Monday, July 02, 2007


Excitement builds in the race for the Democratic nomination. While a lot of media reports are focusing on cash totals, and the fact that Obama just shattered some more fundraising records, a far more interesting statistic stands out to me: the donor toll.

Clinton: 60,000
Obama: 258,000

Clinton's money is coming from politically affiliated, big-money donors who shell out the max because they see her as good for business (and politics) as usual. As Michael Moore's new movie "Sicko" points out, she may as well be on the health insurance industry payroll, among others. Which raises the age-old question regarding money and politics: How can anyone who accepts that much money from any industry be expected to address issues objectively? The idea behind such donations are that they buy access and influence. They're business decisions made in the best interests of business people (read: the wealthy) and the companies and industries they represent.

Obama meanwhile, has proven attractive to many disillusioned, disenfranchised voters, who have identified an historic opportunity to buck the establishment trend. Obama has been resisting the very donations Clinton is counting on, depending instead on populist support. And the donor tolls would appear he is getting it. The fact that he needs 4X as many donors to equal the Clinton's haul points to a population ready for real change - and not just the novelty of having a woman in our nation's top office, or an African-American for that matter. But a return to the idea that our elected officials are supposed to represent "we the people" - not they the lobby.

And we the people are finally figuring it out. It takes money to prevent the special interests from hijacking our options for higher office. But together, as 258,000 people recently testified, this is something we CAN do. We don't have to settle for the oligarchic plutocracy of yet another term in the Bush-Clinton dynasty. We can break away like Kelly fucking Clarkson by electing a different kind of American Idol.

One that's bought and paid for with our own money for a change.

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