Yesterday I read in The Hill, about how Elizabeth Warren will have a hard time raising enough money because she won't have Wall Street behind her. I was furious!
First, let me just get past the premise: The idea that someone in today's political climate can't get elected without the help of Wall Street is disgusting. The fact that we need such a huge amount of money to get someone elected continues to astound me.
A few months ago I had a friend reviewing my resume. I started out my life in politics as a finance director on campaigns - raising money for candidates. My first race - a Congressional - we raised $1.1million. My friend looked at the line on my resume and replied "awww how cute is it that $1.1 million in 2004 was how much campaigns used to cost?"
There is something very wrong with our country.
Scott Brown has a whopping $10 million in the bank - and the leading contributors - you guessed it - come right out of the banking, financial, hedge fund, mortgage industry. And Elizabeth Warren has the gall and gumption to think that she can stand up for people like me and defend my rights as a consumer - and still get elected to the U.S. Senate. I have to wait to get paid in a few weeks but I'm pulling out my credit card right now.
The question persists is money the only power in politics. I wish it weren't - I wish it didn't matter, but we all know too well the sheer number of people you need to match a million bucks. We saw it in Wisconsin where the Koch brothers as well as every right wing organization in the country was spending millions just to hold on to a few state Senate seats. But they didn't hold them all - they lost two and they almost lost three. And we were so outmatched financially it was ridiculous. We did that. Our blogs, our door knocking, our phone banking from across state lines - we did that. And we can do it again.
Last night on MSNBC's The Last Word the special commentary dealt with these very issues - and posed the question - is there any room left for people power in politics? I don't want to sugar coat anything - I think only time will tell, but it has been what I personally have based my entire professional political career on. We have the power - we have the voices - we have so much that we can do, not just for Warren but for all of our candidates who stand for the basic fundamentals of our democracy. We have the power - we just have to use it.