Tag: campaign donations

No surrender

No surrender

I haven’t written much about Illinois state politics in recent months, largely because there’s not much going on due to the ongoing state government shutdown.

However, the website of The New York Times has published this report on how a handful of wealthy individuals, some of which aren’t Illinois residents, are holding the state of Illinois hostage by way of big-money politics:

In the months since, Mr. (Kenneth C.) Griffin and a small group of rich supporters — not just from Chicago, but also from New York City and Los Angeles, southern Florida and Texas — have poured tens of millions of dollars into the state, a concentration of political money without precedent in Illinois history.

Their wealth has forcefully shifted the state’s balance of power. Last year, the families helped elect as governor Bruce Rauner, a Griffin friend and former private equity executive from the Chicago suburbs, who estimates his own fortune at more than $500 million. Now they are rallying behind Mr. Rauner’s agenda: to cut spending and overhaul the state’s pension system, impose term limits and weaken public employee unions.

[…]

Many of those giving, like Mr. Griffin, come from the world of finance, an industry that has yielded more of the new political wealth than any other. The Florida-based leveraged-buyout pioneer John Childs, the private equity investor Sam Zell and Paul Singer, a prominent New York hedge fund manager, all helped elect Mr. Rauner, as did Richard Uihlein, a conservative businessman from the Chicago suburbs.

In short, Republican Governor Bruce Rauner, who spent tens of millions of dollars of his own money on his gubernatorial campaign last year, also spent millions upon millions of dollars of money from a handful of wealthy individuals, and now Rauner is holding Illinois hostage by demanding a Scott Walker-style far-right economic agenda that would hurt Illinois’s economy in return for a functional state government.

To the Democrats in the Illinois General Assembly and the people of Illinois, I have two words for ya’ll: No surrender! Illinois cannot afford busting unions, driving down wages, making it harder for working Illinoisans who are injured on the job to get workers’ compensation benefits, cuts to pension benefits, and every other item of right-wing economic policy that would hurt Illinois’s economy by taking away disposable income from Illinois consumers. Illinois cannot afford surrendering to Bruce Rauner and his big-money cronies from the finance industry.

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Ladies and gentlemen, Berniementum is for real

U.S. Senator from Vermont and Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders issued this announcement, via Twitter, of the roaring success of first day of the Sanders presidential campaign:

You can read more about the growing momentum behind the Sanders presidential campaign here.

To put that into perspective, Sanders raised his $1,500,000+ first-day haul with the support of small donors who contributed an average of less than $50 to the Sanders campaign. Since Sanders received over $1.5 million from 35,000 individuals, that means that the average first-day donor to the Sanders campaign contributed approximately $42.86 to the Sanders campaign. Sanders raised more on day one of his presidential campaign than each of the three Republicans who are officially running for president, and he didn’t need a handful of big-money donors to do so. In fact, Hillary Clinton, Bernie’s primary challenger, refused to disclose her first-day fundraising total for reasons unknown, which absolutely shocked me.

While the 100,000+ people who have pledged their support to the Sanders campaign represent only approximately 0.57% of the people who voted for Barack Obama in the 2008 Democratic presidential primaries and caucuses, if those 100,000+ people that the Sanders campaign is referring to are people who have pledged to volunteer for the Sanders campaign, that gives Sanders a very large base of volunteers to help convince Democratic primary and caucus voters to vote for Bernie.

The big success of the first day of the Sanders campaign is despite the best efforts of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to sabotage the Sanders campaign by using Sanders’s campaign launch to raise money for…you guessed it, the DNC. The DNC should wait until there’s either an official Democratic presidential nominee or a Democratic presidential candidate with at least the minimum number of delegates to clinch the Democratic presidential nomination before using any of the declared Democratic presidential candidates to raise money for the DNC.

Berniementum is for real, and that’s because the American people want a presidential candidate who will fight to rebuild our nation’s infrastructure and middle class.