Former Speaker of the House Tip O’Neil, famously saidAll Politics is Local”, and by now all you politically savvy folks know this to be true. Those who ignore this advice do so at their peril.

So why bring up this old chestnut now Juliana?

He also famously said, “no contribution is too small” and I got to thinking, and this is where the “channeling” part came in, how come he didn’t say “keep your money local”?  Or if he did, he sure didn’t get credit for it.

In the next 82 days, I suspect everyone reading this blog will be bombarded with “asks” mostly money and volunteer time. Which is totally fine, it’s a big election year and expected…but what to respond,  NOW that should be given some thought.

Several years ago I met a couple of really smart gals, Catherine and Melanie. Although I’d been an activist for awhile, they showed me the power of the local scene. Catherine taught me to be prepared to always quiz the “ask”, especially those pesky national groups that call. Not a week goes by that I don’t get a call from the DSCC, DCCC, DGA, HRC, Emily’s List, White House Project and ugh MoveOn. All VERY worthwhile groups, but because of Catherine I very politely ask them, “what are you doing in Georgia”? Tra-la this where the wheels start to come off. They sputter through their talking points on how “important what they need to fund is, la dee da…” but again,  I pointedly ask about Georgia, oh dear then it’s all stumbling, paper shuffling and often crickets. Cheerfully, I always tell them to call me back when they are doing something here and I’ll reconsider. But I’m sure my name is zapped off their lists by the end of the day, only to be bought a month later by some other group.

All these folks are doing wonderful work-it’s just generally not HERE.

Gather a few Georgia Democrats together and you can probably account for a couple thousand dollars in contributions to all the above groups.  Give that same gathering five minutes and a glass of wine and you’ll hear them whine about how rough it is in GA to be a Dem… Well HELLO! Don’t you see the connection starring you in the FACE?  Georgia is a freaking ATM for  national organizations.  For example, Sen. Jim Webb came to GA in 2006 for lunch and left with like $75,000. Geesh,  that’s a house race in this state.  I know candidates today that would crawl across broken glass for $75,000.

So, my “ask” is simple, the next time you see a post here for local group, a state group, a Georgia candidate please consider giving them the money instead of what you would give to those national orgs without even thinking about it. Oh yeah sure, you won’t get MoveOns latest chum, but after yesterday, we can easily make the case that your $25.00 to WIN List made a big difference in Georgia. That same $25.00 to Move On, um yeah not so much here.

As a member of several local groups I can tell you a million stories of how far we can make your $50.00 bucks go, and it should also make you feel better that your money is also largely being spent locally. This helps our struggling economy along with the groups that are working for causes and candidates.

This weekend the Georgia Democratic Party is throwing a convention, I suspect that amongst all the speeches they will be “asking” for something. I’m inclined to give that ask strong support. I hope you will too.  Anyone not sold on the progress and work being done by the House Caucus, the grassroots organizing, the coordinated campaign team need only ask-and I’m sure after you speak with folks you will see how far your money can go HERE.

 

3 Responses to Channeling Tip O’Neil, well sorta.

  1. Madelyn Clare says:

    Well put, and sadly too true, too.

  2. Amy Morton says:

    And all the people said, Amen.

  3. JMPrince says:

    Yep. I came to this conclusion a more than a few years back. As I was telling one of our oldest members the other day when she asked if I had been in downtown Atlanta for a big fundraiser, ‘No ma’m, I needed all that Obama money here at home!’ And I did. Thanks for the useful reminder Juliana. JMP