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Two Shocking Truths Behind Election Spending: $10.2 Billion Estimated for 2024!

In this newsletter:

 

 

  1. Reimagining Election Finance: A National Challenge

  2. Advisory Board Meeting: Sponsor a Board Member

  3. The Darkside Of Political Excess

  4. Dominick Bonny: Christian Nationalist Antigovernment Group Setting Up Compound in Washtucna, Wa.

 

Next newsletter: Where Have Our Children Gone?



1. Reimagining Election Finance: A National Challenge


The cost of elections has become a national problem, and we must find a better way to manage the democratic process of elevating individuals to the role of public servants. According to NBC News, the cost of elections is estimated to be four times higher in 2024 than in 2016. With each battleground and high-profile election, costs are reaching unprecedented levels, often unjustified.



Election cycle politics primarily focuses on fundraising and winning the election. However, I believe both of these goals are flawed. Firstly, fundraising is not merely about appropriately funding a race; it has become an industry where profitability is the primary goal. This has led to an uncomfortable arrangement between politicians, constituents, and consultants. Politicians are pressured to raise sufficient funds to avoid losing, constituents are persuaded to donate to ensure their candidate's success, and consultants operate within this system.


In 2022, the top four Senate races collectively spent close to $600 million, arguably far beyond what was needed. This is a staggering amount of money raised by each candidate, with Democrats raising what many consider an excessive amount, far surpassing their Republican counterparts (USAFacts). The proportionality no longer makes sense and this leads to my second contention on whether winning an election is the correct goal? 

A presidential election is undoubtedly crucial, but for the House and Senate, retaining control of their respective chambers is paramount. According to FEC-reported finances for Senate and House races from 2018 to 2022, the average spending for a Senate race was $3 million, while a House seat averaged a mere $665,000. It's perplexing to consider that if the $200 million raised by the top four Democrats over their Republican opponents had been distributed more evenly, rather than solely focused on holding the Senate, we might have achieved a supermajority.



Where does this money come from? Not surprisingly, it does not primarily come from their home districts. As shown in the chart above, the percentage of funds received from out-of-district sources ranges from 59% for Rubio to 91% for Warnock. It's hard to imagine that there were no other races closer to home for donors that were equally or more deserving of funding. If you live in Central or Eastern Washington, you know that we lack state representation, have no voice in the US House, and our local elections often feature disproportionately far-right candidates. So, before you donate $25 to a candidate on the other side of the country, please consider this article. Unless it's for the President, contrary to popular belief, it's not the most crucial race in the nation.

 

This is the first in a multi-part series and here are some additional links you might be interested in:


  1. Sponsor a Board Member!


Saturday March 16th in Sunnyside is the big day and we are rolling up our sleeves to work hard. The work we are doing is paying great dividends and will make a difference in this election and all to follow. Sponsor one or more of our Advisory Board members. $10 gets coffee and a bagel. $25 gets a good brain energizing lunch and $30 buys dinner and a well deserved beer. $1,000 can sponsor the day. We will be joined by some excellent coaches: Amy Peters and Maria Fernandez along with guests from the Sunnyside and Prosser city councils.




3.  The Darkside Of Political Excess


Did she ever have a chance? If you follow any of her social media channels, you will immediately know who Katie Porter is. She was the Democratic Representative from California’s 47th district who, with little more than a whiteboard and simple math, made CEOs crumble before her. She was magnificent. So why, when she ran for Dianne Feinstein’s open seat against Adam Schiff (D) CA-30, did she get treated so poorly? In an article by The Washington Post, it was made clear that Schiff and supporters spent $11 million to ensure she did not make it through the primary. Your first thought might be that he spent it on his advertising, but you would be wrong. You might think he ran negative ads against her, and whereas that would be cheap, it would still be within the rules, but you would be wrong. If you guessed that he ran ads to promote the Republican opponent Steve Garvey so that he would get through the jungle primary (top two vote-getters), you would be right. I have seen low in my day, but that is beyond the pale. Katie Porter had more adversaries than just Schiff. An article published by Slate stated that the Winklevoss twins kicked in another $5 million to make sure she did not make it through the primary. Do the simple math here: Adam Schiff was so intimidated by her capability that he spent a huge sum to promote a Republican opponent to shut her out, and the Winklevoss twins spent $5 million of their own money to make sure she did not get the Senate Seat. To me, that adds up to the best replacement for the bigger-than-life career of Dianne Feinstein not going to the best person, but to the person who was able to raise such an excess of campaign money he had enough to ruin another Democrat. Next time you are writing a donation check, remember that you know your neighbors best and our struggle is equal or more than anyone else.


4. Dominick Bonny is an investigative Reporter tracking the rise of Christian Nationalism in Central and Eastern Washington. An excerpt of his article: "Christian Nationalist Antigovernment Group Setting Up Compound in Washtucna, Wa." is below.






Meyer is the founder of a group called Veterans on Patrol and has spent the last five years irritating the townspeople of Arivaca, Arizona, and damaging water barrels in the desert left for migrants crossing the southern border. He got into some legal trouble in recent years for his role in helping a woman named Sarah Stanley take her three-year-old daughter and keep the girl from her father, who had been granted full custody of the child. He was also a part of the Bundy standoff in 2014, in which anti-government militia members took over a national wildlife refuge in Oregon and engaged in an armed standoff with federal agents.” Read the full article





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