Thursday, January 19, 2006

What would you do with $40,000?

As always, the meta blogging comes first:

I've added Chelsea's Fan Club to the links on your right. She's a co-worker, a great writer, funny and well-informed. Should be a blog worth reading for the long term. And I think More Josh, Less Donna is probably a career goal most of us would aspire to.

Campaign finance reports come out today. Before reading them, check out State 29's reinforcement of what I said yesterday, then you should check out Drew Miller, who's doing an incredible job keeping track of what comes in. Then you're prepared to read my ranting.

What would you do with $40,000? Would you buy a new car? Make a huge payment on your mortgage? Go to Vegas? Let's look at what some other Iowa political players would do with $40,000.

If you were Patty Judge, you might consider using it to pay off some of the $53,510 in loans you've accumulated running for Governor. Ed Fallon took no money from political action committees and paid lobbyists, and limited individual donations to $2400, and raised $110,529. Judge took money from the Monsanto Company Citizenship Fund, Sholom Rubashkin (link not for those with weak stomachs), and Syngenta, and only raised $20,000 more, causing her to go $50k+ in debt. That doesn't look so good.

If you were Sal Mohamed, you might consider paying off your Visa card. Sal's already run up a $3300 Visa card bill in his race to try to get 2% of the vote. Then, he failed to get his nomination petition out to caucuses.

But finally, if you were MidAmerican Energy, you might use $40,000, in a non-election year, to buy favors from Iowa Legislative leadership. Take a look at what Mid-American's PAC spent in 2005:

State Rep Geri Huser (D-Altoona), who I made the mistake of helping re-elect: $1500.
Thomas Sands (R-Columbus Junction): $1000.
Willard Jenkins (R-Waterloo): $1500
Clel Baudler (R-Greenfield): $500

That's page 1 and 2 of a 19 page list. Go see it for yourself, if you're interested in how much money they spent on Senate co-president Gronstal, House minority leader Pat Murphy, Speaker of the House Chris Rants, Elesha Gayman's opponent Jim Van Fossen or my senator, Matt McCoy.

This year, when nothing gets done on renewable energy, MidAmerican Energy continues to hold exclusive rights to shut out new local wind farms, and heating costs are higher than ever, go take a look at that report and see if the representatives and senators you're supporting are on it. If they are, then maybe you're to blame, too.


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