Some of you might have noticed that my posting has been a bit sparse on HA this past week, and no, it’s not due to the handful of posts I’ve funneled over to Slog. No, my time has mostly been consumed by a short term contract I took because I really believe in the project, and, well, I just plain needed the money. Which is kinda a longish way of getting the obligatory disclaimer out of the way at the top of the post.
The project I’m working on is Progressive Kick’s $125,000 Win Big by Thinking Small matching contribution program, in which, through Oct. 10, we will match dollar-for-dollar all contributions made through our ActBlue page to select legislative candidates in six states: NC, MI, OH, OR, PA and WI. That’s a $125,000 to raise an additional $125,000… a quarter of a million dollars total to spend in local races.
From the candidates’ perspective, this is a great opportunity to incentivize supporters to give (or give again) by doubling their money. Kind of a no brainer. And some candidates have made good use of this opportunity, like Nick Kahl in Oregon’s HD-49 race, who has already raised $4,684 (plus another $4,684 in matching contributions) in a little over a week. But from the national perspective, there’s a lot more at stake.
The criteria for being included in the Win Big by Thinking Small program were simple: you must be a truly progressive candidate in a close but winnable race, in a state where congressional redistricting is at stake… and it’s that latter prerequisite that, despite my pleading, excluded Washington legislative candidates from consideration. For even if control of the state House and/or Senate were to change hands, our nonpartisan redistricting system makes the process almost entirely immune to partisan gerrymandering. Yet another thing Washington does better than most other states.
But that’s not the case most everyplace else. And that’s why a relatively small investment in electing progressive legislators now, could produce exponential returns over the coming decade:
“The average winner of a competitive House race in 2008 spent $2 million, while a noncompetitive seat can be defended for far less than half that amount. Moving, say, 20 districts from competitive to out-of-reach could save a party $100 million or more over the course of a decade.”
— GOP strategist, Karl Rove
Don’t trust Karl Rove? Read the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee’s dissertation on “The Economic$ of Redi$tricting,” and The New York Times on “How to Tilt an Election Through Redistricting.”
Of course, electing true progressives at the local level is also the key to building a progressive bench — these are the ranks from which future Democratic stars will rise — so this alone makes Progressive Kick’s matching contribution program worthy of your support. But with redistricting upon us, and our nation as divided as ever along partisan lines, nothing less than control of the U.S. House of Representatives is at stake.
So if you’re looking to double your money and double your impact, please give today.