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Throwing Money Away

I was once asked by a rural County Chair what I thought about their party or club making a donation to TDP for something or other--voter registration or get out the vote efforts maybe. I am not sure exactly what I said, but knowing me it was probably something like:

You might as well drive down the highway and throw your money out the window.

I also think the same thing about donating locally raised money to political campaigns, even your local ones. Throwing it out the window will do just as much good. I am a firm believe that any fundraising a county party or club does should be spent locally by the party or club instead of being donated somewhere else or to someone else, no matter how great a cause or promising a candidate they may be.

In my view, the primary job of a county party is to support and grow itself as a party organization, and you can't do that by giving what little money you have away. Instead, local parties and clubs should find a way to do something with the money they raise locally. Some choose to put up bill boards, others to spend it on text messaging for local get out the vote efforts, paying a canvasser or two, doing a mailer. The options you have are endless. The only limit is your county's own needs and your creativity. There is no right choice or a wrong choice so long as the purpose is to make your presence known and support your local party's overall effort.

As for giving to campaigns, the job of a county party is not to raise money for a candidate's campaign. The job of the party to is to build and provide long term a good network of infrastructure and support that candidates need to win. Campaigns and candidates come and go. The party is always there. A strong party organization can get a weak candidate elected. A weak party can rarely do the same for even a strong candidate.

As much as The 134 PAC requires the support of people giving money outside their own county to support a larger strategic goal, we do not ask for financial support from county parties. We want to help county parties, not starve them. We are grateful for all our donors. But give to your local party first, and take a leadership role in how that money is being spent where you live. Giving your money to TDP or the DNC to register voters in Harris County or Ohio doesn't do your rural county party any good. Remember no one is coming to our rescue. We have to do this ourselves, and we will have to use our own money.

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