Thursday, July 15, 2004
If his efforts raising funds for his Senate campaign are any indication, New York Senator Charles Schumer is the kind of guy that mows his lawn with napalm. As Sharon Theimer reports in The Washington Post, Schumer has collected over $25 million for his re-election campaign. His opponent, Howard Mills, has raised slightly over $450,000.
Now, Senator . . . Chuck . . . c'mon. Do you really need to take all that money to win re-election? Do you not get plenty of media time already? Do you not have plenty of chances for your message to reach millions of New Yorkers at least once or twice a week? Is the U.S. Senator from the country's second most populous state suddenly a low-visibility job?
C'mon. You don't need it. It makes your vote to increase contribution limits from $1,000 to $2,000 for federal candidates like yourself look pretty greedy, if not borderline corrupt. Worse, by taking all that money, you facilitate the metamorphosis of our democracy from a vote-centric choice-driven pact amongst the people to a money-driven cash race amongst the wealthy to cherrypick the candidate that helps their personal agenda most.
As is, the candidates who might represent the interests of the Americans who can't afford to give the Chuck Schumers of this world $2,000 are fighting with both hands tied behind their backs.
$25 million. $450,000. Is that a level playing field for democracy?