Blogging machine Jason Tolbert has a good post over at The Tolbert Report touching on Republican Senate hopeful Conrad Reynolds’ plans for financing his 2010 campaign. Reynolds, like many of the Republican hopefuls, has been slow off the mark in raising money for the race. As of the last reporting period, Reynolds had some $43,000 on hand (with $30,000 of that total being Reynolds’ own money).
Let’s go to Tolbert’s video:
Note the artful use of the passive voice when Reynolds talks about campaign money. It’s going to “flow into this state,” and “they’ll match anything that she’s got.” It absolves him of responsibility for raising money for his own campaign, right? After all, that money is simply going to flow!
This is not to pick on Reynolds, particularly; it’s a common trope among the under-funded and under-performing candidates to argue they don’t need to raise money because “the money will be there.” Well…perhaps. Or perhaps not. Are you sure you wanna stake your campaign on that?
But I don’t want to be overly negative, so let’s make a deal. Here’s the assignment for all these lower-tier candidates in the Republican Senate primary: Let’s set a threshold target of, oh, let’s say $4 million. You go raise $4 million, and you don’t even have to spend it—just park it in the bank.
Then, if your theories about all of this magical money “flowing” into the state turn out to be true, and you didn’t need the $4 million, you can simply return it to the contributors once you’ve won the race, and I’ll admit that I was terribly, terribly wrong. You can even park the money in a CD and maybe hold on to the interest you generate in the meantime.
You’ll have proven your point that money isn’t that important, but without the risk of entering the campaign season lacking the money you’ll need to run a competitive campaign. It would have the added benefit of proving that you CAN raise the money, and that your failures to do so thus far have not been a function of inability or unwillingness to do the basic things that a campaign requires.
Sound like a good deal? I thought so.