As it was in 2012 I made a point in disclosing who I donated money to in the upcoming election campaign in part due to maintaining some credibility with my writing, give a hand to get some Democrats elected in other states, and the Citizens United decision.
I wrote a paper on Citizens United for my American Legal Systems class in college. It was not my best work. You can judge for yourself as I have posted it and other papers I wrote in college online. I eventually plan on re-writing it with updates and corrections.
Here is who I am donating money to for the 2016 election cycle.
I make it a point to not donate to any candidate running in primaries because it takes away one valuable resource a campaign needs to function: money.
That money can be used to defeat Republicans in the general election instead of bludgeoning Democrats in a primary. Colorado’s primary for elections starting with US Senate on downward are held in June and I donated another important resource: time. I was part of the Leslie Herod campaign as a volunteer donating my time.
My motivations for supporting Ms. Herod over her primary opponent was due to her being a dedicated public servant, having an active presence in the Denver community, and will bring that energy into the Colorado General Assembly when she is sworn in as the next representative for State House District 8. We also shared a couple of Facebook friends: Ms. Monica Roberts and Commander Zoe Dunning.
I value their opinions and if they know Ms. Herod and given their roles as leaders in their respective communities then they see something in her that would be beneficial to Colorado.
Now that the primary has been long over in Colorado, the focus has long been on the general election.
I believe that whatever I can contribute can help regardless of the amount.
What I am saying with my donations is this: “Here’s a couple of bucks; go get some food for phonebankers, a case of water for blockwakers, or some office supplies to make some posters.”
A couple extra volunteers means more voters are contacted and the more voters contacted could mean the difference in a key state.
If you notice in my list, my donations are going to the top of the Democratic ticket (Hillary Clinton), 13 senate races, the Colorado Democratic Party, two US House races based in Colorado, and three Colorado legislative races.
Clinton is obvious because the president gets to pick Supreme Court judges and other judicial branch officials. However, it is moot when there is a Republican-led Senate. You can ask President Obama and the stalemate between him and the Senate over holding confirmation hearings for Merrick Garland, the justice that Obama picked to replace the deceased Antoni Scalia.
I am only giving money to the two House candidates in competitive races in Colorado. I would love to give money to other House candidates but I believe that flipping those two seats in Colorado is a start to put Democrats closer to a House majority.
Since being involved in politics for the last eight years (wow… it’s been that long) I have come to the conclusion that it is those DOWNBALLOTS that matter the most. This was a lesson learned from Omar Navarez, currently a member of the Dallas school board. I remember at a Dallas Stonewall Democrats meeting he said, “President Obama is going to give me (a gay Latino) my equality. But he’s not going to fix the roads on Harry Hines Blvd.”
And right there, I got it.
While it does matter who occupies 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in DC, I am just as concerned about what happens at 200 East Colfax ZIP Code 80203 during an annual 120-day period that starts in January.
What happens in the state legislature matters, probably has more impact on your own life than what happens in DC. This was true in Texas in 2013 during the Davis filibuster and the eventual passage of the state’s anti-abortion legislation that was recently struck down by the Supreme Court in June. Many states have imposed new laws to restrict access to the ballot and due to the Shelby County decision three years ago have ramped up efforts to get those laws in place prior to the 2016 election. North Carolina is the poster child of such laws which the courts are doing what they can to strike down portions of those laws.
Speaking of North Carolina, the state and many others have passed so-called “religious freedom” laws in response to the Obergefell decision. Come 2017 you can count that many Republican-controlled state legislatures will be introducing these North Carolina style bills and the LGBT community and their allies will be fighting back. As well as laws in response to the overturning of Texas’ anti-abortion law, more laws to restrict access to the ballot box, and anything else the rightwing desires.
One last point
I put my money where my mouth is.