$27 = Political Influence

Mon, August 20, 2007

Making Our Political Voices Heard

Would you be willing to give up your Decaf LowFat Caramel Macchiato with Extra Foam for a week?

Many of us have so few personal indulgences, the thought of going caffeine-free for a week could be tough, especially for those who are newly sleep-deprived.

Think you could do it if that meant having a real voice in the upcoming presidential elections? Listen to this amazing statistic and it will make you put that double espresso down for a minute.

In the September issue of More Magazine , Melinda Henneberger, the author of If They Only Listened to Us, reports that if every woman who voted in the 2006 national elections contributed just $27 to any presidential candidate, we would pour $1.3 billion dollars into politics.

I’ll give you a minute to get back up on your chair.

$1.3 billion dollars. Not exactly chump change. That was astounding to me. Even more astounding was that we don’t do it. Why?

According to Henneberger, it’s partly because we, as women, fail to make the connection between political donations and influence in policy decisions. My recent guest blogger David from It’s Not a Lecture wrote about this, as well.

I know you might be thinking that making a donation of $27 to a candidate isn’t going to have much sway when it comes to getting our voices heard on health care and other issues we care about. But if we band together and select candidates we want to support and give in a “bundle,” that’s where we can start to have some clout.

For just $27.

I’ve already made a couple of modest contributions to some candidates, but certainly not enough to be asked to host a house party where a candidate comes to meet other like-minded givers and actually listen to the concerns of those who are ready to open their wallets.

I am newly motivated, though, to start a PunditMom coffee campaign here in my neighborhood. What if I could convince a good number of my friends to chip in $27 to a fund for a candidate we could all agree on? I know things aren’t going to change overnight, but it might be a good start to raising our profile and getting the attention of those who think we’re just not that important.

Plus, we can still go back to our Iced Decaf Skim Extra Shot Cappuccino.

Seems like a pretty good bargain to me.

If you’re wondering why I didn’t mention Sunday’s debates, come on over to PunditMom’s Spin Cycle – I got a little bothered by the whole ‘President Who Prays’ question.

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11 Responses to “$27 = Political Influence”

  1. David Says:

    I think you’re on to something here, PM. It’s sad but true – politicians, like everyone else, follow the money. and 27 bucks is actually a GREAT idea – especially when combined in a large group.

    It actually gets you more, not less face-time with the politicians, because you leave open the option of donating again, and again, and again. They’ll pay attention to you as long as they know you’re in the game.

    And thanks for the link… ;)

  2. jen Says:

    i am so into this. but it seems that we’d (to have a bigger bang) all donate to along the same lines. and how fantastic would that be. let’s do it.

  3. PT-LawMom Says:

    Wow! That *is* astounding. I’d do it. Whatever it takes to make them realize we’re serious about these issues. I’ve paid almost as much in healthcare/dental work in the past two years as I’ve paid in daycare!!! :( And I have insurance!

  4. bethiclaus Says:

    I am in. This is great. Most of us can’t afford to make a major campaign contribution, but it would be nice to think we could actually be heard together.

  5. Redsy (formerly CrankMama) Says:

    Excellent points PM… I hate to think how much money I spend at Starbucks….

    Meanwhile, LOVE the new pad!! LOVE!

  6. Lawyer Mama Says:

    Fabulous idea, PM! I already donate to my candidate of choice but it never ocurred to me to try to get my friends to do the same.

  7. Selfmademom Says:

    I seriously love you a little more right now that I know you gave to Al Franken. I think there are many reasons to not buy that latte everyday (a new pair of shoes, saving the environment), but this one seems to have a proven effect!

  8. painted maypole Says:

    love your new layout (so much easier to read!) and header.

    $27?? You know, I’ve been thinking about how I could get more involved in elections this go around, and the idea of banding together and contributing is such a great one. Hmmm… too bad barely anyone I know in my town votes the way I do. But maybe if I start digging around, I can find some more likeminded folks. It’s worth a try. Thanks for the idea.

  9. Rock the Cradle Says:

    Great links. I really appreciated your thoughts on prayer in the presidency. I’m on the same wavelength.

  10. Anali Says:

    Wow, that is huge!!! I think this is an amazing idea! I can’t wait to see how this moves forward!!

  11. Mom101 Says:

    I think this is just fabulous. You should create a $27 Club button and spread it through the blogworld. I’m here to help!

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