There are certainly a lot of tempting political races to contribute to these days, and I definitely favor the list of Washington State Democrats for support. We've got some great candidates, a wonderful incumbent Senator who was one of the few to stand against the force authorization bill, and a state whose suburban areas have been trending blue (unless they're just trending frustrated). But knowing that I don't have much money to hand out in the next month and a bit, I want to make it count.
But their efforts may not make the final bill because they have no say in the conference committee:
...A little understood fact about legislation over the past few years is that even once bills are passed, they have to be worked into a compromise between the two chambers, and since both sides consist of or are dominated by GOP Leadership, they often simply churk whatever Karl Rove and Tom DeLay don't like. This has often worked out conveniently for rank and file Republicans, because they can vote for something such as giving all Members of Congress the same health care as they give to seniors, knowing that it will be stripped by GOP Leadership later on. Needless to say, this arrangement essentially deprives Democrats (representing half of the country mind you) of virtually any leverage. ...
A Democratic majority in the House would ensure the safety of this rebuke to the Bush administration's assault on an important component of many families' incomes. If Democrats take the House, they can either be a thorn in Bush's side, or a necessary gift to a Kerry administration. Interest in their races will likely help the party all up and down the ticket, proving an effective way towards getting our voices heard at all levels of government.
House Democrats are regularly heard speaking out for values that represent the economic interests of the working class, and keeping the party in touch with the social concerns of their districts. They are only 12 seats away from winning a majority in the House. Which 12? Who knows.
Candidates report their fundraising every quarter, and the amount of local money available to spend in any race is usually a known quantity. When a candidate has good prospects but runs out of cash in the last crucial weeks of an election cycle, it can leave them defenseless. It's then that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee can swoop in with a couple hundred thousand dollars and tip the whole thing our way.
The key is the element of surprise, and the relatively small amounts that it takes to swing a Congressional District. The important Senate races are obvious, but House races can remain fluid, sometimes until the final weeks. It isn't always clear which House races are the important ones until the last minute, and any type of public fundraising drive has the problem of a) being slow, and b) tipping our hand.
At this stage in the election cycle, the amounts involved make DCCC contributions one of the most effective uses of small donor funds on a national level. I don't make direct fundraising pleas here very often, but it's crunch time in the political fight of our lives. Here at Pacific Views, I'm setting a goal of $500 raised by election day, and would ask that everyone give at least $5 towards this strategically important organization.
(Add $0.05 for Pacific Views)Posted by natasha at September 9, 2004 08:46 PM | Activism | Technorati links |