On my TV show, a semi-regular segment is entitled, "Money in Politics--Mother's Milk or Granny's Hooch." The mother's milk part derives from the saying, "Money is the mother's milk of politics." I add granny's hooch because I fear that rather than being mother's milk, money in politics is too often Granny's hooch, Granny as in the little old woman from the Beverly Hillbillies who brewed her own hooch (an old-fashioned word for liquor--my dearly departed aunt, who used to beat me at Scrabble, was fond of it).
Thus, it should come as no surprise that I'm not a big fan of raising money for campaigns. Any thought I'd entertain of running for higher office would quickly be negated by the need to raise money.
The fact that more than a hundred thousand is raised for a $100 a year seat in the NH Senate has always saddened me (not perplexed or amazed, simply saddened me).
Yesterday I heard that big labor was pouring thousands of dollars into the campaigns of some running for Manchester Alderman. Hmmm. A sentient human being would be forced to believe that if organized labor is pouring so much money into electing certain people, organized labor expects something in return. Something like more taxpayer money going for public employee contracts when they come up for renegotiation this coming year.
Don't get me wrong. There's nothing illegal about this, and as a libertarian, I support people being able to spend their money any way they see fit. Voters simply must realize there's always a quid pro quo.
For my campaign for Alderman, I expect to raise a small amount of money. I sent out a fund raising letter to those who have contributed to me in the past. I basically stated my concerns about my opponent being a no show State Rep who has proven he is unwilling to do the job once elected, noted how I will devote any amount of hours needed to bring more efficiency to our budgeting process. I also noted how a Gallup poll reveals that people believe 38 cents of every tax dollar is wasted at the local level. You can't stop wasting tax dollars unless you're willing to show up and work as an elected official.
Obviously, big labor won't be contributing to me.
I also lost one former contributor, someone who fought with me against the $55 million civic center in Manchester (it's costing property tax payers in Manchester $5 million each and every year), but this person is rather liberal and doesn't like the fact that I readily admit I support tea party principles of less government spending, free enterprise, and devotion to the Constitution.
As part of my letter, I wrote, "If you share my concerns, I hope you will consider contributing."
He circled that phrase to indicate he does not share my concerns. He also wrote a letter back suggesting I was now in cahoots with the some brothers, Koch brothers I think he sad, whom he believes are financing the tea party. No more than Soros financing the left wing loonies I thought as I went to the bank depositing other contributions (but not his).
He has the right not to contribute. I'll survive. What I won't do is change my views to pander for money.
Hopefully enough people agree with me and want to elect people like me. For example, those who read this blog might want to send a few sheckles. I'm not begging, but the address is Steve Vaillancourt for Alderman, 161 Faith Lane, Manchester, NH 03103.
Maybe I should just ask the Koch brothers for a few grand! Ah, no thanks.