The numbers game.Byline: The Register-Guard
Numbers matter in politics. That's true whether the numbers have to do with overriding gubernatorial gu·ber·na·to·ri·al
Of or relating to a governor.
[From Latin gubern vetoes or running for elective office. As for the latter, numbers obviously play a pivotal role in determining winners and losers. But they also come into play - sadly, in far too great a way - in the funding of political campaigns.
President Bush's appearance tonight in Portland at a fund-raiser for U.S. Sen. Gordon Smith
Gordon Harold Smith (born May 25, 1952) is Oregon's junior United States Senator, currently serving his second term. He is a member of the Republican Party. , R-Ore., underscores the importance of cold cash to the country's political system. The same was true with former President Bill Clinton's attendance last month at a fund-raiser for Smith's Democratic opponent, Oregon Secretary of State The Secretary of State of Oregon, an elected constitutional officer within the executive branch of government, is first in line of succession to the Governor. The duties of office are: auditor of public accounts, chief elections officer, and administrator of public records. Bill Bradbury Bill Bradbury (born 1949) is the Secretary of State for the U.S. state of Oregon. Bradbury, a Democrat, previously served in the Oregon Legislative Assembly, and ran unsuccessfully against incumbent Senator Gordon Smith in 2002. .
Clinton's appearance netted about $250,000 for Bradbury and other Democratic candidates in the state. Bush's appearance tonight should do equally well, if not better. Consider: It will cost an attendee $1,000 just to get in the door. For a mere $5,000, the guest can attend a roundtable discussion with the president, Smith and Congressman Greg Walden Gregory "Greg" Walden (born January 10, 1957, in The Dalles, Oregon) is a Republican member of the United States House of Representatives from Oregon and represents its Second District, which covers more than two-thirds of the state (generally, east of the Cascades. , R-Ore. And for a cool $25,000 - think of it, folks, "only" $25,000 - a guest may have his or her picture taken with the president. It may be crass commercialization of the political process, but it brings in the bucks.
But what's truly mind-boggling regarding the Smith-Bradbury race is the prediction that a total of $10 million will be spent on the contest. Smith, who already has raised a whopping $5 million, hopes to raise and spend at least $7 million before the votes are counted. And Bradbury, who has raised about $1 million so far, hopes to top out at roughly $3 million. Predictably, most of Smith's money comes from the business community, while most of Bradbury's comes from organized labor Organized Labor
An association of workers united as a single, representative entity for the purpose of improving the workers' economic status and working conditions through collective bargaining with employers. Also known as "unions". .
Spending $10 million on a single political contest in the state of Oregon is obscene Offensive to recognized standards of decency.
The term obscene is applied to written, verbal, or visual works or conduct that treat sex in an objectionable or lewd or lascivious manner. . But unfortunately, that's the way the system is set up and that's the way it's played. While federal law restricts the amount of money individuals or groups can donate to specific candidates, the only limit on the total amount allowed to be spent in a race is in a presidential contest - and then only if the candidates accept campaign funds out of a special pool of money created specifically for that purpose. So Smith and Bradbury, and any other candidates for Congress, can spend whatever amount they're lucky, or talented, enough to raise.
It didn't get as much attention as a presidential visit to Oregon, but there was another news story Wednesday involving numbers, politics, Smith and Bradbury. A poll taken by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) is the Democratic Hill committee for the United States Senate, working to elect Democrats to that body. Senator Jon Corzine of New Jersey was chair for the U.S. Senate election, 2004. showed the Smith-Bradbury race to be, for all practical purposes, dead even. Other polls have shown Smith with a double-digit advantage. Which poll, if either, is correct won't be known until election night Nov. 5.
For now, it's simply worth noting that numbers and politics seem destined des·tine
tr.v. des·tined, des·tin·ing, des·tines
1. To determine beforehand; preordain: a foolish scheme destined to fail; a film destined to become a classic.
2. to be forever intertwined.