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Can Democrats Improve Their Fundraising?

November 22, 2011

In my post earlier today, I opined that the party label next to their name is the biggest obstacle that Democrats face in running for statewide office in Mississippi. But you could also argue that they won’t win when they are outspent 7-1 or 8-1 by their Republican opponent. Yet at the same time, if they were competitive they would raise money. That is why Jim Hood can still bring in the cash. But at the end of the day, this is a chicken or the egg type argument.

Nationally, Democrats obviously have more success raising money and they doing it via various channels including the business community, finance, education, healthcare, Hollywood, labor unions, and lawyers. And other areas as well but I’d say this makes up the biggest chunk. Some of these sectors (like business) are bi-partisan and want to be a player regardless of who is in power. Others- labor, trial lawyers, Hollywood- not so much.

So what does this mean for Mississippi Democrats? Labor, one of the most generous allies to Democrats, is basically non-existent in the state. You will find various donations from MAE or the AFL-CIO, but nothing of great significance. Overall, the state has a certain distrust- and even disdain- for unions (private and public), but the irony is that they are as weak as they are because of policies from previous generations of Democratic members of the legislature.

Similarly, the first round of tort reform that severely handicapped trial lawyers was at Democratic hands. The real irony here was that this did little to help their election prospects by appealing conservative. In 2003 when Haley Barbour was running for governor, you’d have had no idea that any tort reform had been enacted at that point. It was a great campaign strategy. And it is still a major issue for Republican candidates. So it didn’t help their electoral success, but helped to cut off their funding.

But business funds are what really did Democrats in. Between direct contributions and outside groups, they were able to play a very big role in Republican wins in 2011- particularly in legislative races. As I said, business gives money to Democrats nationally. Until they are able to get this money in state, they are going to be dramatically outspent.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. ron williams permalink
    November 27, 2011 6:54 pm

    Brett, you are right on the money on this one. I have a couple of friends who are union members at the Shipyard here in goula. While they support many union Ideals and traditions, they know that Republicans tend to support the funding that keeps the yard working. They vote Republican.

    You mentioned tort reform. It is time we take that to the next level and place some kind of consequences for fraudulent or settlement type suits that have no merit, yet result in settlements for plaintiffs because of the overall cost of litigation to the defendant. I call it legal extortion.

    This additional reform would go a long way in reducing the predatory nature of our legal system against business. That would increase the appeal of our State for businesses looking to move here.

    On an unrelated issue, what are peoples’ opinions on the cable barrier systems being placed on the Interstates? Personally. I think it is pork, but either way I feel the barriers are too close to the left hand shoulder. They create a hazard where they are. I think they should be moved further towards the median. Whay say others?

    • Coast Rat 4ever permalink
      November 28, 2011 5:48 am

      By golly you may be on to something Ron. Why I bet the cable barrier systems were installed by one of Phil’s campaign contributors?

  2. ron williams permalink
    November 28, 2011 1:16 pm

    Coast Rat,

    you’re just weird.

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