

There is massive grassroots opposition to the war - I'd challenge you to go find the Democratic organization in your legislative district and see how many Democrats there support it.

Why don't you wake the f*ck up? The ONLY way we are going to start ending this war (and stop the next one - Iraq? Syria?) is to get Democrats in control of one or both houses of Congress.

I'm here to tell you, having just finished a campaign of my own, that it does NOT MATTER to most of the media or the powers that be what your message is. If you haven't raised a certain amount of money, you're a joke. Period.

Oh, so our country's government IS an Aristocracy. Okay, good to know. I was wondering.

Hi Mark :)

Why don't you look at the voting records of our illustrious Democratic senators? Money for war, yes, the've voted for plenty. Corporate welfare for companies who are profiting off the dead in Iraq. Check.

So what if most would have voted differently. Why don't they do something about that today. Why didn't they vote to bring troops home now? They are obviously unwilling to do so, and so I refuse to support them. Those that do, are supporting the war. Period.

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