Viable funding for the GGC 527 or my fully clothed Matt Damon Fantasy
(Crossposted at the Greater Good Coalition blog.)
So, the fantasy here–and we have quite a few trust me–is that somebody from the Hollywood Left gets fed up with the corporatist Democrats (like, say, Matt Damon) finds this site and throws a bunch of money our way so that we can recreate American Coming Together or ACT. The difference this time is that its not run by a billionaire but someone who doesn’t have health insurance and uses (and needs) public transit. I won’t give up after one election cycle. But where would the money go? And how much would do, exactly, how much?
Well, the theory here is very simple. We believe that the two parties are hopelessly corrupt–with one brazen extreme openly fascist party (The GOP) vs. a more subtle corporate party (The Dems)–that essentially answer to the same sleazy corporate backers. This is why we got Mitt Romney’s healthcare bill as opposed to something that could have worked like single payer. This from the so called “opposition party”. Just for the record, and as someone who voted for Barack Obama, I feel that I’ve been betrayed on just about every issue of import. I wanted FDR, instead I got Hoover. I wanted an expansion of the Internet and net neutrality, instead I got possible felony convictions for streaming or cool things that the Internet can do. I wanted peace, instead…well, you get the picture. Money has essentially brought (bought) us two republican parties. The president isn’t stupid. He’s bought off by the same people who bought the republicans. He might have even thrown the last election cycle in order to give the GOP overwhelming control of redistricting for the next 10 years. He may have wanted a republican house. Why would a democrat want that? Answer: He would want that if he was funded by GOP money. Unconsciously or more likely very consciously this proves the Washington Generals theory of the Democratic Party.
The only way to change that is to get people who aren’t a part of the duopoly and are effective hard negotiators–unlike the president–into the halls of power. The party that came closest to doing that during the last election cycle was the Green Party. The Green Party got 60 members on the congressional ballot to contest house races and there were several senate races where they had an opportunity such as Arkansas and South Carolina. The Democratic Party couldn’t even claim those seats would be spoiled because their nominees had no chance whatsoever. Remember Alvin Green?
The problem with the Greens is not only do they not have any money but they don’t have the sense to ask for the money you need to contest and win campaigns. The truth of the matter is that you might be able to do that with small donations. You need 250000 (minimum) grand to contest and win a house seat. You need 2 million dollars (minimum) to contest a senate seat in a mid sized state. Cheri Honkala, who is running for sheriff of Philadelphia, could probably win with 300000 grand and give a good fight with 100 grand. She probably won’t win if the national greens give her no money and she manages to only raise about 30000 dollars. We know that viable amounts are very real and possible from what Bold Progressives and other liberal groups have done in Wisconsin.
Will the Greens ever get a clue on this issue? Beats me. And we really can’t wait for them. I’m going to ask for the money, at least. Will that work? Not sure. But someone has to try.
So back to my fantasy life. Matt Damon reads this and he says “This Greater Good guy is right on the mark. I’m going to send him 3 million dollars through my Paypal account.” Keep in mind that Matt Damon couldn’t give the Green party that kind of money because of campaign limits. I think his limit would be 2500. But he could give the Greater Good Coalition, a 527, as much as he wanted. Days later, after the booze and prescribed drugs have worn off, he might ask himself how would that money be spent.
Well, let’s say its 2012 and there are some progressive democrats, Greens, perhaps even a Pirate candidate or two in the mix. They’re good candidates who would fight for the Greater Good, but they’re underfunded or they have no funding, of course. That’s the price of principle in a scandalously unprincipled time. We can’t directly endorse being a 527, but we could indirectly support, which would be better than non existent campaigns run by the Green Party or other ineffective usual Third Party suspects. For example, if we received 100000 then we could give Cheri Honkala an actual real professional campaign.
Here’s what real campaigns cost:
State house and state senate races: 30 to 60000 dollars. 90 percent canvass based.
Federal house races: 250 thousand dollars, minimum.
Federal senate races: 2 million dollars, minimum.
City Mayoral races (average cities): 100000 dollars.
Rinse and repeat until will live in the mythic land of Norway.
Roughly, 90 to 95 percent of the money would go to political campaigns.
The five or ten percent left over would be spent on the usual infrastructure suspects: cell phones, computers, offices and vehicles. But it would be spent. And hopefully with good results. I should point out that other groups, such as MoveOn, or Bold Progressives could possibly do this but they’re too tied to the democrats. We need people who are hard negotiators who aren’t a part of the duopoly. Meanwhile, until those other groups try, we’ll be here. One hundred thousand, even indirectly spent, could put Cheri Honkala over the top. If only we had the money…
Related: New group I like called “Roots Action” that explains how trad liberal groups are just too tied to the democratic party. It’s run by Jeff Cohen, longtime media critic.
Even more related: Matt Damon has done work for third parties before, namely the Working Families Party in New York. I do have a much larger fantastical where Michael Moore and Keith Olbermann and Mr. Damon and 297 of their rich friends put in a million each to fully fund third party races in this country. That would be 300 million dollars. I would start looking at a lot of judge and attorney general races. Something to dream about…
Executive Director of the Greater Good Coalition