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.