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October 25, 2012 - Image 48

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2012-10-25

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Fund-Raising Wars .... Better Known As The Presidential Election

By Harry Kirsbaum

e only have a couple of weeks left until
this four-year political campaign game of
squabbling and money-raising, and polling
and money-raising, and sucking-the-air-out-of-
the-auditorium speechifying comes to an end.
Hallelujah. Bring out Wolf Blitzer and CNN's Magic
Wall of Crap on Nov. 6 to tell us who won, and
let's get on with our lives.
The theme for this month's Red Thread Maga-
zine is entrepreneurship.
Suspend the idea of public servant for a minute
and put politics into the business realm. Politi-
cians are entrepreneurs who sell themselves,
risking their name instead of capital. They raise
money to run for office by selling fear of the
other candidate, as in, "If my opponent wins, the
country will cease to function as we know it."
And nowhere is this more apparent than at the
presidential level.
Both presidential candidates raised $351 mil-
lion in September. That comes to $11.7 million
a day, or $487,000 an hour.This money will be
used to buy advertising to show how dangerous
the other guy would be if elected as president.
Advertising that will more than likely be ig-
nored because the concept has been driven into
our skulls for the past four years. Sure, the Red
Thread, Detroit Jewish News and every other me-


dia platform no matter what the size loves this
time of year — all that political advertis-
ing money.
But no matter who
is elected, either man
in the Oval Office will
face the same problems
of getting anything
accomplished because
Congress will not coop-
erate. The divisions are
too deep, and each of
the 535 lawmakers in the
House and Senate have also
raised millions to get or stay
elected, too, and they have
their own promises to keep.
No one wants to compromise
because compromise is a dirty
word if you're constantly look-
ing for dollars from your party's
base, which currently resides on
the fringe of either side.
Would it be wrong to think that
"finance director" is the second
most frequently called phone number
in a congressperson's smart phone?
Compound the fear-inducing dollars even
further by including races at the state and local
level, and you can see how many billions of dol-

lars are raised, and then
wasted on campaigns.
The only way to stop
the madness is to stop
the search for money with
campaign finance reform,
and we all know how easy
that was to accomplish the
last time, don't we?
In May, I wrote a Red
Thread story about the
Green Garage, a hub for start-
up businesses located in a
former Model T Ford show-
room in Midtown Detroit.
Some 30 socially conscious
start-ups, including photog-
raphers, website developers
and healthy food providers,
call the Green Garage home.
I liked the positive, creative en-
ergy so much I leased a desk.
Imagine if one of these 30 start-ups,
excluding me, of course, had one day's
worth of presidential campaign fundraising
dollars, or even an hour's worth, to spend
on building their idea into a reality. How many
jobs could that create, and how much good
would that do for our community? RT


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48 November 2012 I



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