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The Unpleasant Reality of Politics

It’s true that money cannot buy votes on election day. But money can buy radio and television ads for a candidate to explain their positions. It can buy yard signs and bumper stickers to raise name recognition. It can buy pizza for volunteers. It can rent the phones needed to do phone banks. It can buy the t-shirts volunteers wear outside of the polling places.

You get the idea. Money is mandatory in politics.

So it’s very disheartening to find out what we thought was a pretty reasonable fundraising surge for one candidate here was actually a personal loan. Unfortunately, Gloria Carlineo, as feisty as she has been on the campaign trail, hasn’t been able to put up very good numbers for her campaign. She has only raised about $5,200.

If she plans to serious take on Patrick Murphy in November, she would have to learn to raise money in a big way. Considering Murphy is one the Democratic Party’s new star fundraisers, and with the huge cost of doing political business in this media market, there’s no room to learn on the job.

This is why Sebastian and I have hoped that some of these Tea Party inspired candidates would consider running for lower offices. It’s not that we wouldn’t like to see them in Congress, it’s just that cutting your teeth in a race so fierce and expensive isn’t likely to end well. I would love to see some of these guys (and gals) on the ballot for state representative in some seats. Hell, there are some Bucks Republicans who I think need to be primaried.

I had a commenter on my blog the other day who admitted he has never been involved in politics before, and that if his favorite Tea Party candidates lose in the primary races this year, he’ll sit out in November. That isn’t a winning strategy. In fact, that guarantees long-term losses. What would be far more productive is for him to help us vote out the biggest tax-and-spend guy in November (Patrick Murphy) regardless of who wins the GOP nomination in May. Then, use the next couple of years to shape some really good candidates for other offices so they can learn how to raise money and build connections on a local and statewide level. That is the way to change things for the long haul.

So if Carlineo doesn’t make it through the primary, I hope she doesn’t drop out of politics. I do realize that the Bucks County GOP leadership have treated her horribly, but giving up isn’t the way to change things. I’ve been to Bucks County GOP events, so I can assure you that we will outlast them. Many of them already have a foot in the grave. It’s just a matter of time, energy, and, yes, money.

One Response to “The Unpleasant Reality of Politics”

  1. Alpheus says:

    This year represents my first true foray into politics: I attended a Republican Caucus meeting, and I ran for a position as County Delegate. (I wanted to go for State Delegate, but I couldn’t work up the courage to nominate myself, and nominations also happened rather quickly.)

    In any case, I lost that vote, became a delegate anyway because one of the other delegates couldn’t make it to the county convention, and then was late to the county convention because of misinformation in the State Republican Party’s website.

    Overall, a rather frustrating experience!

    But I’ve also come away with several conclusions: first, that I’ll almost undoubtedly run for county, state, and even national delegate positions; second, I probably won’t want to run for office (I’m extremely shy!); third, although it was too late this year, I’ll likely want to be involved in the Utah Libertarian Party as well.

    And, as for the second point, I’ve been thinking of honing my speech-making skills, by dragging my daughters out to the back yard and have them sit through a five minute speech before letting them play :-).

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