Tom Steyer Needs My Money!

Joe Mathews
Connecting California Columnist and Editor, Zócalo Public Square, Fellow at the Center for Social Cohesion at Arizona State University and co-author of California Crackup: How Reform Broke the Golden State and How We Can Fix It (UC Press, 2010)

I must be rich. A billionaire needs my money.

And yours.

Tom Steyer, the billionaire Democrat, is reduced to begging for $1 contributions. All because he needs to qualify for the September debates, and qualification is based on polling and the number of donors you have.

In other words, you can’t buy your way into a Democratic debate.

Is this still America? 

Or maybe those Democrats really are socialists. Or they just have a sense of humor.

I can’t imagine the pressure of being that rich and having to get 130,000 people to give you $1 each—so you have a chance to gain power. And if you fail at such a monetary task, and you’re a billionaire, don’t you have to quit the race in disgrace?

Steyer, of course, is trying to buy that $130,000 by spending millions on advertising on the internet and TV. And there are probably other ways to buy small donors—so your and my money is very valuable.

And if you think spending millions so you can raise $130,000 is strange, well, you may be out of touch with American politics.

(Update: This morning the Steyer campaign announced reaching the 130,000 donor threshold required by the Democratic National Committee)


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