The post “Kuhl Fundraising” caught the attention of a commenter who took issue with the topic. This post covers his comment and my subsequent response. I feel that it is important that this issue be reviewed more in-depth; therefore, I’m putting this out there for greater exposure.
The commenter posted the following:
I find your position on this very interesting Country. I’d like to take it piece by piece. You mention that Eric Massa has been financed by individual donations. That’s not entirely true. He’s taken money from PACs like every other candidate in this election. But you are correct he has been largely supported by individuals. Now lets dissect that a little further. According to FEC reports, almost 3/4ths of those individual contributions have come from outside of the 29th district, mainly New York City. So you then question Randy Kuhl’s loyalties, when he has a fundraiser that he invites supporters from within the District, yet you fail to see your own hypocrisy that Massa is beholden to outside interests. Now to me, that is comical. Furthermore, you talk about $150 speech? Does that even make sense? If you want to contact the VP just do it through the White House. If you want to contact and speak to your Congressman you can call and set up an appointment at his office. That seems pretty free to me. And as for who Kuhl is serving, it is perfectly clear to me, Kuhl has never sought monetary gain from any of the positions that he has been elected and reelected to, and only wishes to serve the people of this area. I make no bones about it, I think Randy has worked hard for this area and he will be getting my vote. Thanks for letting me post.
Also, I do want say one thing about you claiming that people who would pay $150 to see the Vice President when maybe they have never seen anyone that important in person, doesn’t make them unordinary. Alot of people choose differently how they want to spend their money. Some choose to buy cigarettes and beer, others a new tv, and some save their money so that they can have a memory they will never forget. Please don’t call them unordinary, because they work and save and pay taxes like all the rest of us do. Don’t be that condescending, its not very nice.
Comment by jnd — September 27, 2006 @ 10:13 am
Here is my response:
To comment #1-jnd. Are you serious about the Cheney event? I have heard reports ranging anywhere from $100,000-$200,000 being raised from an invitation-only event. That’s way above the $30,000 that covers 200 attendees at $150 each. Furthermore, I have heard that perhaps only 160-170 attended. That’s a lot of $1000 picture fees covering the difference.
As far as the Massa vs. Kuhl fundraising efforts, it’s a silly argument you present regarding that the majority of Massa’s individual contributors are not from the area. I don’t know of any politician, especially at this level, that takes only individual contributions from their area. Correct me if I am wrong. Surely you must realize that even though a Congressman is elected from a particular district, they truly are representing the citizens of not only their district, but also of the whole nation. Mr. Massa has built recognition through various sources across this country. There are many who are supportive of his campaign and want his representation in Washington. Massa said that he would not take money from corporate PACs. There was a recent issue on this site where a commenter found a donation to Massa’s campaign that may be questionable. A representative from the campaign quickly replied that they are investigating the donation and if it violated their principle, the money would be returned.
To comment #3, Mr. Kuhl most certainly received money associated with Tom DeLay. And Mr. Kuhl has refused to return that money. Now, jnd#1, go back through Mr. Kuhl’s FEC records and count how many corporate PACs have contributed to him. Note their names, too. Which leads me to the next point.
Were you aware that this past summer, Mr. Kuhl was one of only two sponsors of an amendment attached to the pension reform bill that allows no ceiling on the amount of money from pension funds to be invested in hedge funds? Prior to this, pension funds were restricted to no more than 25% investment in hedge funds. Hedge funds are high-risk investments better left to wealthy people who can afford the risk. How many people in the 29th district fall into the category where hedge funds are something they would want their money invested in? Not very many. Does this hedge fund provision benefit the citizens of this area and the whole country? I think not.
“Working hard for this area” means what? There has been a good amount of announcements, especially lately, of the earmark grants that institutions and towns in our district are receiving. That’s what Congress does, particularly right before an election season. What is more important is to look at how they have voted throughout their term. Does their voting record reflect your values and what you deem is important for the direction of this country? That’s what you should base your vote on; not the fact that maybe your town received a grant to upgrade their infrastructure.
Comment by ellicatt — September 28, 2006 @ 9:07 am
If we are going to debate, let’s debate using facts. It’s too bad, though, that we don’t have available the final numbers from the Vice President’s fundraising event. And did you know that the event was held just outside the district’s boundary line? It might not have been in New York City, but it wasn’t in the district, either. It will be interesting to see how the numbers break down once the information is in the public domain.