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Friday, January 28, 2022

Devaluing Democratic Donations

Disclaimer: This lament is not about whether or not Ed Markey is a worthy progressive Democrat or whether he’ll make a good US Senator. I happily stipulate to both.

Alaska, from a progressive perspective, just got its clock cleaned at the voting booth last November. Big Oil was successful in buying itself a new, less bipartisan legislature, and wasted no time in shaking us down to the tune of $2 billion a year. Word has it that the draconian bills on social issues and against labor are on tap for the upcoming session.

Next year will also see—let’s face it—a very tough gubernatorial campaign, a ballot initiative to undo SB21, and the reelection effort of one of the most vulnerable incumbent US Senate Democrats in the land.

So you’ll forgive me for being a bit bewildered and frustrated when I saw this:



It’s nice that Democrats and progressive causes are doing so well in Alaska that we can afford to throw our scarce resources behind subsidizing a Senate race in Massachusetts. I hear the Dems out there in the northeast have it way tougher than the Begiches and Wielechowskis do here.

It’s not like our sparsely populated state, with its vastly outnumbered Democrats, has a finite amount of campaign donations to be tapped. Or like multinational oil companies and their legislative lackeys already have the means to outspend us by huge margins.

So let’s get right on it, and send some of that scarce left-of-center cash to Massachusetts—one of the most reliably blue states in the nation. How much more Democratic is that state than ours? And how far will $500 go in the enormous Massachusetts media market compared to what it could do in Alaska? Talk about devaluing a contribution. At least if an Alaska Democrat had a fundraiser in New England, they could point out how $35 is a drop in the bucket there, but could buy a radio commercial in drive time on the most popular radio program in Alaska.

When even a moderate, pro-choice Republican gets elected to the Senate from MA for a couple of years (Scott Brown), it’s an aberration.

When even a moderate, pro-gun, pro-drilling Democrat gets elected to the Senate from Alaska (Mark Begich), it’s an aberration.

So why, why WHY did anyone think asking Alaskans to divert their cash toward Massachusetts was a bright idea? This writer feels extremely confident in asserting that the limited funds available to Alaskan Democrats are far more desperately needed here than in a blue state whose affluent liberal majority enjoys far more financial parity with its opposition.

Here’s hoping that anyone who donated to Markey will consider matching or exceeding that contribution to a home state Democrat who or issue campaign that could really put those dollars to good use.

Sorry, kids. Ed Markey took your lunch money.

Sorry, kids. Ed Markey took your lunch money.



18 Responses to “Devaluing Democratic Donations”
  1. Zyxomma says:

    I’m getting multiple emails daily about the tightening of the MA race; Karl Rove and his minions are spending krazy kash. I haven’t a nickel to spare, so I just send my good vibes to the good Dems. Nothing more I can do.

  2. Kath the Scrappy says:

    Guess I’m not clear where this article is coming from. Alaskan Democrats don’t hesitate to hammer for donations from out of state either and I’ve donated to several a few times (from here in WA State). I even donated to one “Independent Party” Guy after seeing an advertisement on this very site.

    In this case Markey’s election is coming up next week – Begich has time for more fund raising before his election comes up. Disclaimer, I have donated to Markey about 3 times now, since every Dem I’ve ever donated to has been clamoring for help esp. Elizabeth Warren. We seriously DON’T need another Scott Brown tea party type in that seat.

    Frankly, I used to donate to Begich in his last election and will be thinking before doing so again. When he immediately signed up with the “Blue Dogs” upon arriving in DC and this last No Vote for gun background checks from him…will I just have to think it further through. But there’s time.

    • Alaska Pi says:

      I can only speak for myself here. I am terribly concerned about $$s for 2014 races here as we are still holding our breath as regards redistricting.
      The nasty plan which wreaked such havoc in the last election and put 59 of 60 seats up for election was accepted as ok-for-this-election-because-you-have-run-yourself-out-of-time by the State Supreme Court.
      The plan has to be redone for 2014 and the courts are pushing for it to be done NOW. Redistricting board has had every appearance of dragging it’s heels waiting for SCOTUS ruling on Section 5 of VRA which is due out anytime now.
      This all has the potential of another big mess .
      Also- IF we get the Repeal SB21 referendum on the 2014 ballot the biggest battle will be counteracting the (already started up) well funded anti-referendum groups as we go into the election. I’m saving MY $$s for that.
      I have certainly sent money to other state candidates over the years- this time we have so very much at stake here I won’t be… except to Maine.

        • Alaska Pi says:

          No- I hadn’t. Thanks!
          Is a fabulous and truly unusual .picture.
          We’ve tied and broken some records here in my part of Alaska too though they haven’t been as mind bogglingly high as some other places.
          Due to set some more in next couple days.

          My self is about worn out from the heat but I have 6 cherry tomatoes ripening. Just 6 each. But in June. THAT is a record too 🙂
          I have a half dozen summer squash coming on and that is another June record. I love my spuds and peas and rhubarb and all the greens which do well here but really, really excited about the hard-to-grow stuff coming on.
          Just wish our clouds would come in and shade moi. Whew.
          I may have to go get a parasol to twirl or something…

          • mike from iowa says:

            Most welcome news about tomatoes. I have a few plants,but if they don’t produce anything at all,I will still have spuds which I prefer. Besides the neighbors beg nme to take tomatoes in return for spuds. Buttercrunch lettuce is big enough to eat and two thirds of potatoes are blooming. Must rilly be hot in Alaska-Brian showed up near my former hometown and apparently sank deep roots as he hasn’t moved a muscle in quite some time. Hope to be able to share a photo of his moosiness in all his antlered glory. Supposed to be shading triple digits around here this week. Watered onions and carrots today. Had about two one-hundreths of rain in the last eight days. Getting dry again. Haven’t seen a single deer track in garden since I sent Bambi some supersonic whistling,lead a week ago. No,I shot over her head to let her know I am watching for her.

            • mike from iowa says:

              So of course she showed up in my garden tonight while I was waiting for supermoon. Took some serious persuading to get her to vacate. I can be very persuasive,left-handed,with my .22. No harm-no foul,either way.Got a date with the supermoon.Now where was I?

              • Alaska Pi says:

                She wanted to see your garden by the moonlight 🙂
                Even with all the dry hot weather, we are running above normal for rain though 12 miles away ( see what happens when you get away from the salt water ?! The world just goes kerflunk!)
                is a bit behind.
                I don’t know why I try to grow some things but I sue love it when they work. One year I got pie pumpkins. I figure those pies would have been worth $329.37 each if I factored in my time trying to grow the &%#$$%^&ing punkins.
                Enjoy the Supermoon! The political landscape will still be the same old mess tomorrow in the daylight…

  3. AKblue says:

    Bill Moyers on PBS tonight talked about the insidious tentacles of ALEC. (It was an update of a previous show, which will be updated further as time goes on.)
    ALEC’s hideous reach and influence is beyond any idea I had of it.
    I’m not normally in favor of influencing out of state elections, but my donations will go to local elections first, and if I can spare some, it will go to good Democratics elsewhere who can eventually break the back of this shadow government.

  4. aussiebluesky says:

    Begich was one of the co-sponsors of Elizabeth Warren’s student loans bill. Perhaps a MA-AK partnership has been established that plans to help Begich in 2014.

  5. simple mind says:

    First, I’d agree that when resources are limited, I’ll have a bias toward devoting them to local races. That being said, we might want to dial this back alittle. To say that progressive donors shouldn’t send some of their money to an important race in Massachusetts is a bit grumpy. Markey is running against Republican Gomez in a special election next Tuesday to fill the Massachusetts Senate seat vacated by Secretary of State Kerry. The race is made more interesting by the fact that former Republican Senator Scott Brown, who was beaten last election by Elizabeth Warren, somewhat surprisingly declined to run. Markey is running an average of 10 points up in most polls. Gomez’ hope is placed in a large contingent of independent voters. Senator McCain and now Scott Brown are campaigning for Gomez. No doubt this weekend will be pretty manic, but the odds looks good for keeping a critical seat helping preserve the very small Democratic edge in the US Senate. Now, I know several of the people in the list of sponsors of this fundraiser and I know they are reliable and significant Democratic donors. You might assume but there is no evidence that sending some money to Markey diminishes any donations to local politicians. You could make the argument that the success of progressive candidates in the news actually encourages progressives around the country. Either way, I guess I’d rather give progressive donors alittle more credit in being able to understand the relative importance to them of all the political races and in their ability to make their own decisions accordingly.

  6. beth. says:

    First off, I notice that nowhere on the announcement does it say *where* Congressman Markey is… Unfortunately, people who’re unfamiliar with ‘who’s in and who’s out’ for the various races, will only see “Democratic” on the beg, and donate money for that reason, alone. I bet Ed’s folks are counting on that.

    Secondly, for YEARS I’ve been grumbling about ‘outside money’ –ANY outside money– going towards local and state races. I’ve no problem with the party raising money nationwide and divvying it up, as needed, for the local/state races across the country, but funds donated by ANY out-of-area/out-of-state individuals, organizations, and/or corps to those races, just. gripes. my. soul. Big time!

    NO ONE knows the candidates (and all the baggage they carry with them) better than LOCAL folks; why should a crappolla candidate, one who’s a real sleezeball, get the nomination and/or win the office of mayor in Aliceville, SD (population next-to-nothing) solely because s/he’s been funded by $15K from the 75-member Ladies Sewing & Reading Group of Atlanta, GA? The LS&RG doesn’t have to live with the consequences of that sleezeball’s nomination and/or election…the just-scraping-by people of Aliceville, do. The consequences of ALL local and state races, the individuals living in those cities and towns *specifically* have to live with daily…the moneyed donors from who-knows-where, don’t.

    Oh…’outside money’ just gets me Soooooooooooooooooooo ticked off! Did you guess? beth.

    • mike from iowa says:

      I don’t live that far from Aliceville,SD or any other small, South Dakota town you care to name. Rethugs have concentrated on small towns and bigger cities to establish a firm base of rw evangelical nuts who in turn help them control state houses where they can rilly do serious damage to Gays and miniorities and all “those” people they want to prevent from exercising their Constitutional rights as citizens. They can outraise and outspend Dems because they are focused on taking over one city,one county,one state at a time. At the same time,I’d never have a clue as to your true feelings because you are so shy and afraid to hurt some feelings. Wish you’d learn to just let go.

  7. Carol says:

    I must have missed the details, but who are the other 2 people pictured at the end of the article? I recognize Begich, but not the other 2.

  8. Bucsfan says:

    You would think he would be able to raise enough money from states on the east coast. I wonder whose idea and was for him to come here and how that subject was broached. But then again, you are getting the world’s biggest Oompa Loompa up there at the beginning of next month for a big fund raiser. It says that the Boehner fund raiser is being held at a private home. Can I surmise that the home in question belongs to a former Democratic Governor who just retired again after running the port project into the ground.

  9. John says:

    After I give $500 to each progressive candidate (or moderate conservative like Begich) in both 2013 and 2014, then I see no problem with giving spare cash as campaign contributions to out of state candidates. Especially in swing states. Unfortunately, I don’t have that much spare cash to be giving away.

  10. Alaska Pi says:

    My few lil bucks won’t be going anywhere but to AK Dems.
    Well- maybe a couple bucks to Maine because Son of Pi , wonderful DIL and grands are there and they need to get rid of their Gov as badly as we do… but that’s it.

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