I am growing increasingly concerned about the influence of money in politics. Of course people with money should be allowed to exercise their opinions, but so too should folks who have little. About a week ago, I found a historic first, an issue where Attorney General Cuccinelli and I disagree. Although I strongly supported the idea of a convention to select the Republican nominee for Senate in 2012 like Ken Cuccinelli did, I didn’t believe that we should increase filing costs for candidates. Even worse though was the suggestion to hike the fees for delegates to these conventions. If someone displays enough energy and effort to come to Richmond to cast his or her ballot for a nominee, I don’t think he or she should be forced to shell out large sums of money to do so.
Another thing that bugs me is constant requests for money, as if I am merely an unthinking set of empty eyes attached to a wallet. Over the weekend, I received a letter from the Lieutenant Governor. Now I’ll confess that I enjoy the nostalgic touch of a letter and so I always look forward to the mail. When I opened the piece, I was disheartened to find that it was merely another generic political letter asking for money so I can join the “Bolling Brigade”. Are you kidding me?! Plenty of people are out of work these days. The last thing the unemployed can afford to do is join the Bolling Brigade. Now don’t think I’m singling out Bill Bolling here. After all, I do support both Cuccinelli and Bolling. Many politicians and organizations have been scrounging for funds these days. What they should realize is the simple fact that when it comes to a choice between eating and donating money to a politician, there is really no choice at all.
So let me ask you a couple of questions: Just because I don’t give away my money, does that mean my volunteer time is useless? Is my opinion somehow less valuable or less important than someone who is willing and able to cut a fat check? What with the recent high priced Advance and barrage of form fundraising letters, I’m beginning to think that the rich are trying to exclude the rest of us from the political world. I’m starting to wonder if politicians leer at us greedily, judging us merely based on the bulge in our back pocket? Hey buddy, my eyes are up here! I’m more than just my cash, check, or credit card!