Sunday, February 3

"I Didn't Get Elected To Be A Fundraiser"

Christopher Murphy is freshman Congressman representing Connecticut’s Fifth District.

Today he published a heartfelt letter in the Hartford Courant explaining his frustration that the demands of fundraising distract him from being able to help his constituents.

But let me pull back the curtain a little bit more. On top of all of the official duties of a congressman, I and my colleagues find that more and more of our time is spent on our re-elections, largely raising money. On any given day, the foot traffic to and from the national Republican and Democratic campaign offices is constant, and the conditions under which we labor are pretty depressing. At the Democratic offices, I sit in a room with cubicles, surrounded by freshmen and veteran legislators, feeling more like a telemarketer than a member of Congress. And I'm told that every year, the room gets more crowded. When I take a breath and look around, it becomes clear that this problem won't correct itself with time.
He goes on to explain that he may face a backlash for sharing this insight into the ugly world of political fundraising:

Most elected officials don't want you to know about the world of political fundraising because they fear that it paints an unflattering portrait of public life. (I'm sure there might even be a political price for me to pay for talking so bluntly about fundraising here.) But if the picture is unbecoming, the solution lies not in hiding the ugliness, but in exposing it. Why? Because it doesn't have to be this way.
The congressman goes on to advocate for public financing of congressional campaigns in order to cure this terrible reality of our democracy.

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