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Dems and Repubs on giant fishing expedition
Posted By Ellen Ratner On 09/30/2012 @ 4:41 pm In Commentary | No Comments
It is getting harder and harder to open my email. In this election cycle, everyone is putting the heavy hand on raising money. It doesn’t matter if they are Democrats or Republicans, it’s always a “sky is falling” and “you can help it stay up” approach.
It used to be that the way people raised money was by phone banks and direct mail. Now, since the Internet and people having cell phones without listed phone numbers, it is virtually impossible to raise money for campaigns the way people used to just 20 years ago.
This week I thought I would produce a sample of the fundraising emails I get every few hours and sometimes even every few minutes.
Here is my most recent one, sent as I started writing this column.
From Rob Zerban, A Democrat running for Congress:
Ellen, Your response has been overwhelming. We are increasing our goal for a third time this quarter to $750,000!
My finance team just called – we are now only $9,097 away from that goal. We are making history here, right now!
Chip in another $7 to help us get our message out.
Who is Rob Zerban running against? None other than Republican VP nominee Paul Ryan. Does he have chance? Sure, but although Ryan’s lead is only single digits it is still considerable.
From the Republicans who want to defeat Obama:
Here is one that I get frequently. This is not from the official Romney-Ryan campaign but one of the grassroots organizations to support Gov. Romney, “The Campaign to Defeat Barack Obama” sent this out on Sunday.
“… We’ve now obtained a copy of a fundraising email that Michelle Obama sent out to donors to the Obama campaign that urges supporters to make a contribution to ensure the Obama FEC report shows them flush with cash. You’ll note two things we highlighted in her email: the fact that this is the most important fundraising deadline of the entire campaign, and the fact that they are approaching 10 million individual contributions since January alone.
“We must do the same as well to remain competitive. If you can afford to make a contribution of any amount from $5 up to the maximum allowed contribution of $5,000 please help us out – CLICK HERE to CONTRIBUTE.”
Here is one from the Democratic National Committee:
“There are some very big decisions for Democrats coming up in the next few weeks.
How many last-minute organizers can we put on the ground in the battleground states? How many calls can we make to get folks to the polls for President Obama and Democrats?
Those decisions are being made in the next week or two, not next month.
And the answers hinge on you, Ellen. This month’s FEC deadline is at midnight. Can you chip in right now?
I know we send you a lot of emails, but this is important.
When the clock strikes midnight tonight, this critical fundraising deadline will be over – and this game will be set.
If you can, please chip in $5 or more to help President Obama and Democrats right now.
And finally, one from my cousin by marriage, the Ohio Senate Candidate Josh Mandel:
Tonight at midnight is the deadline for our “$51 for 51″ fundraising campaign and I hope you will take a moment to make an investment to help us reach our goal. Thanks to thousands of supporters like you, we are only a few thousand dollars short of our goal to raise $51,000 by midnight tonight in order to fund our TV ad campaign as we continue to go punch for punch with Sherrod Brown and his allies.
I hope you will you put us over the top by contributing right now.
What is the difference between the fundraising tactics from the Democrats and Republicans? Nothing. They will not change one opinion. They will not get one middle-of-the-road voter to send them money. And they are all out on a giant fishing expedition.
The Internet has allowed them to go fishing as it does not have the high costs of phone banks and direct mail. The problem is that, although it costs very little to do this, it all sounds exactly the same. It’s the same bland pitch, same fever that the money has to be in by midnight so it can show campaign strength.
Will it turn the elections? Not a chance, but it sure fills up our emails. I hope it makes them money. It just makes the rest of us fed up and mad.
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