Wednesday, September 27, 2006

It’s About the Community!

Study Shows GOP Fundraising Edge Is Slipping; By Greg GirouxCQ

According to Congressional Quarterly;

In the first 18 months of the 2005-06 campaign cycle, the six major national party campaign committees reported raising a combined $574 million, of which $334 million, or 58 percent, was collected by the GOP organizations: the Republican National Committee (RNC), the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) and the National Republican Congressional Committee(NRCC).

Their Democratic counterparts — the Democratic National Committee (DNC), the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) — raised $240 million, or 42 percent, of the two-party total.

While the GOP advantage is substantial, it is actually smaller than the Republicans’ edge at a similar point in the competitive 2004 campaign. At the 18-month mark of that campaign cycle, the party’s three committees collected $385 million and the Democrats took in $230.6 million (63 percent to 37 percent). The GOP committees, through June in this cycle, raised about $51 million less than in 2004, while the Democrats raised about $9 million more.

“What these figures suggest is that both parties are continuing to demonstrate financial strength in the midterm cycle, and that both parties are continuing to benefit from this highly partisan and polarized environment, which is conducive to party fundraising — but that the Democrats are doing much better on a relative basis than has been the case in other recent midterm elections,” said Anthony Corrado, a government professor and campaign finance expert at Maine’s Colby College.

The shift was even more pronounced in the Senate committees’ fundraising, with the Democrats emerging with a substantial advantage. In the first 18 months of the 2005-06 election cycle, individuals donors gave $145.1 million to Democratic Senate candidates and $102.3 million to Republican Senate candidates — a bigger edge for the Democrats than in 2004, when the parties’ Senate candidates were much closer to parity in such contributions.

The same filing revealed that Majority Action recently received contributions of $120,000 from George Soros, the liberal billionaire financier who also heavily backed liberal 527 groups in the 2004 presidential election, and $100,000 from Linda Pritzker, an heir to the Hyatt Hotel fortune who is also a generous Democratic Party

One busy Republican-aligned 527 is the Economic Freedom Fund, which has aired television ads attacking Reps. Alan B. Mollohan of West Virginia and Jim Marshall of Georgia in their home districts.

Comment: This is really the first year I have looked at the nation-wide senate races strongly; due mostly to my interest in repealing the 17th Amendment, but it seems to me that there is a huge amount of outside support and influence contributing to the current 2006 Senate races.

While I am opposed to any restrictions on campaign contributions –it violates the 1st Amendment- the obvious is that something has to be done to control this outside influence and the staggering amounts of money being spent on these campaigns. We are at a point where special interest groups have more influence over the Senate than the people that elect them. We certainly find this in a number of Senate races, such as the ones in Washington, Michigan, Ohio, Connecticut, Virginia and Maryland.

By repealing the 17th Amendment every community in every state would have the opportunity to elect their senator. In truth, it was about the “communities.” The towns, districts, and boroughs, of this country electing our officials. Look at it this way, a community sends their representative to the U.S. House of Representatives, while at the same time ones community representative in thier repective General Assembly or State Legislature elected their representative for the U.S. Senate. So in actuality, it was the community that elected the majority of government officials; not the state as whole or in our example the special interest groups. It all about the community and until we turn back the 17th Amendment we will see a further erosion of our communities.

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