Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Money, money, money

Get out your pocketbook Ethel, it's gonna be an expensive race to the White House!

Looks like the new kid on the block is doing okay in the fundraising department. Sen. Barack Obama's campaign announced that he's raised at least $25 million for his presidential campaign in the first quarter of the year, putting him just shy of Sen. Hillary Clinton, the Democratic frontrunner, who made a splash with her announcement Sunday that she had drawn a record-breaking $26 million.

Obama appears to have surpassed Clinton in several ways: He reported donations from 100,000 people, double the 50,000 people who gave to the New York senator's campaign. He raised $6.9 million through donations over the Internet, more than the $4.2 million that Clinton raised online.
Donors can give a total of $2,300 for the primary and $2,300 for the general election, and you can bet the candidates will be seeking every penny they can get.

Politics is an expensive business, and individuals with the big bucks can change the political landscape faster than you can say "Quark"! Just ask Colorado entrepreneur Tim Gill -- the founder of Quark, a desktop publishing software company.

Gill, a 53-year old snowboarder, retired a few years ago and has spent much of his time -- and money -- advocating for gay rights.

After selling the firm, he started the Gill Foundation, which has invested $110 million nationwide in gay causes over the past decade. The Gill Action Fund threw $15 million into a dozen states during the 2006 midterm elections, targeting 70 politicians regarded as unhelpful to gay causes: 50 went down. And the fund is helping transform the political face of Colorado.

Impatient with the lack of gay rights progress this past decade, Gill is pushing hard to end injustice and inequality by the end of the next decade. And recognizing that most anti-gay initiatives are born at the state level, Gill has developed a national political strategy based on successes in Colorado. "They've taken an in-state model and applied it to the entire country," says Denver political analyst Floyd Ciruli. "Gill [and his people are] incredibly strategic. They simply don't waste money. They put their funding where they can take control of legislatures." ... They're taking significant contributions and putting them brilliantly in legislative environments where a few seats changing will change the entire control of a state."

So there you have it ... from the highest office in the land, to a state legislature money talks! I still have to believe that individuals can, however, make a difference -- if they are motivated to do so. Because in the end, when you stand in the voting booth to cast your ballot, we are all equal .... well, unless the vote you cast is via Diebold.

... to be continued!

1 comment:

janie's first blog said...

while i realize there aren't enought wealthy people who would be willing to do this...invest their time and money in one cause, but wouldn't it be wonderful if someone like this could work for the other things feminist have been fighting for all these years?

grassroots organizing is effective and can spread like a grassfire in california. but with funding that may not be unlimited, but is certainly more that we can raise, especially with orginizations like NOW, that support so many causes its difficult for one person to track them all. i can't help but wonder how many opportunities are lost, simply because the financial resources are restricted, and the people to work the causes are strapped by lack of funds, and so many targets that exist today.