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what 1st quarter fund raising can tell us.
Published on April 24, 2007 By Sean Conners aka SConn1 In Politics
About a month ago, the 2008 Presidential candidates revealed their 1st quarter fund raising totals. We learned a few things about the election at hand next year. 1st off, it's expensive to run for President. Too expensive for anyone who doesn't hang with billionaires to even attempt. That fact alone bothers me. But the issue of campaign finance reforms won't be seriously debated in congress till 2009 if we're lucky. For this cycle, money is the beast that must be tamed if one wishes to run for President.

In a closer inspection of the candidates fundraising, however, reveals a few interesting tidbits. Not so much in the total amounts, but the sources of the funds.

Compare Barack Obama's fundraising with that of Mitt Romney. Both men exceeded expectations in the total amounts, which was widely reported. It was also reported that Obama's funds were the most diversely raised of all the candidates. He had a bigger amount of actual donors. His donors gave less per donor than anyone else's. Some speculate that this will allow Obama to get more from the same people down the road, which will be an advantage.

On the other hand, Romney's donors were few. And where did the ex- Mass. Governor's support come from? Was it from the state that elected him to the mansion? Nope. was it at least out of the northeast? Nope. Was it from the deep south, where the "ruby" is in the red of the states? Nope.

Mitt's donors primarily came from Utah, Idaho and a few other Mormon hotbeds. This reported by the Washington Post recently.

A lot of Romney's campaign touts the idea that we should put aside the majority of Americans religious differences with him when we consider giving our vote to him. He does this in the name of religious freedom, tolerence and a pledge to keep his personal religious beliefs out of policy.

And for the most part, he is right. We should, at least inherently, leave his religious affiations aside or at least move them way down the priority chart. That is, if the latter part of his stance, that his mormon bias won't play a role in policy, is true.

But how can that be to be trusted? If Mitt's donor base is primarily mormon, especially here, early on, won't he be somewhat beholden to that base which includes some radical ideologues. Whereas Obamas base is wide and diverse and allows him to represent a broader percentage of people, Romney will be beholden to these people who got him going, and surely will be giving more to support their brother in faith.

Mitt asks us not to judge him on a religious level, but I for one have a hard time with that in his case. This issue is actually more similar to the issue that was raised about John Edwards in 2004, where he got much support from his trial lawyer bretheren. But because Romney's fundraising base is a religious one, rather than a professional affiiation, people are hesitant to even mention it in fear of being accused of some sort of "anti religion" charge. And from the looks of it, that fear has been effective in allowing Romney to on one hand claim religious independence in his policy making decisions, and at at the same time draw his coffers up with the support of the people he is claiming independence from publicly.

The election probably won't come down to Obama vs Romney. But it's possible as both candidates are considered "1st tier" candidates, i.e.- serious contenders. If It were to come down to these 2, while many would be micro-analyzing a particular issue, or host of them, I would come back to this. I coud find common ground with either candidate, and in Romney's case, it wouldn't be hard as he has had a spectrum of positions on some issues over the years.

But I would rather have a President who represented a bigger group, like multitudes of common, middle class americans who gave a couple hundred, or a hundred or 25 bucks to a candidate rather than one that drew from an exclusive base of 2300 dollar donors from a sliver of american society, regardless if they are a religious group, a group of ambulance chasers or whomever. Something we haven't had in a long time.


Comments
on Apr 24, 2007
Romney would be no more beholding than Jack Kennedy was.  Besides, if he is to make it through the primaries, his support has to broaden a great deal.  Right now Obama is basking in the "ABC" crowd.
on Apr 24, 2007
Romney would be no more beholding than Jack Kennedy was


but the catholics are a much larger slice of americana than the mormons are. they are also much closer to many protestant sects in their beliefs than the mormons, who hold beliefs that no one else even comes close to. many of the differences between the catholics and protestants have been about the significance of certain ceremonies / rituals, how some people we think are in heaven are recognized and minor interprative differences in the bible.

the mormon vs. christian difference is much larger in my view. their whole belief ideology is different. their religious texts are different. and a bunch more.

plus, in 1959, there was no "abortion issue" amongst other "hot button" issues. the "does a woman have a right to choose" wouldn't come up in the political mainstream for another decade and analyzing whether roe vs wade was a good decision for another 15 years.
on Apr 24, 2007
the mormon vs. christian difference is much larger in my view. their whole belief ideology is different. their religious texts are different. and a bunch more.


The Jewish vs Christian difference is much greater as well, but I am not going to vote against a Jew for President based upon his religion. NOw would I vote against a Mormon. If they get that far, they have to go beyond their base to be elected - which means subverting their religion in the name of politics (and why I could never run).

As for Abortion, the president has virtually no power over the issue. Until the courts right the wrong decision they made, neither does the legislature. If the courts were to reverse Roe v. Wade, all that would do would be to throw it back to the states. Some would outlaw it. Most would not. But then that is the foundation of the constitution - let the people decide.
on Apr 24, 2007
As for Abortion, the president has virtually no power over the issue


a) that's not the point. today, a candidate's position on abortion and opinion about roe v wade is a litmus test in many people's minds.

and actually, the president does have some power and influence on the issue. The recent supreme court decision about "late term" or "partial birth" abortion is evidence of that. the decision is a direct result of appointments made by this president and shift in ideology that those appointments caused.

the president can also send legislation to congress on the issue.

But then that is the foundation of the constitution - let the people decide.


but it is not the foundation of the constitution for any majority to abuse the power in order to ultimately oppress a right of an individual. that is regardless of how unpopular that right of choice is. that is a major function of the judiciary. to look at any case on a constitutional level and ensure that all rights have been protected.

in many states, where they have passed ballot initiatives allowing doctors to prescribe medicinal marijuana to their patients, bush has over-ridden this decision the people have made, and doctors make with their patients, by busting people who are in accordance with local ordinance. where are the "people deciding" there? where are the state and local rights there as a conservative ideology is supposed to support? not to mention a self described "compassionate conservative?"

where 's the right wing ideological consistancy there? supporting states rights when "you have the votes" and bringing in the big bad federal governement to bully the locals when you don't is hypocritical at best.

i'm not saying that is your stance guy (i honestly forget your stance on MM) but a lot of the same people that want to see roe overturned support the senseless "drug war" which is more of an attack on american citisens and their individual rights than anything else in my view, esp where it concerns MM.

on Apr 24, 2007
I dont want to get into Abortion as I have made my position clear, and this did not seem to be about that issue.

As for Medical marijuana, I agree it was a very ham handed usurption of states rights. There is no conflict there. There is a conflict between conservatives and the federal bureaucracy. After all, this issue did not start 7 years ago. Clinton's government was just as ham handed in that respect. And I doubt he personally had any problems with it.
on Apr 24, 2007
There is a conflict between conservatives and the federal bureaucracy.


i'm not quite sure what you exacly mean by that. it's kind of a strawman issue to be against unnecessary or costly red tape that has no real purpose and only slows things down. but just about everyone, conservatives included seem to like beauracracies that serve their larger agenda. and sometimes it's the messenger rather than the message that takes center stage.

for example, in military issues. any time a democrat wants to make things more efficient they are painted as anti military. when it's a republican, they are being more efficient, businesslike and fighting waste.

Clinton's government was just as ham handed in that respect.


with waco being a fine example of the big bad federal government goin bout things in the wrong way. where i respected reno's independence and her approach in some areas, here she was way the f*ck out of line. and that is despite the result of putting that loon out of business. while few would argue with that result, the carnage and poor handling of the whole matter was an embarrassment.
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