Tuesday, September 26, 2006
The run for the money
There was cake aboard Air Force II this week as Vice President Dick Cheney passed a milestone, his 100th fundraiser of the midterm election cycle.

Counting his Tuesday night dinner for the National Republican Senatorial Committee, the Vice President has raised $37 million dollars for the party and candidates. Not far behind in the fundraiser count is President Bush (with 68 as of Tuesday night), though he is way ahead in dollars with more than $170 million.

Republicans still hold their traditional lead in campaign donations, raising an astounding $870 million dollars between the candidates, the party and the national campaign committees. Democrats are doing much better than in the past, but they still lag more than $100 million behind the Republicans. A real bright spot for the Democrats is their Senatorial Campaign Committee, which has actually outpaced its Republican counterpart in fundraising.

Political scholar Thomas Mann at the Brookings Institution says that's likely a result of the thought of success breeding success. The possibility that Democrats might take back control of Congress has unleashed a flood of donations from people who don't ordinarily give.

A potential downside for the Democrats is the bickering that's been going on over how much money party chairman Howard Dean is willing to commit to Congressional races. Dean says he'll cough up $12 million, just a fifth of the $60 million his Republican counterpart Ken Mehlman is planning to spend. Dean insists he needs to put money into rebuilding the party's election apparatus on the state level, but many Democrats worry his stinginess with the campaigns may cost them dearly in morale and retirements if they don't capture at least one house in Congress.

There's an old saying in politics. Whoever spends the most, wins. Some analysts believe a rising tide of Democratic support may help to mitigate the fundraising deficit, though the Democrats' Senate committee chairman Chuck Schumer told me he'd still like to have the cash. The Republicans financial advantage WILL make a difference, he said.

'How much of a difference? We'll have to wait and see on Election Day.'
Posted By John Roberts, CNN Senior Correspondent: 3:02 PM ET
I don't get it at all. Between Iraq, New Orleans post Katrina, and poverty - all this money being raised and spent to increase the negative feelings people have about politicians. I know this since it is fairly safe to say that a majority of this money will go into negative ad campaigns.

I'm voting for the first party to put even a single dollar towards a true public good.
Posted By Anonymous Peter - West Sacramento, CA : 3:35 PM ET
"Whoever spends the most, wins"?
For this reason, I wish we'd figure a way to abolish the two-party system and the big-money stakes of an election and let each candidate stand alone and present their own accomplishments, values and ideas for our country. I know, idealistic !
Posted By Anonymous xtina - chicago IL : 3:39 PM ET
Proof positive that rather than living in a Democracey, we live in a Capitalism.

Somewhere along the line -- probably in the beginnings of our nation -- "one man, one vote" became a joke. My vote doesn't compare to the millions a company or an extremely wealthy person can give.

How'bout an old idea, let's limit the amount our politicians can be purchased for, say $100/voter? No companies and special interests leverageing their power against us all...just one-man, one-vote, and one hundred dollars.

Things like "by the people for the people," will be true once again. As it stands, people are elected by uninformed brainwashed TV viewers.
Posted By Anonymous Francois Gregory, Los Angeles, CA : 4:38 PM ET
Over a billion dollars raised between the two parties, and that money is spent to elect the sort of incompetent fools that lead our current government? I'm certain the money can be better spent than that.

I just hope the upcoming one and a half billion buys a more responsible government than we currently have. That too is a bit idealistic I suppose.
Posted By Anonymous James Walters, Lebanon, Missouri : 8:07 PM ET
Im afraid limiting the dollar amount of campaign donations would do more harm than good. Abortion used to be illegal, and women were forced to go to the back alley. Alcohol was prohibited and they found ways around that also. I am sure for every dollar donation they count there is many TIMES that amount they receive under the table. Politics is a DIRTY business about making MONEY. It is NOT about democracy, patriotism, or freedom of religion. Those are just the sound bites they use. Like a catchy jingle to sell the american public on the ideas that make THEM richer.
Posted By Anonymous chicago illinois : 12:15 PM ET
I want to thank you very much for the wonderful work that you are doing by covering. We africans are very appreciative of the coverage. it is really time that the world pay attention to the atrocities that goes on in African. I hope that more will be done by the world as a result of your coverage. Remain blessed. In a few years you will become the face of CNN that the world wil come to know, really.
Posted By Anonymous Davidson Ofokansi, Orlando, Florida : 10:33 PM ET
Thank you for bringing to the world the truth about the genocide in parts of Africa. My heart weeps at what I see. I can't help buy believe if the people there were not dark skinned, none of this would be happening. Keep up the good work.
Posted By Anonymous Bonnie, Omaha, NE : 8:24 AM ET
OK, so you only post the comments that you believe support your position to save the people in Darfor.

Well, here is another spin on my comment that I sent in yesterday .... forget the generators and TV sets. Send them a load of Ipods and Gameboys along with a boat load of batteries.

It will serve the same purpose to distract and capture the attention of the people doing all the killing long enough for the government to figure out how to feed and tax them. It will also reduce the attention given to sex and having babies which need to be fed.
Posted By Anonymous Steve, Dallas, Tx. : 5:56 PM ET
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