Skip to comments.The Small-Donor Fallacy
Posted on 06/20/2008 5:06:00 AM PDT by shrinkermd
...Small-dollar donations to Obama have surged this year, and those donors became crucial in the spring as the battle to secure the Democratic nomination intensified. ...Employees of investment bank Goldman Sachs, for example, have contributed more than $570,000 to his campaign.
Another problem with asserting that small donors are an antidote to undue influence by wealthy contributors is that even small donors are almost certainly much richer than the average American.
..the Campaign Finance Institute found that more than half of donors earned between $75,000 and $250,000 a year. The median U.S. income that year was $46,000.
...big-ticket fundraising among the very wealthiest is surging into record territory. ...Obama has continued to woo large contributors at events costing thousands of dollars per plate, as has McCain. This suggests that, by themselves, small donations do not offer a real corrective to the pay-to-play system.
Neither does the public financing available to the candidates. This funding is frozen at 1976 levels, which is why Obama has rejected it -- he can raise from private sources more than the amount of the government grant. McCain no doubt would have taken the same path if his fundraising had taken off.
The idea that small donors will somehow reinvigorate electoral democracy, without the trouble of fundamentally reforming our campaign finance laws, is attractive but not yet reality. For candidates to be equally responsive to all their constituents and to open to ordinary voters the same kind of influence and access now afforded a wealthy minority, the only realistic option is to increase the amount of money we allocate to the public campaign finance system. In fact, the small-donor illusion may even be functioning as a fig leaf, averting our gaze from the continued and intensifying stranglehold that big donors have on our democracy
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...
Some weeks ago, CNN reported that BO’s second largest contributor was the CA university system. I’d like to hear more about that.
I am reminded of Hillary’s “small donors”, those amounts “bundled” by the infamous Hsu character, from dishwashers to those without even a job.
I think the rise of this “small donor” phenomina is that the fat cats have figured out a way to make it look like a pile of money is a little from a bunch of people instead of what it is.
It’s an optical illusion as I see it.
And sometime down the road, when Obama is no longer useful to them, the word will trickle out that he too benefited from the same types of people as did Hillary.
Yep, just the way McCain likes it. I wonder why his campaign finance reform bill allows this garbage to happen?!?
What that means is that employees of the CA university system (liberal professors) gave lots of money to BO. The university itself didn't give him anything per campaign finance laws.
What about all those Chinese busboys and dishwashers? Are they now going to send a thousand bucks to Obama instead of Hillary?
Have we seen any 527 ads opposing Obama so far? The only 527 ad(s) I’ve seen is that moveon.org ad about “Baby Alex”.
You have NO idea what McCain would have done!!
Jay Mandle of the Washington Post wrote the article. If he said that, that is his statement not mine.
True. Sorry I made it appear as though you had said it.