Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Why are We Calling this a Race?

Kristie Holmes for Congress: Why are We Calling This a Race?
Why are We Calling This a Race?

To raise money for a political campaign (Federal) you must have an FEC number.  (Federal Election Commission, to track money).  Unless you are already a politician, you don’t have one.  Mine arrived on April 15th in the evening mail- 16 days after the first quarter reports were due.  So if this “race” is about fundraising, I was grounded on the sidelines.  It took more than three weeks to receive my “number” after the second form (signed by the treasurer) was mailed in. 

It would be helpful if voters knew that this candidate did not raise money in this quarter (and the only one to report before the election) because they were not allowed to.

Yay for everyone who already had one- and was able to raise half a million dollars- or a million dollars in the time I had to wait. Instead, these first quarter reports generated a glut of articles that discussed the "frontrunners" in terms that had absolutely nothing to do with the job we are all running for. Just money that some were allowed to raise, while others were not- with different start times.  With absolutely no one mentioning this fact.

I read about FEC grace periods and extensions when feeling the pressure and the questions,  but when I called the FEC, they were kind, pointing out the fact that it had to be snail mailed, and “you want to make sure we actually got it.”  I’ve had enough experience with things not making it to their destination on more than one occasion.  This wasn’t the time to take a gamble just to hear, “I’m sorry, we haven’t received your forms.”

When I was asked earlier today about our “cash on hand” by yet another Democratic Forum leader, after they were unable to find my first quarter FEC reports, I responded:
It's no good fundraising when you don't have an FEC (number)...you can go to prison rather than Congress

I haven't had a response to that email yet. 
          In watching other races as well as my own, I have begun wondering,
What type of race: 

1.     Has participants playing by different rules, that change as they go?

2.  Allows people to lend their own money to themselves to count as “fundraising”.  Yay for me, I have one million dollars I can put in my own campaign account (but truly, I would prefer this to owing favors in that price range)!

3.  Counts money as “raised” regardless of debt coming in to race from previous campaigns?  (Yes I realize that people argue about this online-who really has the most “cash on hand.”)
4.    Focuses on money in any account rather than the actual candidate and their ability to make an impact in a completely dysfunctional Congress if they are elected? 

It frightens me to think that voters take money as a sign that a Candidate is trustworthy because they attract money.  (They very well may be, but what other measures are we using?).  We should be careful and wonder why someone attracts so much money.  Do we think that being "well connected" is a good thing?  What type of experience do we think is necessary?  What moderates their speech?

Race (defined)

1.  A competition between runners, horses, vehicles, boats, etc., to see which is the fastest in covering a set course.

2.  To move or progress swiftly or at full speed.

If you love this photo as much as I do- there are more where they came from here:

You can follow Kristie at @DrKristie or on Facebook
 at http://www.facebook.com/KristieforCongress

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