Wednesday, August 30, 2006

More on "Open" Political Fundraisers

In Nicholas Johnson, "Hat's Off to Senator Dvorsky," August 29, 2006, I bemoaned politicians' willingness to put a ticket price minimum on events, giving the impression that politics is all about money, limited to the wealthy in a perpetuation of a class system, the extreme extension of the poll tax in the old South, a game in which you must "pay to play" if you want to talk to your elected public officials.

It was the contrast with this practice represented by State Senator Bob Dvorsky's forthcoming event at which "contributions welcome" was the only "minimum," that caused me to give him the first "Hat's Off" Award to a politician.

In my effort to avoid partisanship, I used a forthcoming event featuring Senators Harkin and Obama, at which donors could have their picture taken with the two senators for a $1000 contribution.

Now that it turns out that Senator Grassley, like Senator Dvorsky, is also willing to attend fundraisers with no minimums -- as I'm about to report -- my efforts to be non-partisan will fail unless I also report the contrast between Senator Harkin's price for a photo and the price charged at Congressman Nussle's fundraiser attended by President Bush: $10,000 -- ten times as much! (Se, e.g., Chris Woods, Political Forecast, "IA-Gov: Bush fundraiser and Dems rally/suppers update," April 11, 2006.)

OK, now for the Grassley report.

K.L. Snow, Diary of a Political Madman, kindly noted my "Hat's Off to Senator Dvorsky" entry with a link from his "Access for a Price," August 29, 2006.

Soon thereafter the following comment to his entry appeared, which I will simply reproduce in its entirety:

At 6:49 PM, John Hulsizer said…

"I am writing because I found this very interesting. On Friday I am doing exactly this, having a fundraiser right here in Dubuque. I am however having a FREE greet and meet with Senator Grassley. I grew up as a pastor's son, so I know very well what not having money is like. Most of my close and personal friends do not have the $50 - $100 per person to attend a fundraiser, just as many others in my community. I contacted Senator Grassley and asked if he would come to help me raise money here, I explained my idea of inviting all parties not just Republicans and not having a price to attend. Senator Grassley thought I had a fantastic idea and scheduled Dubuque as one of his very few, fund raising stops. My decision is based on getting the word out to as many people and if they decide to contribute, great and if not that's great too because they didn't have to pay to meet the Senator."

John Hulsizer, Jr., is the Republican candidate for Iowa Legislature, House District 27. His Democratic opponent is Pam Jochum. The "Iowa Prosperity Project" has an interesting service, asking candidates for their positions on various issues. The page for the Hulsizer-Jochum race is here.

No comments: