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Saturday, Aug. 27, 2016

Fund-raising should not use gimmicks

Thursday, October 23, 2003

General Wesley Clark, the latest entry into the Democratic presidential field, is obviously in need of money. After all, he entered the race late and thus has a financial disadvantage over the early entries. But Clark is popular for the moment and has learned a lesson from former Vermont Governor Howard Dean - he's using the Internet to raise the money needed to fund a campaign. I find this trend disturbing but that's beside the point.

Clark however has lowered the level of fund raising, in my opinion, by this week combining his presidential fund-raising effort with a World Series contest. That seems somehow inappropriate and sleazy in a weird sort of way. I don't fault Clark. But I think the idea stinks.

Here's how it works. If you want to donate campaign money to Clark and you're a baseball fan, then send him money on behalf of either the Yankees or Marlins. Now don't misunderstand. Thus far, the effort is a bit of a flop. Only about $2,500 came into Clark's coffers following the first game of the Series. So it's no big deal by any stretch.

I don't know about you and you may disagree, but there's something less than presidential about a candidate who tries to combine a sporting event with his fund-raising needs. It won't change the outcome of the election and, to some, it may be a clever way of generating some attention and a few extra dollars.

Any time a candidate solicits money for any reason other than to attract voters who believe the way he believes, seems below the level of respect we should hold for the highest office in this land. Somehow, to me, in some small way it erodes the value of the office. It won't be the ruination of presidential politics. But it's not the best idea to come along either.

Root for the Yankees or Marlins. But hold your political donations to those candidates who share your views. Or at least it seems that way to me.

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