PunditMom’s $27 Election Revolution

Thu, June 19, 2008



That’s my new mantra.

Several months ago, I read Melinda Henneberger’s book, If They Only Listened to Us: What Women Voters Want Men to Hear.

As she was promoting her book, Henneberger quoted a statistic in one article that if every woman who voted in the 2006 national elections had contributed just $27 to any presidential candidate or party, we would pour $1.3 billion dollars into the political system.

Mm-hmm. That’s billion with a ‘b.’

Women are really good at networking and writing and expressing our views. We’ve got blogs and podcasts and we’re not afraid to use them. Whether we like it or not, though, we’re apparently really bad at doing the one thing that makes the most difference in electing politicians who represent our views — giving money.

As I read Henneberger’s book, I thought perhaps a better question was, “Why don’t they listen?” The answer, unfortunately, is an easy one. We’re happy to spring for the fancy lattes or the latest cute shoes. We don’t hesitate to spend a few bucks on cocktails or the most recent cinematic experience. And it’s easy to complain that no one is listening.

But when it comes down to digging out a little spare change from our wallets, women are more reticent.

We are now down to one candidate for each party in this presidential campaign, so I’m calling on everyone to put this theory into action. To help me, my excellent gal pal and fellow MOMocrat Lawyer Mama put her mad techy skillz into action and made this:

PunditMom Change

Starting today, I’m launching PunditMom’s $27 Election Revolution.

I’m asking each of you to think about cutting back on the Starbucks just a little bit and contribute $27 to the candidate or political party of your choice. It doesn’t have to be John McCain or Barack Obama. It doesn’t even have to be a presidential candidate -- there are plenty of candidates running for national and local offices who could use a little extra cash to get out their messages.

If we pool our money, so much the better. But imagine what our $1.3 billion dollars would do, even as individual contributions, to increase the volume of our political voices. Even John McCain would have to sit up and take notice of the issues we think are important.

It’s time, ladies (and you guys, too!). Let’s take back the political process and use it for our benefit. What else would you be spending that $27 on anyway — this?

Plus, if you send me an E-mail letting me know that you’ve contributed $27 to any candidate or political party of your choice, I’ll send you the html for this lovely little button! Come on, you know you want one!

Let’s start this revolution together!

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24 Responses to “PunditMom’s $27 Election Revolution”

  1. crunchycarpets Says:

    Ok…but that is billions to what? – a marketing campaign?

    Why on earth should is COST billions to get elected in the first place?

    In Canada we have a cap that the political parties are allowed to spend and receive.

    Wouldn’t those billions be better served in actually creating something…like food or homes or education….why spend billions on just promises??

    If politicians were actually held accountable for their campaign promises ..then sure..but really??

  2. jen Says:

    crunchy has a point – i have no idea why we allow campaigns to spend so much money.

    or wars.

    that said, i’ve done it already. why? because i have hope there someday will be accountability. and kept promises. because if i don’t have that, then what’s left?

  3. PunditMom Says:

    We shouldn’t have to. But the dilemma is, in the current system, if we want our voices really heard, it takes political contributions to get people to sit up and pay attention. Supposed campaign finance reform has done nothing, except maintain loopholes for one of the authors of that law, John McCain.

  4. Gloria Feldt Says:

    Political reality here: Contributing politically only helps women if women make clear that we are women and we are contributing because we want (fill in the blank) from the candidate. Women already contribute plenty to have a lot more clout than we do. We don’t get the clout because we fail to be explicit about what we want from the exchange. That is not a cynical statement; it is simply intelligent politics. We have to put our mouth where our money is.

  5. Lawyer Mama Says:

    You know I’m in, babe! I’m off to donate to Andrea Miller, who’s running for Congress in my district. But I may give her more than $27. (-;

    I see Crunchy’s point. But if we want to get to the point where we can force political parties to limit their campaign spending, we need to get our voices heard first.

  6. Daisy Says:

    Great idea! I know where mine is going: to Penny Bernard Schaber, a local woman running for state assembly. She shares my priorities in education and environmentalism. I’ve met her (she lives in my neighborhood) and personally thanked her for running, but helping her with $$$$ would be better.

  7. Melisa Says:

    Fabulous idea PunditMom. I will put my $$$ where my mouth is.

    Crunchy, we have freedom of speech in the United States, which is why we can not cap how much politicians are allowed to spend on campaigns. This was also the reason many of the Russ-Feingold reforms were overturned by the Supreme Court.

  8. JCK Says:

    What a great idea! I’m going to contribute and I’ll be back to tell you!

  9. Velma Says:

    We contribute, often. I know the money is going to marketing, but you have to work with the system you have to get the system you want.

  10. followthatdog Says:

    While I kind of agree with Crunchycarpets, I also know that without money, the good guy loses. Unfortunately that is the state of our electoral process. Still, if you decide that you don’t want to fund a candidate, why not choose an issue you like and find a PAC that supports that issue. I regularly donate to Planed Parenthood’s PAC because it is an issue important to me.

  11. Mom101 Says:

    The money doesn’t just pay for marketing.

    It’s travel, it’s hotels, it’s coffees for the volunteers on the road, it’s gas for the bus, it’s bumper stickers, it’s paychecks for the staff and the speechwriters and the debate coaches, it’s phone bills, it’s direct mail firms, it’s stamps on the letters thanking you for your donations…

    It’s all going back into the economy. Someone benefits every time you spend $27. You just hope it’s the right person.

    Which is why I’ve got another $27 going to Obama. Thanks Joanne. Awesome.

  12. soapbox mom Says:

    Great idea. I love it.

    I agree with Mom101. Obama gets $27. Thanks.

  13. Lady M Says:

    I’ve been meaning to donate for a while now, and just did it. Thanks for the prompting!

  14. kimberly/tippy toes Says:

    moveon.org just got my money. Off to give to Obama…

  15. Mauigirl Says:

    I started contributing to political causes a few years ago – first to Moveon.org and to a local woman councilperson in my town – and then to Obama starting in 2007; oddly before I had even decided I wanted him vs. Hillary! I just wanted him to get heard because I liked what he was saying.

    I’ve continued to give this year because it’s the most important election perhaps in the past 30 years. With so many Supreme Court justices possibly on the line, we can’t afford another Republican president.

  16. mommapolitico Says:

    I know we’re always concerned with our families finances, but here’s another great way to contribute that $27, a little at a time: EMILY’s List. At emilyslist.org, you can sign up to donate a small amount monthly (I believe the minimum is $5-10)and have it go toward electing pro-choice women to office. EMILY stands for “early money is like yeast,” meaning, it helps to raise the dough! I have been a fan for a long time, amd love their philosophy of giving what yu can spare on a monthly basis. Check it out for an easy, painless way to contribute!

  17. Suzanne Says:

    I gave money and I’m a loud mouth, making it clear exactly what I expect from candidates in return.

  18. Sacramento Coffee and Sacramento Safe Kids Says:

    Obama got my first $27, them Moveon.org got $27 x3. I’ve spent years working in politics and only money talks. We can spend hours writing great rhetoric but the reality is that unless someone ponies up the cash, nothing happens.

    This time I want it to be MY money that talks!

  19. Lara Says:

    Great reminder – I was going to go with $15 to Obama this week, but I’ll kick it up to $27!

  20. Professor J Says:

    I’m all for the revolution! I sent some money to Senator Clinton earlier this year, and I promised to send some money to the unfortunately named Rick Noreiga (who is running against the awful Texas senator John Cornyn). I pledged 15, but I’m going to up it to 27–just to be a legitimate revolutionary.

  21. the end of motherhood Says:

    For my $27 bucks, I think it is really worth finding WOMEN who are running for office to support. Nothing is going to change on a deep level until women are much more represented in all the corridors of political power.

  22. mommapolitico Says:

    For lots of women candidates to support, try emilyslist.org. It’s what they do, and I contribute monthly. I really support their mission.

  23. Pecos Blue Says:

    Sounds like a plan. I am in.

  24. Fantastic Forrest Says:

    I love your blog – and I would really love to have this button on my blog. I assume it links to your post explaining the concept?

    Today I read something that chilled me. http://www.sarahpac.com/

    We cannot be complacent. The forces of darkness are ever active.

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