Chris Bowers Fights Poverty on MyDD

A rant by Chris Bowers won't help counter the accusation that Daily Kos-affiliated bloggers select candidates and causes in exchange for financial support. In a post describing his struggles to make ends meet while he's publishing MyDD and building the "netroots," Bowers tells this to progressive donors and organizations:

Find some way to support bloggers, or stop asking us to support you. I have been working on the problem of getting more money to bloggers for over a year now. The biggest obstacle I see to it is that progressive donors and progressive organizations are worried that if they fund bloggers, bloggers will eventually say something "crazy," and the organizations and donors in question will end up looking bad. Fine. If that is their rationale, I can live with that. However, don't then go and tell bloggers that they should stop criticizing Democrats and progressive orgs whenever Dems and progressive orgs do something stupid. If you think we are useful, but generally too unstable to deserve regular funding, don't expect us to be quiet when Democrats and progressive organizations do things that make us mad. Don't think you can keep us in relative poverty because you don't like some of the things we say, but also think that we should shut up when we don't like what you say or do.

I'm trying not to be cynical here, but the quid pro quo in the preceding statement should be obvious to even the most fervent Kossack: Pay up if you expect us to shut up when you screw up.

Though his description of $40,000 a year as "relative poverty" is asking for trouble, Bowers has proven value as a liberal fundraiser. The netroots donation page on ActBlue, which he administers with Markos Moulitsas and two other bloggers, has pulled in $225,000 from 3,000 individual donors for 12 Democratic candidates. Factor in follow-up donations and four more months, and they could foreseeably make a seven-figure impact on the mid-term elections.

But Bowers, like Moulitsas, doesn't seem to recognize the risk he faces by tying his activism so closely to his capitalism. If people start to believe that his political positions can be bought, his support will sink faster than one of Jerome Armstrong's favorite stocks.


Rogers wrote:

I'm trying not to be cynical here ...

Stop resisting it, Mr. Cadenhead. Trust your inner cynic. And visit my blog to join the bipartisan anti-scammer coalition

I think Bowers is saying basically "It's probably better to have [us] inside the tent pissing out, than outside the tent pissing in.".

While that is indeed technically a quid pro quo, I'd say it's much more mild than a direct financial arrangement. I wouldn't give him too hard a time over it, all things considered (especially his evident unhappiness).

Actually, this is close to editorial blackmail.

As a US citizen living in another country, you get an interesting view from the outside.

An obervation from the outside leads one to conclude that Americans in general vote with their dollars, not their minds (including libs who think the Dems are our saviors from the Repubs).

Thus, according to the political setting and strategies within the US, Mr. Bowers is completely correct in saying that the liberal politicians should not argue when their funders complain about it when the politcian screws up.

The problem is, of course, that it's all about the money. Personally, I disagree with Mr. Bowers proposition of and "exchange of items", but again, in the setting of the US, it is perfectly normal for this to happen. However that does not justify an act leading to a loss of integrity and honesty.

It does not matter who is getting funding from whom, we are all tax payers after all and it's our money the politicians waste, so we should never be "asked" to be quiet or not speak up.

In the end, you shouldn't look for funding sources from political organizations, they are inherently corrupt because politics attracts the corruptable. Be independent in your funding and then you don't have to worry about what the politicians say about your comments. Getting money from political organizations is akin to owing money on a credit card, you're owned by someone else.

Schmidt, that also explains why the mainstream media acts like it does. Do ya think they make any cash during election years?

I wonder if the MSM favors campaign finance reform....

People sell their souls all the time without even realizing it. They're conditioned to do so by the expanding bandwidth, so to speak, of sensory input from media sources.

The genius of Madison Avenue is its unexcelled ability to create desire in people where none existed, for products they don't need. Politicians often do the same thing, pawning off shams as solutions, while their real agenda may never be known to We the people.

So I think it's good to be a cynic, at least until one has enough information to make an intelligent judgement, but do you see the problem here?

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