Candidates need your time and your money.
So does the Lee County Democratic Party.
And, so does the Democratic Club of Bonita Springs and South Lee County.
To make it easier to donate, I've created an ActBlue fundraising site:
When national funders pay, they control.
The big national Democratic organizations don't seem to care about SW Florida, so we'll have to finance our candidates ourselves.
The big national Democratic organizations don't seem to care about our concerns, so we'll have to finance candidates elsewhere, ourselves.
Be careful with your money.
When you send your money to big national Democratic fundraising organizations, they may do what you expect or they may do what they want.
Here's an example:
In 2014, I received multiple emails from large well-respected Democratic organizations and organizers exclaiming the need for me to send them my money to support various progressive candidates in order to thwart Mitch McConnell and defeat Mitch McConnell's nefarious plans. You, too, may have received such emails.
Cheekily, I wrote back and pointed out that the way to defeat Mitch McConnell is to defeat Mitch McConnell.
I asked them if there was a way to assure that my money would go to Alison Lundergan Grimes, the Secretary of State of Kentucky, who was running against Mitch McConnell to become Senator from Kentucky.
I have yet to get a response.
Even so, I sent my money.
I sent more money when the fundraising emails were specifically for Alison's campaign.
Was I surprised when the headlines, shortly before the election, announced that the Democratic funders had decided to divert funds from Alison's campaign to candidates they unilaterally decided had better chances of winning.
As logical as that sounded, it was not what I gave my money for.
It was probably a breach of contract, but - hey! - what can one person do?
Hmmmm. Come to think of it, what can one person do?
If you have some idea - like running for office - please let me know!
The Democratic Party of Lee County is looking for good organizers and good candidates. One person can make a difference. The Democratic Party can help that person make a big enough difference to change our county.
By the way, I asked for a refund and haven't had a response, yet.
As of December, 2018, I guess they're still spending their time seriously considering my request.
Oddly, they continue to spend my money sending me and other Democratic donors emails in which they try to instill fear of Mitch McConnell while they ask for more donations.
Undermining Alison; Supporting Mitch McConnell
Here is what I have been able to piece together, although I have yet to receive a report on what actually happened - despite repeated requests.
Outrageously, the press demanded to know who Alison voted for.
We have a secret ballot in the United States for some very good historical and practical reasons.
Basically, we do not want voters to be bullied because candidates and their supporters find out who they voted for.
Alison was bullied by the press!
Alison is a public figure.
Alison did not have to run for public office, she chose to.
So, Alison puts up with the indignities, as well as the glory, of being a politician.
One of my favorite Constitutional Amendments is the First Amendment because it protects freedom of speech and of the press. With the right to speak and some reasonable comfort level when excercising that right, people can advocate for what is important to them. They do not have to accept whatever successful politicians/office-holders choose for them. They can question authority.
With protections for a free press, investigative reporters do not have to accept what politicians say, they can delve deeper to uncover more of the story.
But, along with privileges, like the protections afforded by the First Amendment, comes responsibility.
In order for the media to perform its duty of checking on the government and providing balance, it needs to further our system of electoral government, not undermine it.
The media should have more vigorously investigated who was trying to use them, and reported on that.
Instead, reporters hounded Alison like pit-bulls for not revealing who she voted for.
Even the progressive media got it wrong.
The Nation is a progressive media outlet funded, in part, through donations.
It is a well-respected journalistic endeavor with archives going back to 1865 that include "George Bernard Shaw, Margaret Bourke-White, Emily Dickinson, E.L. Doctorow, John Dos Passos, Robert Frost, Arthur Miller, Sylvia Plath, James Thurber and Kurt Vonnegut, in their own words" and probably the original published material in "The South As It Is," a series based on interviews with former slaves, agents of the Freedmen's Bureau, people who supported the confederacy and anyone else who reporter John Richard Dennett met in 1865.
The Nation supported U.S. involvement in WWII, yet was banned from libraries in Newark and New York City during the "Second Red Scare" due to McCarthyism. During the 1970s, Hamilton Fish was publisher and Victor Navasky was editor. In the 1990s, Victor Navasky bought The Nation and became publisher; Katrina vanden Heuvel became editor.
Frequent contributors have included Eric Foner, Noam Chomsky, E.L. Doctorow, Toni Morrison, Rebecca Solnit, and Vivian Gornick.
In 2015, in honor of the publication's 150th birthday, President Barack Obama wrote:
"In an era of instant, 140-character news cycles and reflexive toeing of the party line, it's incredible to think of the 150-year history of The Nation. It's more than a magazine - it's a crucible of ideas forged in the time of Emancipation, tempered through depression and war and the civil-rights movement, and honed as sharp and relevant as ever in an age of breathtaking technological and economic change. Through it all, The Nation has exhibited that great American tradition of expanding our moral imaginations, stoking vigorous dissent, and simply taking the time to think through our country's challenges anew. If I agreed with everything written in any given issue of the magazine, it would only mean that you are not doing your jobs. But whether it is your commitment to a fair shot for working Americans, or equality for all Americans, it is heartening to know that an American institution dedicated to provocative, reasoned debate and reflection in pursuit of those ideals can continue to thrive."
This quote is from the free download "150th Anniversary Special Issue".
Even with this pedigree of progressive journalism, The Nation undermined democracy and the protection of individual voters in its interview with Alison posted at:
The Nation demanded to know who Alison voted for.
It is none of their business.
Who someone votes for is not something the Press needs to know.
Whether a candidate follows-through and votes the way they speak may be of interest to some voters. Whether a candidate is being honest or hypocritical is important. Vigorously defending the secret ballot is more important. Voters can attend rallys, fundraising events, town halls, etc. and personally discuss this matter with a candidate. Also, voters can look to a candidate's other actions, including recorded votes if they are legislative office holders. The specific question of who a candidate voted for in a secret election does not have to be the subject of incessant repeated questioning by reporters.
Of course, reporters can ask anything they want.
It is up to the candidate to determine how to respond.
However, just because the press may have the right to invade a public figure's privacy does not mean that it should.
It would have been ok if the media had exercised some self-restraint.
Alison was not being coy. She was not trying to evade the issue. She had a carefully prepared lawyerly response.
Alison said she was a delegate for Obama at one time and for Hillary at another time. To the Nation, she said it is no secret that she is a Hillary Democrat. This would surprise no one as Alison's parents are so close to the Clintons that their catering business (cache) was among the caterers at Bill's inaugeration and Chelsea's wedding.
Yet, the Nation kept after Alison, demanding to know who she voted for.
Eventually, in a by-lined column by Leslie Savan, the Nation lashed out at Alison for not having a canned-response that distanced herself from President Obama.
Clearly, watching the video, it is evident that Alison had prepared for her interview with the Nation and had thought-through her response. She said:
"I defend the sanctity of the secret ballot."
Alison supports the fundamental right and function of the secret ballot. That should have put an end to this inquiry. But, it was not the canned response the reporters wanted to hear.
It seemed as if Karl Rove had taken the press corps to dinner and they were trying to sort things out from his point-of-view.
I don't know if Karl Rove did this personally, but it seems Machiavellian enough for him.
It worked in favor of Conservative Republicans to pit Obama supporters against Hillary supporters and let Mitch win.
Divide and conquer!
The Democratic funders played right into Karl Rove's kid gloves.
Alison rightly told the reporters that it was none of their business.
She defended her fundamental right to the secret ballot and, by doing so, defended your right and my right to a secret ballot.
The Democratic funders could have made a quick inexpensive commercial showing the curtain of a voting booth closing and the word "Secret" with a befuddled reporter wearing a cartoon "Press" hat.
How much would that have cost?
Then, they could have taken their inexpensive ad and flooded the airwaves of Kentucky, making Alison's point!
Instead, the Democratic funders saw Alison under attack.
They announced, publicly, that they were shutting down her television time to divert the money to candidates who were not so-much under attack and did not need donors' dollars as much, because they were already more likely to succeed. That was the stated reason for the Democratic funders to shift our money to other candidates. In the opinion of the Democratic "experts," they prefered Democrats who needed our money less because they were already more likely to win.
It didn't work.
The Democrats could have lost just as much if you had decided what to do with your money; but, maybe we would have won!
Three days later, the official Democratic organizations started the money flowing for Alison's TV time but, by then, the national Democratic funders had done irreparable harm to Alison's campaign with the headlines generated by their "October Surprise" when they surprised us (members of their own party) by not using our money as they had promised!
You can do a better job of funding candidates you like than the national funders did, that time.
We lost the chance to unseat Mitch McConnell and to have another articulate, energetic, smart woman in the Senate.
Prehaps even more importantly, what Alison was really saying is that there are some things more important than her.
This was a moment of courage.
She was willing to lose her chance to have a seat in the U. S. Senate in order to protect our right to a secret ballot.
The Democratic funders should have spent our bucks supporting her defense of the secret ballot.
It is extremely important in a democracy that no one feel compelled to cast a vote one way or another out of fear of intimidation.
Alison's belief in Democracy and the secret ballot - unsupported by the Democratic national funders and the progressive media - cost her the election and caused the nation and the world to have to put up with Mitch McConnell longer.
Now, the Democratic funding machines should be taking every opportunity to provide Alison with a national platform to defend voters' rights, including the right to a secret ballot.
I hope that is not true!
Where will the Democratic funders be?
Are they fighting the idea of a new Constitutional Convention? Not yet.
Will they continue to undermine our right to a secret ballot, or support it?
Will they support our system of checks and balances, with a bicameral elected legislature, an elected president with limited powers, and an independent judiciary?
Will they support the Bill of Rights?
Will they demand the continuation of due process and equal protection?
Will they see through the fog of Potomac fever and focus on our nation's founding vision that we are all created equal?
Shouldn't we be using our right to free speech to ask things like this, especially of our own party?
© 2014-2019 Steven Blumrosen. All rights reserved.
Product names and various content (including but not limited to audio, video and graphics) are trademarks of their respective owners.
This is Steven Blumrosen's website.
Steven is a biological person with the right to vote, who was encouraged to exercise his free speech by the recent Supreme Court decisions of Citizens United and McCutcheon.
By the way, on this website I have not buried the styles in a separate CSS file. Instead, style coding is here for anyone to learn from. Gratifyingly, I have been told by an educator for Goodwill Industries of Southwest Florida that women in high school who are learning to code have used this website for demonstration purposes. It may not be perfect, but it works. Glad I could help!